Heathcote Williams dead: poet and playwright dies, aged 75

Throughout his prolific career, Williams also dabbled in painting and acting

Jack Shepherd
Sunday 02 July 2017 15:35
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English poet, actor and dramatist Heathcote Williams
English poet, actor and dramatist Heathcote Williams

Radical poet, esteemed playwright, actor, and political activist Heathcote Williams has died at the age of 75.

Williams had been ill for some time and died in Oxford on Saturday, according to The Guardian.

He was known for various documentary-style polemic poems — one of the most famous being 1992's Autogeddon, once performed by Jeremy Irons — along with various stage plays, including his award-winning debut, AC/DC.

Other famed poems include Sacred Elephant, Whale Nation and Falling For a Dolphin, the most recent being American Porn, about the rise of Donald Trump in the United States. Last year, Williams released Brexit Boris: From Mayor to Nightmare, the work concerning Boris Johnson and his bid to leave the European Union.

Alongside writing, Williams also appeared in numerous films across his career such as the 1999 version of Alice in Wonderland, playing Prospero in Derek Jarman’s 1979 production of The Tempest, and appearing in 1994's The Browning Version.

Williams was also a keen painter, spending years as a recluse, painting and sculpting full-time, often producing satirical takes on famous artists. Many of his works hang in his Oxford family home, where himself and partner Diana Senior lived.

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