He was a Welsh actor/screenwriter/director/playwright/author from the '30s through to the '80s. He worked with Alfred Hitchcock regularly, and Richard Burton debuted in 1949 in Emlyn's only direction, The Last Days of Dolwyn. Much of his acting and written work revolves around the macabre and murderous.
It should be noted that The Last Days of Dolwyn is a comedy. However, in the dark productions Emlyn often finds himself playing minor roles, which usually have a loyal and down-trodden aspect. In Jamaica Inn he plays Harry the Pedlar, who would be the union rep - if pirates had union reps.
His movie acting debut was in The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1934. His other films include: They Drive By Night (1938), The Citadel (1938), The Stars Look Down (1939), Jamaica Inn (1939), Three Husbands (1950), Ivanhoe (1952) (Oscar nomination), Another Man's Poison (1952), The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959), David Copperfield (1970), The Walking Stick (1970) and The New Born King (1986).
Emlyn was also the screenwriter for The Citadel, which received an Oscar nomination. His other efforts include: Friday the 13th (1933) and Evergreen (1934).
He wrote 20 plays, including Night Must Fall (1935), The Corn is Green (1938). These were his two most successful plays and both plays became movies. Emlyn performed in many of his own plays.
His autobiography exists in two parts: George (1961) and Emlyn (1973).
He spent thirty years performing Emlyn Williams as Charles Dickens. The show entailed Emlyn reading from selected Dickens' novels, and was very successful. Amongst other places, it was taken to Broadway as well as adapted for television.
He was born in Wales on 26 November 1905 and he died in London on 25 September 1987. He was born in a mining town in North Wales, and appeared to be destined to be a coal miner. However, the influence of a teacher led him on a more literary path. This relationship became the centrepiece for The Corn is Green. He won a scholarship to Christ Church College, Oxford.
There is an Emlyn Williams Theatre located in Flintshire in North Wales.
(His namesake directed and wrote a movie: Do Not Go Gentle was eligible for the Academy Awards in 2002 as the UK/Wales entrant for Best Foreign Language Film. Along with 45 other eligible entrants, it was not nominated.)
http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~aw220/02oscar.htm (visited 31/07/2003).
http://www.northwales4all.co.uk/Entertainment/Flintshire/EWT.htm (visited 1/08/2003).