Simon Williams

Last updated 09 January 2020

Simon Williams
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Simon Williams

Born: Sunday 16th June 1946 (age: 77)


Simon Williams is an English actor, best known for playing James Bellamy in the period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. 

Simon Williams was born in Windsor, Berkshire, in 1946.

Williams was educated at two independent schools: at Cumnor House School in the urban town of Croydon in South London, followed by Harrow School in Harrow on the Hill in the West London suburb of Harrow.

He first appeared on television in 1967 in Man in a Suitcase, and in 1969 played the lead role in Slim John. 

He got his big break in 1971 when he made his first appearance as James Bellamy in the Upstairs, Downstairs episode "Board Wages". Williams would go on to appear in 37 episodes until the penultimate episode "All the King's Horses" in 1975. 

Following this, he appeared in Wodehouse Playhouse, the films The Incredible Sarah, Jabberwocky and the TV series The Prisoner of Zenda. From 1979 to 1981, he played Laurence Lucas in Agony, a role he reprised in 1995 in Agony Again.

In 1981, he played Buddo in the TV series Kinvig. In 1985, Williams replaced Richard Heffer to play Dr. Charles Cartwright in the sitcom Don't Wait Up, a role Williams continued for three series until 1990. In the meantime, he had also appeared in Juliet Bravo, the Doctor Who serial "Remembrance of the Daleks" as Group Captain Gilmore, Minder, and the pilot of The Alleyn Mysteries, in which he played Roderick Alleyn. He also was a guest star on the TV series Cluedo where he played murder victim, Mr. Chapman.

Williams also played Captain Hastings in several BBC Radio 4 adaptations of Agatha Christie novels, starring John Moffatt as Hercule Poirot.

Simon Williams has appeared in episodes of Bergerac, Dangerfield, dinnerladies, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dalziel and Pascoe, Bad Girls, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Starhunter 2300, Cutting It, Heartbeat, Family Affairs, Doctors, The Bill and Diamond Geezer 2. 

In 1992 Williams starred in the series The Mixer, his co-star was Jeremy Clyde of Chad & Jeremy fame. Williams has also had recurring roles as Gerald Trigg in Law and Disorder in 1994 and Sir Charles Merrick in Holby City from 2000 to 2003. In 2000, he appeared on BBC Radio's Just a Minute. 

In 2002 he appeared in the film The Gathering Storm, and has also appeared in the Doctor Who audio drama Nekromanteia. In 2008, he appeared in an episode of the BBC spy series Spooks as bank owner Sir Francis Denham. In 2009, Williams returned to the fictional world of Holby to make a one-off appearance in Casualty as Professor de Silva, the father of junior doctor Toby de Silva. In 2010, he appeared as Lord Godwyn in the television series Merlin in the episode "The Changeling".

In 2010, Williams contributed to the CD We Will Remember Them, published by The Royal British Legion, where he read three of the poems.

Williams has also written two novels, Talking Oscars and Kill the Lights, and has written several plays.In early November 2007, Simon Williams performed in Curtain up! Lights up! Cock up! at the Jermyn Street Theatre near Piccadilly Circus in London.

Williams has served the Actors' Charitable Trust and Denville Hall for more than 30 years, including 15 years as joint Chairman with Angela Thorne. He also donates his time and expertise to the Sir Terence Rattigan Charitable Trust, the King George V Fund for Actors and Actresses, and several other charities.

Williams made a guest appearance in the fourth season of the Canadian series Murdoch Mysteries, in 2011, called, "Upstairs, Downstairs", in honour of the actor's famous role.