Nicol Williamson





9/14/1938 , Hamilton, Scotland, UK

Birth Name




In the mid-1960s, it looked as if Nicol Williamson might be the next great British actor; certainly, his edgy, unpredictable performances on stage and TV commanded great critical respect. He was always said, however, to be edgy and unpredictable in real life and by the time he began getting leading roles in films in the last years of the decade, he was also getting a name for being "difficult". His stage performance as Hamlet was held by many to be the finest of his generation, and he also gained renown as a singer and presented an one-man show at the White House for President Nixon. In the 1970s, it all began to go wrong - his marriage to Jill Townsend broke up acrimoniously, his film roles diminished in importance and quality and his behaviour on stage grew distinctly eccentric - refusing to continue a performance after it had started, shouting at audience members and even other actors, and also, some said, losing the power and originality of his earlier work.