(Bruce Weber’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/26.)

Nicol Williamson, a Scottish-born actor whose large, renegade talent made him a controversial Hamlet, an eccentric Macbeth, an angry, high-strung Vanya and, on the screen, a cocaine-sniffing Sherlock Holmes — and whose querulous temperament could make his antics as commanding as his performances — died on Dec. 16 in Amsterdam, where he had lived for more than 20 years. He was 75.

The cause was esophageal cancer, his son, Luke, said Wednesday on the Web site nicolwilliamson.com. “He didn’t want any fuss made over his passing,” Luke Williamson said in an e-mail, explaining the delay in reporting his father’s death. “He was not interested in publicity.”

Mr. Williamson was rarely described as dull, sometimes as uncooperative, more often as unpredictable or tempestuous.


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