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Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 11:30 GMT
Michael Williams: Your tributes
The actor Michael Williams has died after a long fight against cancer at the age of 65.

He died on Thursday at his home surrounded by friends and family, said a statement issued by his agent, Julian Belfrage Associates.

A highly versatile performer, he played all the leading Shakespearean roles, and also starred in the television comedy series "A Fine Romance" with his wife, Dame Judi Dench.

Read a selection of your tributes below.


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts

Finty Williams, England
We want to thank you all for your amazing messages. We are so touched and honoured. My Dad's last present to my mother was this laptop-what a good thing he did; without it we may never have realised in what great regard he was held, not only in this country but around the world. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. All love. Finty Williams
Finty Williams, England


Your reaction:

Much love and best wishes to Dame Judi and Finty at this sad time. Your husband/ father was a wonderful man. An excellent actor and generous to so many people. He will be missed. You are all in my thoughts and my heart at this time. God bless.
Maria Grant, England

One of my favourite theatre memories from my youth was watching Michael Williams and Judy Dench in Keith Waterhouse's 'Mr and Mrs Nobody', produced by Ned Sherrin. Actually that's quite a few names to conjure with! More recently I'd started working through the Radio 4 Sherlock Holmes, in which he played Watson so admirably. This loss is a rotten shame, and my thoughts are very much with his family.
Guy Clapperton, UK

All at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation send Dame Judi, Finty and their family our deepest condolences


Lorraine O'Brien, England
All at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation send Dame Judi, Finty and their family our deepest condolences. Each year 40,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer the UK's biggest cancer killer Our foundation is the only dedicated research centre in the world offering hope of a cure for lung cancer. If we can help anyone cope with this dreadful disease please click onto our web site www.roycastle.org or e mail me personally at obrien@roycastle.liv/ac.uk lorraine O@Brien.
Lorraine O'Brien, England

A great man who has given much pleasure and joy to many over long years, including my wife and myself. A tremendous loss to his family and the rest of us.
Graham Lyons, UK

Dear Dame Judi and Ms Williams, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am an actor over here in Toronto. For years I have watched Michael Williams as an inspiration - whether in a sitcom or in a tape of a Shakespeare production. He had qualities that most actors aspire to - a gentle heart and wonderful sense of humour. In recent years, I have had to deal with a few health crises - my own and those of my parents. They make every day so precious. May you both find some peace and comfort within this difficult time.
Brian Leonard, Canada

My husband and I would like to let Judi Dench and her family know how sorry we are to hear about the passing of her husband. He was a fine actor and will be sadly missed. They are in our prayers.
Jim and Terri Zezza, Pennsylvania, USA

He was a kind and gentle man, but a great actor overall. Not showy or vainglorious, just a decent man. We will miss him. Kind regards to his family
Mark Terry, UK

I've only discovered Michael Williams' work in the last few years. He was a lovely man whose performances are a delight to watch and he will be missed. Deepest sympathy to Dame Judi and his family.
M. Lucas, United States

Finty, I too lost my Father to cancer three years ago. I also know that mere words cannot express the pain and loss that you feel. Keep dear to your heart the memories and don't forget to share them... "Hold the thought" --that some day you will all be together again.
Renea Wall, Mississippi, USA


Thanks for sharing him with us


Melinda McDaniel, Woodbridge, VA, USA

Dear Dame Judi and Finty, my daughter is just about to turn 16. I cannot thank you enough for what your family has meant to her during these last few years. As a mother, I want to thank you for widening my daughter's world to include the world of British theatre and film via the brilliant work of the Williams family's craft and allowing us to feel apart of your circle of friends and family. What a rich legacy we can enjoy! That is a priceless gift that you allow so many of us to treasure. Thanks for sharing him with us. If I could I would give you a hug. Love and best wishes to you all,
Melinda McDaniel, Woodbridge, VA USA

A wonderful actor who will be very sorely missed. His work was always a joy to watch. A bright light has been extinguished all too early. Deepest sympathy to Dame Judi and family.
Nicola Will, Scotland

A real gentleman has passed away. He will be remembered
Kelly, Greece

I was greatly saddened to hear of Mr Williams' death. His support of the Catholic faith within the world of showbusiness was greatly rewarded with his Papal knighthood. I want to send my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Angela Bunn, Spain

