Kenneth Williams was a well-known British comedian who was in 26 of the 31 Carry On movies and a lot of TV shows and radio comedies. As a child, he was interested in theater, but his working-class parents told him not to do it. During WWII, he worked as a surveyor for the British army. He was part of the Combined Services Entertainment group in the past. He kept acting in repertory theaters and did shows all over the country after the war. He wanted to be a serious actor who could play dramatic parts, but he soon found out he wasn’t good at it. His quick wit and comebacks, on the other hand, made people laugh. With shows like “Hancock’s Half Hour” and “Beyond Our Ken,” he became well-known. The “Julian and Sandy” segment became a huge hit. He was in many popular shows on the West End, including “Share My Lettuce,” “Pieces of Eight,” and “One Over the Eight.” Williams is best known for his roles in the “Carry On” movies, in which he appeared regularly for 20 years. The movies were low-budget slapstick comedies with parodies and lines that could be taken more than one way. His big nose and high-pitched voice made him famous. The actor didn’t think much of them himself. After his time with the franchise was over, he started working in TV.
Early years and childhood
On February 22, 1926, Kenneth Charles Williams was born to Louisa Morgan and Charles Williams, a barber. Alice Patricia, his half-sister, was born to Louisa before they got married, but they were not married at the time.
He went to Lyulph Stanley School and learned how to be a draftsman for a mapmaker. In 1944, he joined the Army and was sent to Bombay to work as a surveyor for the Royal Engineers. Combined Services Entertainment was the first group to put him on stage.
Kenneth Williams’s Career
After he got out of the army in 1948, Kenneth Williams started acting in repertory theater. However, he was frustrated that he couldn’t play dramatic roles.
After seeing him play the Dauphin in Bernard Shaw’s “St. Joan,” the producer of “Hancock’s Half Hour” put him in the show in 1954. People knew him because of his funny, nasal, high-pitched voice.
When “Hancock’s Half Hour” changed how it was done, he was left out. From 1958 to 1964, he was the main character on the radio show “Beyond Our Ken,” which was hosted by the comedian Kenneth Home.
In 1964, he joined the cast of “Round the Horne,” the follow-up to “Beyond Our Ken.” He used the same characters over and over again, like the folk singer Rambling Syd Rumpo and the Oriental criminal mastermind Dr. Chou En Ginsberg, MA (failed).
Two gay characters, Julian and Sandy, who were played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, became very popular on “Round the Horne.” The sketch had double meanings, puns, improvised lines, and catchphrases.
He was also well-known because he was in West End revues. In 1957, he was in the play “Share My Lettuce,” which was written by Bamber Gascoigne and starred Maggie Smith and Phillip Gilbert.
Peter Cook’s sketches in the 1959 revue “Pieces of Eight” were great, but Williams’s “Not an asp” and “The last to go” were among his best work.
In 1960, he put on his last show, “One Over the Eight.” He took part in all of the dances. Peter Cook’s sketches are what people remember most about the show, not Williams’s performance.
He was the main character in the Charles Laurence play “My Fat Friend.” In 1972, the play was put on. He also played the lead role with Ingrid Bergman in “Captain Brassbound’s Conversion,” a play by Bernard Shaw.
From 1958 to 1978, he was in 26 low-budget comedies in the “Carry On” series. He played many different types of people, including those who were prudish, mean, arrogant, and snobbish.
He started to be on BBC’s “Just a Minute,” a radio panel game, in 1968. He could talk for a long time about anything. For almost a minute, he talked about a made-up psychiatrist.
He often appeared on TV shows like “What’s My Line,” “Michel Parkinson’s Chat Show,” and “Wogan Talk Show.” He also did the voices for a lot of the characters on the cartoon show “Willo the Wisp.”
Works of note
Carry on Cleo was one of the 12 most popular British movies of 1965. It was funny because Kenneth Williams played Julius Caesar as a scared coward who hides behind his bodyguard.
In the best of the Carry On movies, “Carry on… up the Khyber,” from 1968, he plays the bad guy Khasi of Kalabar. Set in British India, his jokes poked fun at the stereotype of the British.
Kenneth Williams’s Awards
In 2009, a plaque was put up at his father’s barbershop on Marchmont Street in London to honor his life. He lived there from 1935 to 1956.
In 2010, the British Comedy Society paid for a plaque to be put in the lobby of the New Diorama Theatre in Regent’s Place. The Mayor of Camden unveiled the plaque.
On the 88th anniversary of his birth, a blue plaque was put up at Flat 62, Farley Court, Marylebone Road. This is where he lived from 1963 to 1970.
Personal History and Legacies
Charlie Williams and Kenneth Williams didn’t get along very well. Charlie died because he drank carbon tetrachloride that was in a bottle of cough syrup. Scotland Yard thought he might have killed his father.
His diaries, which were published after he died, showed that he was depressed and lonely because he had failed at work and was sick. He could never accept the fact that he was gay.
He was found dead because he had taken too many barbiturates. It is still not clear if the person died by accident or on purpose. At East Finchley Cemetery, he was burned.
In 2006, “Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!” was a BBC Fourplay that was shown on TV. Michael Sheen played the comedian, and Lou, who was his mother, was played by Cheryl Campbell.
In 2008, the BBC showed a show called “The Pain of Laughter: The Last Days of Kenneth Williams.” Christopher Stevens wrote a biography about Kenneth Williams called “Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams.” It came out two years later.
Estimated Net worth
Kenneth is on the list of the most popular and wealthiest comedians. Based on what we found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Kenneth Williams has a net worth of about $1.5 million.
His one-liner, “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me,” was chosen by writers, actors, and comedians as the best one-liner in movie history.