Nicol Williamson (Born September 14, 1938), is a Scottish actor who was described by British playwright John Osborne as "the greatest actor since Marlon Brando". Nicol was born to a struggling working-class Scottish family, but managed to attend the Birmingham School of Speech & Drama.
Some of his notable film performances are as the melancholy dane in Hamlet (1969), a Colonel in the Cincinnati Gestapo in Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective; a suicidal Irish soldier in the 1968 film The Bofors Gun; Sherlock Holmes in the 1978 Herbert Ross film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; and Little John in the 1976 Richard Lester film Robin and Marian. More recently he has appeared as Badger in the 1996 movie adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows and as Cogliostro in the 1997 movie adaptation of Todd McFarlane's comic book, Spawn.
Williamson is known for several tantrums and on-stage antics. During the Philadelphia tryout of Inadmissible Evidence, a play in which he delivered a performance that would win him a Tony Award in 1965, he hit producer David Merrick. In 1968 he apologized to the audience for his performance one night while playing Hamlet and then walked off the stage. In 1976 he slapped an actor during the curtain call for Broadway musical Rex, and in 1991 he hit his co-star on the backside with a sword during a Broadway performance of I Hate Hamlet.