On the day we learned of Mr Williams' passing we watched, as we do every Saturday evening, A Fine Romance, which is broadcast by the Buffalo PBS station and seen throughout southern Ontario. Ironically and sadly, the episode being shown was the one in which the characters played by the real Mr and Mrs Williams announce their engagement. Our deepest condolences to Dame Judi and Finty.
David Brain, Mississauga, Canada


He will be dearly missed by many, many people the world over


Linda Guilding, England

I was so sad to hear of the death of Michael Williams. What a fine actor he was. He will be dearly missed by many, many people the world over. For the hours of pleasure you gave me when I saw you working when I was a student studying to be a drama teacher in the 70's, I thank you. God bless you. My condolences to Dame Judi and her daughter.
Linda Guilding, England

Though I had never seen Mr. Williams on stage he has brought me many happy hours listening to his audio tapes. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.
Judy Nelsen, USA

A true English gentleman has left this world for the next. He will be missed but never forgotten, my thoughts are with his family.
Lisa, Germany (UK Ex-pat)

I can remember watching "A Fine Romance" at a fairly early age and being impressed by the acting of both Michael Williams and Judi Dench, and feeling how well they worked together. Since then I have followed both their careers and my views have not changed. Michael's death is a sad loss to acting as well as to his loving family. My deepest sympathy and best wishes to Dame Judi and Finty, and the rest of his family and friends.
Michele, England

I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Michael Williams. No words can express our sympathy in the ways that we wish during these difficult times. To Judi, Finty and Sam my thoughts, prayers and love are with you. We will miss not only a gifted actor, but a wonderful human being we were blessed to share this world with.
Amy Carrow, United States


Fond memories of a man whose smile exuded love of life itself


Catherine Blackmoor, England

I remember barely being old enough to appreciate the subtle humour of "A Fine Romance" as I was growing up in the eighties, but nevertheless, felt drawn towards the wonderful, natural warmth and humour of the characters, and continued to follow both Michael and Judi's work. My love to Judi and Finty at this time, and fond memories of a man whose smile exuded love of life itself.
Catherine Blackmoor, England

Dame Judi, you and your husband have a great following here in British Columbia, Canada. My friends and I send our condolences at this sad, sad time for you. Our hearts go out to you and Finty. God Bless.
Chris Kirkham, Canada

I had the honour to speak with Mr Williams outside the Barrymore Theatre after seeing Dame Judi in Amy's View. He was kindness itself. We spoke for but a few minutes. He was so kind and gracious to me. I had always admired the limited amount of his work I'd been blessed to see, but those moments showed that his true nature was a gentleman as well as a gentle man. The world was blessed by his presence and we have all suffered a loss in his passing. My condolences and prayers to his family.
Carole Voltz, USA

Sorry to lose such a fine actor. Michael's performances were marked by sincerity, understanding, and intelligence. What a hard thing to lose your partner of many years. Condolences to Judi and family.
Margaret Brown, New Zealand

What can one say about someone whose courage during his illness was admirable, his dignity and his subtle sense of comedy everlasting. T o his wife Dame Judy Dench and family I send my sincere condolence. May he rest in peace.
Ken White, England

My favorite of Michael's performances was in the film "Henry V", when he stared into the campfire and talked about soldiers dying in battle, about "those poor left behind 'em." We now, are those poor left behind, having lost a truely great man and actor. My breaking heart goes out to Judi, Finty, friends and family of Michael. My deepest condolences to you all. Goodbye Michael, and thank you.
Janet Snyder, Austin, Texas USA


A part of British Heritage! I am devastated at the loss of a such a diamond man


L. Harrison, Singapore

A part of British Heritage! I am devastated at the loss of a such a diamond man. I send all my deepest sympathy to Dame Judi and Finty at this time.
L. Harrison, Singapore

I was shocked to learn of Michael Williams death, as I didnt know he was even ill, what a lovely man and a lovely family. He made us Brits abroad really proud! So sorry for your loss Judi and family.
M Hunt, Malaysia

