Home / Biography / Kenneth Williams

Kenneth Williams

Biography

British comic actor who’s known for his work in 26 films from the ‘Carry On’ series. He also caused Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne in various tv shows and radio comedies. He became a member of a repertory theatre in 1948 after portion within the Royal Designers, where his initial performance knowledge was with Stanley Baxter and Peter Nichols within the Mixed Providers Entertainment. He obtained great popularity within the “KEEP ON” film series, but he was badly paid out and harshly vital of his and others’ shows within the film; he once stated he earned even more performing within a United kingdom Gas industrial than he do while using the film series. His dad, Charles Williams, was a barber; his mom, Louisa, acquired mothered a half-sister, Alice Patricia, before marrying his dad; he had a hard relationship along with his dad, due to the fact he felt the person was homophobic and selfish. He was presented with his big break in 1954 on the air present, “Hancock’s Half Hour,” by radio manufacturer Dennis Primary Wilson, who was simply impressed along with his functionality as Dauphin in “St. Joan” by George Bernard Shaw.

Quick Facts


Full Name Kenneth Williams
Date Of Birth February 22, 1926
Died April 15, 1988, London Borough of Camden, London, United Kingdom
Place Of Birth England
Profession Comedian
Nationality British, English
Parents Charles Williams, Louisa Williams
Siblings Alice Patricia
Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award
Nominations British Academy Television Award for Best Single Drama, British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
Movies Carry On, Carry On Camping, Carry On Cleo, Carry On Doctor, Carry On Matron, Carry On Screaming!, Carry On Up the Khyber, Carry On Again Doctor, Carry On Cowboy, Carry On Abroad, Carry On Sergeant, Carry On Spying, Carry On Nurse, Carry On Cruising, Carry On Emmannuelle, Carry On Behind, Carry On Constable, Carry On Henry, Carry On Teacher, Follow That Camel, Don't Lose Your Head, Carry On Loving, Carry On at Your Convenience, Carry On Dick, Carry On Regardless, Carry On Jack, That's Carry On!, Twice Round the Daffodils, The Thief and the Cobbler, Make Mine Mink, The Seekers, Tommy the Toreador, Valley of Song, Raising the Wind, Moby Dick—Rehearsed, The Hound of the Baskervilles, That's Carry On, His and Hers, Love Me, Love Me, Love Me, Carry On Spaceman
TV Shows Willo the Wisp, Jackanory, Galloping Galaxies!, Comic Roots, Hancock's Half Hour, International Cabaret (UK), The Kenneth Williams Show
Star Sign Pisces

