Kenneth Williams

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Kenneth Williams Pencil Portrait
To see a larger preview, please click the image.

Shopping Basket

The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.

Order

A3 Pencil Print-Price £20.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £15.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.

Comments

More than thirty years after his death at the age of 62 in 1988, Kenneth Williams remains one of the most popular,fascinating yet least understood British stars of the post-war era.

A mercurial, contrary figure who could be simultaneously infuriating and intoxicating, Williams – a self-proclaimed “cult” – was the clown prince of the era-defining Carry On films. He was the deliciously provocative Sandy to Hugh Paddick’s Julian in BBC Radio’s Round the Horne, a waspishly erudite panellist on “Just a Minute, and a fondly remembered storyteller on children’s television classic Jackanory.

Ill at ease with his sexuality, it wasn’t unrequieted love or the absence of a long term relationship in his life that truly tormented his inner being, but rather artistic atrophy. Constantly frustrated by the quality of the material he found himself involved with, one of the leading lights in 50’s British theatre would be consigned to chat show appearances in his latter years. The ultimate irony of Williams’s life is a continuing high profile on British television in a century he never saw, that owes so much to the cinematic work he gradually came to despise.

Recommended reading

The Kenneth Williams Diaries (editor Russell Davies) 1993

Dear Kenneth was nothing if not wildly unpredictable. On the one hand, he had too little control over his emotions, which resulted in his extraordinary behaviour on talk shows and radio parlour games. On the other, he always seemed as mortified by his own actions afterwards as an alcoholic after a binge. But like an alcoholic, such mortification never helped him to avoid the next drink,. Perhaps there was simply no one to scold him. If close friends like Gordon Jackson pointed out how rude or selfish he was, he would put it into the diaries without comment.

I personally loved his wit, candour and sheer bombastic use of the english language. Handed the late night ten minute “Epilogue” slot, Williams famously chatised the nation for the decline in organised religion whilst eulogising on the beauty of the now near empty Victorian Gothic churches. Ending the lecture abruptly with a stunning departure from his script, Williams summed up the problem in that distinctly plum voice he could effortlessly conjure up. ‘The problem is one of hypocrisy,’ he concluded;. ‘Hypocrisy hangs over England like the stench of a giant fart.’ Being well versed in Kenneth’s ablutionary fascination, I roared with laughter. What else could I do?!