I have just learned of the death of Michael Williams. His death is a tragedy for the world of entertainment. I loved him in 'A Fine Romance'. I am filled with sorrow for Dame Judi and her family. May God grant you all the strength to get through this terribly difficult time.
Beryl McKenzie, Australia

I am very sorry to hear about Michael William's death. I met him exactly one year ago and he seemed much better then. He was very sweet and kind with me, it is such a loss. His acting will be here with us forever.
Isabel Ortiz, Spain

My thoughts are with Dame Judi Dench and her daughter. I am glad I got to enjoy Michael Williams as an actor several times, including Henry V (film), Tea With Mussolini and of course on A Fine Romance. He will be missed.
Virginia Wilhelm, USA

By watching Michael through the years, he taught me the very essence of strength and selflessness -- I'll be forever grateful. Thankyou for the many smiles Michael. Sending Judi and the Williams family my love, strength, and prayers.
Jeana Doyle, USA


He has left a lasting legacy of love in his work and in all those he touched in life


Pam Krstic, Australia

Sad to hear the news of Mr Williams' death. He has left a lasting legacy of love in his work and in all those he touched in life. May he rest in peace. God bless Dame Judi and his family and friends in their sadness. Many people around the world are thinking of you.
Pam Krstic, Australia

I couldn't sleep last night because I was composing in my mind the fan letter I was going to send to Michael. I was going to tell him how much his work meant to me. How much joy and laughter he brought. How he helped me to learn to love Shakespeare and poetry and how his radio work introduced me to the genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I hope some day to be able to say these things to you in person up above. I will miss you so much, Michael and will keep your family in my prayers.
Margaret Dodson, Wilmington, DE, USA

What a tragic loss for Judi, Finty and the world. Deepest sympathy.
Kathy Straus, USA


Not just a British treasure, and not just an American accolade, but a global sensation. Farewell ...


Chase Erwin, USA

Our local public television station recently started transmitting "A Fine Romance", and my family loves it: a true British Comedy classic. Then two weeks ago we learned on the program "Entertainment Tonight" of Mr. Williams' illness, and we shared the public's shock. Now, with this sad and unfortunate news, I speak on behalf of my family when I say that he will be greatly missed, and our thoughts go out to Dame Judi Dench and Mr. Williams' family. Not just a British treasure, and not just an American accolade, but a global sensation. Farewell ...
Chase Erwin, USA

A great man, a fine actor. So sorry for the loss of a brilliant talent. I hope that we can all celebrate his life, work and achievements. Most of all I offer my warmest feelings to Dame Judy and her family. - Take care.
Richard McMann, UK

My wife and I have just started watching "A Fine Romance" on our local PBS station. What a talented pair. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dame Judi.
Trevor Elliot, USA

"In one of the stars
I shall be living,
In one of them
I shall be laughing.
And so it will be
as if all the stars
were laughing
when you look
at the sky at night."
(The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Rest in peace now, Michael, and thank you for all the laughter and joy that you brought into our lives, and for the example you set in your life of decency, generosity and kindness. With my heart-felt sympathies to Dame Judi and the Williams family,
Sarah Godfrey, USA

We knew how fine an actor he was; and through articles we gathered he was as special a person as the world could offer; our deepest sympathy to Dame Judi and her family; your memories will be your comfort and may God bless you and keep you. Here in Victoria Canada they are showing A Fine Romance again, so we can delight in watching you two lovely and talented people. We are especially grateful to Dame Judi, who, bearing the heavy burden of her husband's illness, was so very gracious to us at Amy's View in NY. We will remember you in our prayers.
Josephine Lee and Michael Martin, Victoria, Canada


It's times like these that humble us all into a sense of mortality.


