Grant Williams

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Grant Williams
Born John Grant Williams
(1931-08-18)August 18, 1931
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died July 25, 1985(1985-07-25) (aged 53)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active 1954–1976

John Grant Williams (August 18, 1931 – July 28, 1985) was an American film actor and operatic tenor. He is best remembered for his portrayal of Scott Carey in the science fiction film The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City to a Scottish father and an Irish mother, Williams began acting in summer stock as a child.[1] After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving from 1948 to 1952, before and during the Korean War. He was discharged as an Air Force staff sergeant. He then attended Queens College, in Flushing, Queens, New York, the University of Illinois, Illinois, and finally the City College of New York in New York City.


Williams originally was a singer and performed for five seasons with the New York City Opera. In 1959, he portrayed The Tenore Buffo in the world premiere of Hugo Weisgall's Six Characters in Search of an Author. Williams also sang with The Robert Shaw Chorale and played piano professionally. He then became interested in acting and enrolled at the Actors Studio in New York City under Lee Strasberg.[1] Following several small roles on Broadway and television, he was spotted by a talent scout on Kraft Television Theater in 1954, and signed with Universal Pictures two years later. He made his film debut in Red Sundown the same year. [2]

In his most memorable role, Williams starred as Scott Carey in his seventh film, the Hugo Award-winning science fiction film The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), with Randy Stuart playing his wife, Louise.[1] Despite good reviews and the success of the film, his career continued with only lackluster roles. Universal Pictures dropped his contract in 1959, and he signed in 1960 with Warner Brothers, where he had a continuing role as the private detective Greg McKenzie in the ABC television series Hawaiian Eye, co-starring Robert Conrad, Anthony Eisley, and Connie Stevens.[1] Several film and television roles followed, including playing Col. Geo. Custer on the show Yancy Derringer, and the role of the psychopathic killer in Robert Bloch's The Couch (1962), but fame still eluded him. He made two guest appearances on Perry Mason in 1964 as columnist and murderer Quincy Davis in "The Case of the Ruinous Road",[3] and defendant Dr. Todd Meade in the 1965 episode "The Case of the Baffling Bug".[4] He played the title character (Albert "Patch" Saunders) in the 1965 Bonanza episode "Patchwork Man," [5] as well as the 1960 episode "Escape to Ponderosa".

As his acting career declined, he opened a dramatics school in West Hollywood.[2] He also wrote several books on acting. Williams continued to act occasionally in both movies and television. His last released film appearance was in the 1972 film, Doomsday Machine, but as it was actually shot in 1969; thus, Brain of Blood (1972) was his last acting work for the screen.

His last TV appearance was in 1983 on the game show Family Feud with other cast members from the TV series Hawaiian Eye.[2]

Life and death[edit]

Grant Williams died on July 28, 1985, of peritonitis at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Los Angeles[6] and was buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.[7] Williams never married but was survived by a brother. He was a cousin of Scottish opera singer Mary Garden.



  1. ^ a b c d Biography for Grant Williams on IMDb
  2. ^ a b c "Grant Williams (1931-1985)". Brian's Drive-In Theater. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  3. ^ Kelleher, Brian; Merrill, Diana (2006-10-16). "December 31, 1964 [225] "The Case of the Ruinous Road"". The Perry Mason TV Show Book. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  4. ^ Kelleher, Brian; Merrill, Diana (2006-10-16). "December 12, 1965 [254] "The Case of the Baffling Bug"". The Perry Mason TV Show Book. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  5. ^ IMDb
  6. ^ Grant Williams dies at 54
  7. ^ "Grant Williams". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]