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 He and Gordon Jackson co-wrote "Ma Crepe Suzette", a comedy song in which Williams sings random unrelated French words and phrases, in a suggestive fake French accent, to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne". Williams performed it live on TV the night after he and Jackson had written it.
2 Was a big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan' operas. They wrote fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado are among the best known.
3 Had a stepsister named Alice Patricia (Pat) (1924-1996). She grew up with him.
4 Although his education was nothing special, he was a voracious reader throughout his life and in his interviews he could often quote entire poems or literary extracts purely from memory.
5 His relationship with his parents - he adored his supportive, theatrical mother, Louisa ("Lou" or "Louie"), but hated his homophobic, morose and selfish father - was key to his personality. Williams later claimed that all his acting and comedic talent came from his mother.
6 Kept falling asleep while filming Carry on Nurse (1959), due to the combination of warm studio lights and acting on a bed. When director Gerald Thomas woke him up, Kenny would swear blind that he wasn't asleep. So the next time it happened, Thomas put a sign around his neck, and took a photograph. When Kenny tried to wriggle his way out of it again with protestations of not being asleep, Gerald showed him the photograph - apparently Kenny's language became very colorful.
7 Was offered the part of Albright in Carry on Cabby (1963), but turned it down because he believed that it was an inferior script. The part was cut down and the best lines given to Charles Hawtrey. Norman Chappell played Albright.
8 Son of Charles (1899-1962) and Louisa (Lou) Williams (nee Morgan) (1901-1991).
9 Favourite Carry On was Carry On... Up the Khyber (1968). Kenneth also thought that of all his Carry On appearances, The Khasi of Kalabar will be the one that the audience will never forget.
10 Was very fond of the company of fellow "Carry On" regulars Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims and Bernard Bresslaw.
11 Close friends included Stanley Baxter, Gordon Jackson and his wife Rona Anderson, Sheila Hancock, Maggie Smith and her playwright husband Beverley Cross.
12 Regarded as a brilliant raconteur, he made many guest appearances on the original run of the television series Parkinson (1971), eight in total. Ironically, Williams was initially reluctant to be interviewed by Michael Parkinson, whom he described in his diary as a "north country nit".
13 Of the 30 films in the "Carry On..." series Kenneth Williams appeared in 25, more than any other actor. For the record he did not appear in Carry on Cabby (1963) , Carry on Up the Jungle (1970) , Carry on Girls (1973) , Carry on England (1976) and Carry on Columbus (1992) .
14 Upon his sudden death, the coroner recorded an open verdict, saying it was possible (but unlikely) that Williams had taken an overdose of sleeping pills in addition to his regular pain killers that caused a lethal cocktail. To this day, views are still divided as to whether it was deliberate or not. On one hand, he mentioned many times in his diaries that suicide was the only option, but he always seemed to bounce back from his bouts of depression. Many seem to think that suicide is unlikely simply because he would never have entertained such ideas while his mother was alive (she was left nothing in his will, presumably because Ken was expecting to outlive her).
15 Williams publicly insisted that he was celibate, but in private found his homosexuality difficult for him to deal with. Was good friends with gay playwright Joe Orton and his companion Kenneth Halliwell, and performed in Orton's play "Loot" in 1965. Halliwell later murdered Orton in 1967 in a fit of rage with a hammer.
16 A self-confessed hypochondriac, he was plagued by ill health, including ulcers, toward the end of his life. His death from an overdose of sleeping pills and painkillers remains a mystery as to whether it was accidental or deliberate.
17 His big break came about while playing a serious role on stage -- as the Dauphin in a production of "Saint Joan."
18 The only actor in the "Carry On..." films to appear, along with Kenneth Connor and Eric Barker in the first (Carry on Sergeant (1958)) and last authentic "Carry On... films (Carry on Emmannuelle (1978)). This does not include the heavily criticised Carry on Columbus (1992).
19 He and his family accompanied Barbara Windsor and her first husband Ronnie Knight on their honeymoon in Madeira.
20 Was originally trained as a draftsman.
21 Was in the Royal Engineers in 1945.
22 Son of a hairdresser.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Carry on Screaming! 1966 Doctor Orlando Watt
Carry on Cowboy 1965 Judge Burke
A World of Comedy 1965 TV Mini-Series Peabody
Carry on Cleo 1964 Julius Caesar
The Wednesday Play 1964 TV Series Napoleon
Carry on Spying 1964 Desmond Simkins
Carry On Jack 1963 Captain Fearless
Carry on Cruising 1962 First Officer Leonard Marjoribanks
Twice Round the Daffodils 1962 Henry Halfpenny
Love Me, Love Me, Love Me 1962 Short Narrator (English Version) (voice)
Roommates 1961 Harold Chesney
Carry on Regardless 1961 Francis Courtenay
His and Hers 1961 Policeman
Make Mine Mink 1960 Hon. Freddie Warrington
Carry on Constable 1960 PC Stanley Benson
Tommy the Toreador 1959 Vice-Consul
Carry on Teacher 1959 Edwin Milton
Carry on Nurse 1959 Oliver Reckitt
Saint Joan 1958 TV Movie The Dauphin
BBC Sunday-Night Theatre 1952-1958 TV Series Captain Chalford / The Angel
Time Out for Peggy 1958 TV Series Mr. Simms
Carry On Sergeant 1958 James Bailey
Sword of Freedom 1958 TV Series Tizio
Hancock's Half Hour 1957 TV Series Old man / Prince Paul / Policeman / ...
Dick and the Duchess 1957 TV Series Clive
Three Men in a Boat 1956 Hampton Court Maze Attendant (uncredited)
Moby Dick Rehearsed 1955 TV Movie A Very Serious Actor / Elijah and others
Misalliance 1954 TV Movie Bentley Summerhays
Land of Fury 1954 Peter Wishart
Innocents in Paris 1953 Window Dresser at London Airport (uncredited)
The Beggar's Opera 1953 Jack the Pot Boy
Valley of Song 1953 Lloyd the Haulage
Trent's Last Case 1952 Horace Evans (uncredited)
The Princess and the Cobbler 1993 Goblet / Tickle (voice)
Galloping Galaxies! 1985-1986 TV Series SID / Junior
Some You Win 1984 TV Series
Aladdin and the Forty Thieves 1984 TV Movie Mustapha Drink
Whizzkid's Guide 1981-1983 TV Series
CBTV Channel 14 1982 TV Series Guest
Willo the Wisp 1981 TV Series voice
The Light Princess 1978 TV Movie Thin Frog / Cat (voice)
Carry on Emmannuelle 1978 Emile Prevert
The Hound of the Baskervilles 1978 Sir Henry Baskerville
That's Carry On! 1977 Introduced by / Interrupted by / Various Characters
Carry on Behind 1975 Professor Roland Crump
Super Natural Gas 1975 Short voice
Carry on Dick 1974 Captain Desmond Fancey
Carry on Abroad 1972 Stuart Farquhar
Carry on Matron 1972 Sir Bernard Cutting
Carry on at Your Convenience 1971 W. C. Boggs
Meanwhile on BBC2 1971 TV Series
Carry on Henry VIII 1971 Thomas Cromwell
Carry on Loving 1970 Percival Snooper
Carry on Again Doctor 1969 Doctor Frederick Carver
Carry on Camping 1969 Doctor Kenneth Soaper
Carry On... Up the Khyber 1968 The Khasi of Kalabar
Carry on Doctor 1967 Dr. Kenneth Tinkle
Carry On... Follow That Camel 1967 Commandant Maximilian Burger
Carry On... Don't Lose Your Head 1966 Citizen Camembert

