Remembering John Williams, born April 15, 1903 and passed away May 5, 1983.
He is remembered for his role as Chief Inspector Hubbard in Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder, as the chauffeur in Sabrina, and as portraying the second “Mr. French” on TV’s Family Affair.
Williams first appearance in a Hollywood film was in director Mack Sennett’s The Chumps in 1930, ultimately appearing in more than 40 films. Two other examples are Hitchcock’s The Paradine Case starring Gregory Peck, in which Williams portrays a barrister, and To Catch a Thief (1955) with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, in which his character is an insurance company representative.
Williams made more than 40 guest appearances on television shows as well. He played in several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents including “The Long Shot” (1955), “Back for Christmas” (1956), “Whodunit” (1956), “Wet Saturday” (1956), “The Rose Garden” (1956), the three-part episode “I Killed the Count” (1957), “The Three Dreams of Mr.Findlater” (1957), and “Banquo’s Chair” (1959). Three of these episodes, “Back for Christmas”, “Wet Saturday”, and “Banquo’s Chair”, were directed by Hitchcock himself.
In 1963, Williams played William Shakespeare in The Twilight Zone episode “The Bard”. That same year he also guest-starred on the sitcom My Three Sons, portraying a stuffy, very precise English butler; and in that role he was clean shaven, not sporting his customary mustache. Later he was part of the regular cast for the 1967 season of the family comedy Family Affair. He appeared as well on Night Gallery in the series’ 1971 episode “The Doll”.
One of Williams’ last performances was in 1979, playing alongside fellow actor Lorne Greene in a two-part episode of Battlestar Galactica titled “War of the Gods”.
Williams died at the age of 80 on 5 May 1983, in La Jolla, California. It was reported at the time of his death that he had been suffering from a heart condition.
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