Ken Wilson, Canada

It's times like these that humble us all into a sense of mortality. As an ex-pat far from home I remember especially the quiet man who taught me respect for people, an unstoppable spirit that will burn as a reminder to faith in humanity. Farewell Mike.
Ken Wilson, Canada


Michael will be the glint on the snow


Barbara Petr, USA

Remember that Michael will be the glint on the snow, the frost in the air, the sunbeam on the leaf, and the fragrance in the air. We will all miss him- and our sympathies go to Dame Judi and Flinty. From a humble US follower of As Time Goes By.
Barbara Petr, Maryland, USA

My thoughts go out to Dame Judi, their family and friends. The whole country feels your loss.
Joanne Appleyard, England

We have lost not only a charming and versatile actor, but his family has lost a loving and tender husband and father. May memories help comfort Dame Judi.
Cindy Lou Fiorina, USA

My husband has also just been diagnosed with an incurable illness. Please God that I have the strength and composure of Dame Judi. My deepest sympathy to you.
Gwen Richardson, UK

The French James Bond fan club sends its most sincerest condolences to Dame Judi Dench in this very sad moment.
Club James Bond 007 France, France

From my childhood until I turned old, I always admired Michael. He always remain alive for me because I don't want to accept that he he is dead. I loved him very much. My deepest condolence to his beloved family.
Moreda, Sweden

Michael was a very fine actor, one of the best. I'll never forget his performance in September Song for example. My condolences, love and best wishes go out to Dame Judi
Jane Armstrong, Bracknell, England

We send you and your family our sincere condolences. Your love for Michael was obvious and strong. May it help sustain you through this difficult time.
Andrew & Susan Smith, France

My best wishes and prayers are with you during this tragic moment.
Barrie Adlington, Gambia

Michael was part of our English heritage and will be sadly missed. Although his face will be missing from our screens he will always be remembered. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this very sad time.
Gary Knott, England

When I was a wee girl, I use to watch A Fine Romance and really loved the show. I can't believe we have lost such a wonderful actor and very nice person. It only seems like yesterday when I was watching him after my bath.
Sahron Papanastasiou, England

Sorry to hear about this, I knew he was ill for some time. I used to live in the same part of Surrey and would often see Michael in the Bell or Dog and Duck at Outwood. He was very kind to my young daughter when we had a meal in the Bell one evening. My thoughts are with the family
Paul Travis, USA

Thank you for the laughter you brought into so many lives.
Edmund Sharratt, Canada


An actor who was forever a joy to watch and listen to


Thelma Macintosh, Australia

An actor who was forever a joy to watch and listen to. A man who projected warmth and compassion. We will miss him greatly. I offer Dame Judi my loving sympathy.
Thelma Macintosh, Australia

While I have been a fan of Judi Dench for a several years, I have only recently discovered Michael Williams on PBS in the A Fine Romance comedy and articles on the internet. I so enjoy his performances. I can see past performances, I'm sure, but I hate that now I have just gotten to know him, there will be no more. My deepest sympathies to his dear family and friends.
Allyson Bright, Austin, Texas

After "running into" Dame Judi at Harrods last April, she has become my favourite actor of all time. As Time Goes By is shown here in Minnesota, and Dame Judi was as gracious and charming as could be after I told her I watched her every night. My heart absolutely breaks when I think of her loss.
Linda Tesmar, USA

Having met Michael on a number of occasions, it was with deep sadness that I heard of his death. He was a great guy, a loving husband, father, and grandfather. It was a joy to be in his company and he will be fondly remembered by us all.
Bernard Lloyd-Jones, UK

Judi, I wish you all the strength you need right now and send comfort to you and your family each day in my thoughts.
Chrissy Brace, England

Much loved and sadly missed, equally at home in straight or comedy - we'll miss that twinkle in his eyes. Love and support to Dame Judi.
Iain Howarth, UK

Please accept my deepest sympathy for the news. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Take great care of each other, he will be fondly remembered.
Hilary Warrell, England


I am so glad that I had the chance to meet you both when I did


Elaine Hallett, Wales

I shall never forget what a kind man you are. As I am typing this, I have tears in my eyes, fondly remembering meeting you and Dame Judi when you were both appearing in A Pack of Lies, many years ago now. You were so kind and patient with me and the others who waited to meet you. My regret is that I never kept in touch with you and Judi. You both have given me many hours of laughter and tears over the years. Many thanks for being who you were Mike, and for looking after Judi and Finty. You are with God now, in no more pain. God bless to Judi and Finty. I am so glad that I had the chance to meet you both when I did. With fondest love and memories. See you in Heaven.
Elaine Hallett, Wales