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa! 2006 TV Movie book "The Kenneth Williams Diaries"
An Audience with Kenneth Williams 1983 TV Movie
International Cabaret TV Series special material - 56 episodes, 1966 - 1968 writer - 8 episodes, 1974
The Kenneth Williams Show 1970 TV Series

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Carry on Screaming! 1966 performer: "Drink to Me Only With Thine eyes" - uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Wogan 1985-1987 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest Presenter
Through the Keyhole 1987 TV Series Himself - Panellist
Aspel & Company 1987 TV Series Himself
Looks Familiar 1982-1986 TV Series Himself - Guest
Joan Rivers: Can We Talk? 1986 TV Series Himself
Jackanory 1968-1986 TV Series Himself - Storyteller
All Star Secrets 1985 TV Series Himself
The Golden Gong 1985 TV Movie documentary Himself - Interviewee
An Audience with Kenneth Williams 1983 TV Movie Himself
Carry on Laughing's Christmas Classics 1983 TV Special short Presenter / Various Characters
Comic Roots 1983 TV Series Himself
Countdown 1982-1983 TV Series Himself
Look Who's Talking 1983 TV Series Himself - Interviewee
Arena 1982 TV Series documentary Himself
On Safari 1982 TV Series Himself
Parkinson 1972-1982 TV Series Himself
Give Us a Clue 1979-1981 TV Series Himself / Himself - Panelist
The Theatre Quiz 1981 TV Series Himself - Panellist
Friday Night, Saturday Morning 1981 TV Series Himself
Chaos Supersedes E.N.S.A.. 1980 TV Mini-Series documentary Interviewee
Every Night Something Atrocious 1980 TV Movie documentary Interviewee
Tell Me Another 1978 TV Series Himself
Let's Make a Musical 1977 TV Movie Himself
Record Breakers 1977 TV Series documentary Himself
Night of 100 Stars 1977 TV Special Himself
Everyman 1977 TV Series documentary Himself
Just a Minute 1976 TV Movie Himself
The Kenneth Williams Show 1970-1976 TV Series Himself
International Cabaret 1966-1974 TV Series Himself - Host
Read All About It 1974 TV Series Himself
What's My Line? 1973-1974 TV Series Himself - Panellist
The David Frost Show 1970 TV Series Himself
Just a Minute 1969 TV Movie Himself
A Christmas Night with the Stars 1967-1969 TV Series Himself
Join Jim Dale 1969 TV Series Himself
Call My Bluff 1969 TV Series Himself
Pick of the Year 1968 TV Movie Himself
Frost on Sunday 1968 TV Series Himself
The Tennis Elbow Foot Game 1968 TV Series Himself
Film Review 1968 TV Mini-Series Himself
Dee Time 1967 TV Series Himself
The Eamonn Andrews Show 1966-1967 TV Series Himself
Acting in the Sixties 1967 TV Series documentary Himself
Juke Box Jury 1963-1966 TV Series Himself - Panellist
Monitor 1963 TV Series documentary Himself
Showtime 1960 TV Series Himself
Laugh Line 1960 TV Series Himself
The Julie Andrews Show 1959 TV Mini-Series Himself
Spectacular 1958 TV Series Himself
Chelsea at Nine 1958 TV Series Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Talking Comedy 2016 TV Series
From Andy Pandy to Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children's TV 2015 TV Movie documentary Himself - Jackanory Storyteller
TV's Nastiest Villains 2014 TV Movie documentary Evil Edna
The Native Hue of Resolution 2013 Documentary Himself
Death in Paradise 2013 TV Series Butler
The Many Faces of... 2013 TV Series documentary Various Characters
The Unforgettable Gordon Jackson 2012 TV Movie documentary Himself
Tales of Television Centre 2012 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
The Roasts of Christmas Past 2011 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
Breakfast 2011 TV Series Himself - Actor
30 Years of 'An Audience With...' 2010 TV Series documentary Himself
Countdown: One Last Consonant Please, Carol 2008 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
The Comedy Map of Britain 2007-2008 TV Series documentary Various / Himself
50 Greatest Comedy Catchphrases 2008 TV Movie documentary Various (uncredited)
The Story of Jackanory 2007 TV Movie documentary Himself - 'Jackanory' Storyteller
Timeshift 2007 TV Series documentary Himself - Storyteller, Jackanory
All the Best from Denis Norden 2007 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
Carry on Quizzing 2006 Video Game Various Characters (uncredited)
Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa! 2006 TV Movie Himself (uncredited)
Kenneth Williams: In His Own Words 2006 TV Movie documentary Himself / Various Characters
Crumpet! A Very British Sex Symbol 2005 TV Movie documentary Various (uncredited)
I'm Free! Inside the Comedy Closet 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself
Arena 2002 TV Series documentary Himself
The Unforgettable Joan Sims 2002 TV Special documentary Acting Role (uncredited)
Heroes of Comedy 1998-2002 TV Series documentary Himself / Various
The Unforgettable Kenneth Williams 2001 TV Movie documentary Himself
On Location: The Carry Ons 2001 TV Movie documentary Various
Legends 2000 TV Series documentary Himself
The Unforgettable Hattie Jacques 2000 TV Movie documentary Himself
What's a Carry On? 1998 TV Movie documentary Himself / Various Characters
A Perfect Carry On 1998 TV Movie documentary
Carry on Darkly 1998 TV Movie documentary Various / Himself
Kenneth Williams: A Life on the Box 1998 TV Movie documentary Himself / Various Characters
Reputations 1998 TV Series documentary Himself
Stop Messin' About!: The Very Best of Kenneth Williams 1996 Video documentary Various / Himself
The Very Best of Sid James 1996 Video documentary
Kicking & Screaming 1995 TV Series documentary Himself
Laugh with the Carry Ons 1993 TV Series
Monkey Business 1993 Video documentary short PG Tips Chimp
Distant Voices, Still Lives 1988 Himself - Character on Beyond Our Ken (uncredited)
What a Carry On 1983-1984 TV Series Citizen Camembert Doctor Kenneth Tinkle Rhandi Lal, the Khasi of Kalabar ...
Carry on Laughing 1981 TV Series Captain Desmond Fancey Professor Roland Crump Thomas Cromwell ...
To See Such Fun 1977 Documentary Himself

