Emlyn Williams

Active - 1932 - 1985  |   Born - Nov 26, 1905   |   Died - Sep 25, 1987   |   Genres - Drama, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Welsh-born Emlyn Williams might very well have followed his family and friends into a lifetime in the coal mines, but he was inspired to more intellectual pursuits by a compassionate schoolteacher. After attending college in Britain and Switzerland, Williams made his first stage appearance in the 1927 London production And So to Bed. For the next five decades, he flourished as an actor, playwright, director, novelist, and essayist. Beginning with Full Moon, Williams penned 20 plays, the most famous of which were his psychological murder melodrama Night Must Fall and his autobiographical, award-winning period piece The Corn Is Green. In films from 1932, Williams acted in and wrote dozens of movies, accepting such roles as Caligula in the never-finished I Claudius (1936) and Emile Zola in I Accuse (1958); he also directed one film, in 1949, The Last Days of Dolwyn, which served as the screen debut for another prominent Welshman, Richard Burton. The author of two autobiographies and one novel (Headlong), Emlyn Williams stirred up a literary tempest in 1967 when he wrote Beyond Belief, a disturbing chronicle of the recent, notorious "Moors Murderers."

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