Veteran Nollywood actor, Lari Williams, has died at the age of 81.
The accomplished actor, who had a two year-lecturing contract with the University of Calabar (UNICAL) to teach drama and acting, particularly speech and acting technique, died in his hometown, Ikom, Cross-River.
His family disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
During his lifetime, Mr Williams earned a prestigious national honour; Member of the Order of the Federal Republic in 2008.
The deceased was the inaugural president of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and had a career that spanned over five decades.
He was educated at CMS Grammar School, Lagos. He is the first actor to ever perform on top of Zuma Rock in Abuja FCT, 1,200 feet high, where he performed his late friend, Maman Vatsa’s poem, ‘The bird that sings in the rain.’
Mr Williams studied journalism at the London School of Journalism.
He developed his interest in drama at Morley College, Mountview Theatre School (London) and then the University of Iowa in America.
While in England he set up a group named Calabash Artists.
He returned to Nigeria in 1977 for FESTAC ’77 and decided to remain in Nigeria with his family.
As well as acting in soaps like Village Headmaster, Ripples, Mirror in The Sun he also taught arts at the National Theatre.
When the political party, The Movement of the People (MOP) was formed in 1983 he was the Vice Presidential candidate and Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s running mate.
Some of Williams’ published works include plays like Black Current, Storm Baby, Kolanut Junction and Heartlines.
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