Looks like we don't have awards information. Sorry!


TitleSalary
Carry on Emmannuelle (1978) £5,750
Carry on Behind (1975) £5,000
Carry on Dick (1974) £5,000
Carry on Abroad (1972) £5,000
Carry on Matron (1972) £5,000
Carry on at Your Convenience (1971) £5,000
Carry on Henry (1971) £5,000
Carry on Loving (1970) £5,000
Carry on Again Doctor (1969) £5,000
Carry on Camping (1969) £5,000
Carry On... Up the Khyber (1968) £5,000
Carry on Doctor (1967) £5,000
Follow That Camel (1967) £6,000
Don't Lose Your Head (1966) £5,000
Carry on Screaming! (1966) £5,000
Carry on Cowboy (1965) £5,000
Carry on Cleo (1964) £5,000
Carry on Spying (1964) £5,000
Carry on Jack (1963) £5,000
Carry on Cruising (1962) £5,000
Carry on Regardless (1961) £3,000
Carry on Constable (1960) £2,000
Carry on Teacher (1959) £1,500
Carry on Nurse (1959) £450
Carry on Sergeant (1958) £900

#Quote
1 [on Dirty Harry (1971)] The morality behind the Don Siegel film is almost Homeric and epic. One man tries to do his job properly and when he does it for the last time under Promethean provocation, he resigns from the police force. It is the story of an individual conscience and it is beautifully shown. One is very glad that such pictures are being made and I hope they make a lot of money at the box office.
2 It's frightening to think, that with all the modern medicine and all the technique available to them, they can't really help you. I should think in the old days, you were better off, because nowadays they are all specialists. Everyone is becoming better and better, at less and less. Eventually someone is going to be superb, at nothing!
3 By 6:30 pain in the back was pulsating as it's never done before; so this, plus the stomach trouble combines to torture me - oh - what's the bloody point? - KW, last item in his diary before his death of an overdose
4 This is very odd the way that Carry Ons are just starting to get mentioned: why are they suddenly fashionable? They're even starting to justify the bad scripts now! and talk about the classlessness of them. What hogwash! You can only call a mess a mess.
5 The thing to do, in any circumstance, is to appear to know exactly what you are doing and at the same time convey casual doubts about the abilities of everybody else and undermine their confidence. [In 1964]
6 Last words: "Oh, what's the bloody point?" (last entry in diary)
7 "Oh, stop messing about" (catch phrase)

#Trademark
1 Flaring nostrils & a nasal 'posh' accent


Looks like we don't have pictures. Sorry!

Check Also

Barry Pearl

Delivered Leonard Barrie Corbin, he continues to be credited with over a hundred jobs in …