EMLYN WILLIAMS, Welsh actor died (b. 1905) In 1927, he joined a repertory company and began his stage career. By 1930, he had branched out into writing, and his first major success was with the thriller Night Must Fall (1935), which was made into a film in 1937 and again in 1964. His other great play was very different: The Corn is Green (1938), partly based on his own childhood, and also later filmed. In addition to stage plays, Williams wrote a number of film screenplays, working with Alfred Hitchcock and other directors.
He acted in and contributed dialogue to various films based on the novels of A.J. Cronin, including The Citadel (1938), The Stars Look Down (1940), Hatter’s Castle (1942), and Web of Evidence (1959). In 1941 Williams starred in the film You Will Remember, directed by Jack Raymond and written by Sewell Stokes and Lydia Hayward. The film is based on the life of the popular late Victorian songwriter Leslie Stuart, played here by Robert Morley, with Williams as Stuart’s best friend.
He often appeared in his own plays, and was justly famous for his one-man-show, with which he toured the world, playing Charles Dickens in an evening of readings from Dickens’ novels. On a personal note, this writer had the privilege of dining with Williams on a number of occasions in Los Angeles, through the friendship he maintained with one of my personal mentors, the late, beloved Alan Hodshire. It was at one such dinner with Mr. Williams that I learned the culinary delight of fresh cracked pepper on good vanilla ice cream. Try it.
His autobiography, in the volumes George (1961) and Emlyn (1973), was also highly successful. In it, he wrote frankly of his sexuality, though, as many Gay men of his generation did, he had married in 1935 and had a son; his wife died in 1970.