He was one magic fella.
Tom Pardoe, UK


He was a great talent, but he did allow it to blind him to the needs of others


Oliver Coc, UK

I make corporate videos for a living. The first one I ever made was for Michael Williams' old school, and he agreed to present it for no fee. He was unstintingly respectful towards me and the rest of the unprofessional, untrained, uneducated crew. If he had wanted to, he could have destroyed us with a few well-chosen words, or he could have just walked off. He would have been well within his rights, so poorly skilled were we. Instead, he joined in, helped where he could, changed the script to make it readable, even carried lights and cables when necessary. In the intervening fifteen years I have worked with a number of "celebrities" who would not be able to lick his boots. Whenever I witness their arrogance, I am struck by how unlike Michael, a man of real achievement, they are. He was a great talent, but he did allow it to blind him to the needs of others. That's why everybody liked and respected him.
Oliver Coc, UK

I am so sad to hear of the death of Michael Williams. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who mourn his passing.
Yvonne Duty, USA

He came over as a lovely man. Dame Judi has my deepest sympathy.
Terry Hagan, UK

To Judi Dench and family, when you see a rainbow, see a rainbow. You will see him too.
L'Courier , New Zealand

A great light has been lost in the acting world. My heart felt sympathy to Dame Judy Dench and Finty. My the love of family and friends bring you strength and comfort
Pamela Mills, USA

Such a great joy to watch, especially with his lovely wife. May he rest in peace.
Leo C Murphy Jr, USA

I am so very sorry to hear about Michael Williams' death. Ever since first seeing him as the very appealing uncle-by-marriage in Love in a Cold Climate I have relished every performance I have seen. I loved his warm and twinkling personality whether in a small role or a large one. He will be greatly missed. My very deepest sympathies go to Dame Judi Dench, their daughter and all his family and friends. May perpetual light shine upon him and may he have eternal rest.
Margaret Duffy, USA

In an age of celebrities and models pretending to be actors, Michael Williams, from the tributes contained herein, was the rarest talent indeed - an artist and a gentleman. Would that more actors were like him and Dame Judi.
Sharon Langworthy, Chicago, USA

My heartfelt condolences to the Williams family. I once did a party for Michael's father's 80th, I was a very close friend of Dominic Williams, Michael's nephew & Judi was so kind to us that day. If Dominic can be found please contact me, I now live in the US & would love a reunion. Much love
Nick Johal, USA

I fondly remember watching Michael Williams, play opposite Dame Judi in A Fine Romance, when I lived in England. They always had such a knack for playing off each other, and bringing out the best in each others' performance. Another one of my fondest memories, is watching Mr Williams play in Educating Rita; how he was always on the phone to his publisher, Morgan, right when he was to be 'caught' in the arms of another woman! And for His Holiness The Pope, to bless him with a Papal Knighthood last year, was the icing on the cake. Not only was he a consummate professional, he was a consummate man in his religious beliefs as well. My sympathies and condolences to Dame Judi and Flinty at this time.
Heidi Erlichman-Grant, USA

I couldn't sleep last night because I was composing in my mind the fan letter I was going to send to Michael. I was going to tell him how much his work meant to me. How much joy and laughter he brought. How he helped me to learn to love Shakespeare and poetry and how his radio work introduced me to the genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I hope some day to be able to say these things to you in person up above. I will miss you so much, Michael and will keep your family in my prayers.
Margaret Dodson, Wilmington, DE, USA

It was with great sadness I received the news of Michael Williams death. As a Brit living in Los Angeles I have been pleased with Dame Judi's success over here, but, my husband and I have a great fondness for Michael, he was a truly great actor, who rewarded the audience with his brilliance whatever part he played. Many years ago, before he was even well known in Britain, we always referred to him as "That nice man" I think that sums up his life. Deepest sympathy to Dame Judi and Finty, be comforted that a great deal of people share your loss.
Trish Mc Carver, USA

Thank you for all the laughter you brought to us. You will be missed.
Robin Leith, Hong Kong

I always log on to the BBC website for the latest news, and when I saw dear Michael's face, I knew. I had hoped he would be able to overcome his illness because he was so precious, as an actor, as a human being, not to mention father and husband. I am so sorry he is gone from the planet. What a loss - not only for Dame Judi and her daughter, but for us all. Be happy Michael.
Dona Ventura, USA


See also:

12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
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