Michael Williams (9 July 1935 - 11 January 2001) was a British actor.
Although best known as the husband of Dame Judi Dench, Williams had a distinguished career of his own, as both a classical and a comedy actor.
Born into an Irish Catholic family in Liverpool, he attended St. Edward's College and worked as an insurance assessor before going into the theatre.
His first film appearance was in 1962, and he subsequently appeared frequently on television (notably in Elizabeth R), and in British films such as Educating Rita (1983) and Henry V (1989). (In the latter, in perhaps a tongue-in-cheek casting decision, he played Shakespeare's character Michael Williams!)
His many radio roles included crime reporter George Cragge in In the Red and its sequels, and Dr Watson in the BBC's complete run of Sherlock Holmes adaptations.
He married Dench in 1971, and they had one daughter, Tara Cressida Williams (known as "Finty Williams"), who is also an actor. Williams chaired the British Catholic Stage Guild for a number of years before he was incapacitated by illness. Tara has a son, Sam.
Although Williams was a Roman Catholic and Dench is a Quaker, theirs was one of the most successful showbiz marriages, and they worked together on several series of the situation comedy, A Fine Romance, from 1981 onwards.
Williams served as an enthusiastic supporter of the project to build the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. A plaque commemorating William's contributions hangs in the completed playhouse.
Shortly before his death from lung cancer at the age of 65, Williams was awarded a Knighthood of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II.