“Robert Williams was one of the most realistic comedians the screen had. He made Cary Grant look like he was overacting…. To watch Robert Williams act was like seeing a comic using the Method, long before the Method became famous with Marlon [Brando] and Monty [Clift].”
–From a Turner Classic Movies interview with actor Christopher Plummer (2008)
“Williams … had a one-of-a-kind way of speaking a line — breezy and distracted, yet focused. An unmistakeable original, Williams is one of film history’s regrets. After a handful of talkies and this one starring role [opposite Jean Harlow in “Platinum Blonde”], he died of a ruptured appendix at age 34.”
–From “Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man” (2002) by Mick LaSalle
“If he had lived, he almost surely would have become a major star.”
–From “The Films of Frank Capra” (1974) by Donald C. Willis
Robert Williams was born in 1897 near Morgantown in Carteret County and grew up on a farm. He ran away from home at age 11 to join a tent show.