Welsh leading actor, dramatist, screenwriter and director
Born in Mostyn, Williams was a poor boy from a mining village who, encouraged by his teacher, won a scholarship to Oxford, a subject that formed the basis of his most successful play, The Corn is Green. On stage from 1927, and a prolific playwright in the 30s and 40s, he began in films repeating one of his stage success, later becoming an occasional screenwriter and director.
Two projects that never came to fruition were the role of Caligula in Alexander Korda's abandoned I, Claudius and a screenplay, Gala Night, based on Arthur Machen's The Terror. From the early 50s, he gained a new fame for his one-man shows based on the work of Charles Dickens, Dylan Thomas and Saki.
His best film roles were as Lord Lebanon in The Frightened Lady, Shorty Matthews in They Drive by Night, Dennis in Hatter's Castle, Maxwell Bard in Three Husbands and William Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea. He was the father of actor Brook Williams.