'Excalibur' actor Nicol Williamson dies at 75

nicolwilliamson.jpg Nicol Williamson has died at the age of 75, according to his family. The Scottish actor passed away of oesophageal cancer shortly before Christmas in Amsterdam, where he lived. He was best known for playing the wizard Merlin in the 1981 film "Excalibur."

Williamson, who was a well-respected stage actor was nominated for his first Tony Award in 1966 for" Inadmissible Evidence" and his second in 1974 for his role in Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya." Playwright John Osborne once called him "the greatest actor since Marlon Brando."

He starred in a production of "Hamlet" at the Roundhouse theater that was so successful it was transferred to Broadway. It was then adapted into a film which co-starred Anthony Hopkins and Marianne Faithfull.

In a statement on the actor's website, his son Luke Williamson says: "It's with great sadness, and yet with a heart full of pride and love for a man who was a tremendous father, friend, actor, poet, writer and singer, that I must bring news of Nicol's passing ... He gave it all he had: never gave up, never complained, maintained his wicked sense of humour to the end. His last words were 'I love you'. I was with him, he was not alone, he was not in pain." Williamson is survived by his son and his wife, Jill Townsend. Rest in peace, sir.


Photo/Video credit: Orion Pictures