LONDON Nicol Williamson, once described by John Osborne as "the greatest actor since Marlon Brando," has died after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 73.
His son Luke said on his father's official website that he passed away on December 16. He died in Amsterdam where he had lived for over 20 years, according to media reports.
"He gave it all he had: never gave up, never complained, maintained his wicked sense of humour to the end," Luke wrote. "His last words were 'I love you'. I was with him, he was not alone, he was not in pain."
Scottish-born Williamson first rose to prominence in 1964 when he appeared in London in Osborne's "Inadmissable Evidence." When it transferred to Broadway he was nominated for a Tony Award in 1966.
He went on to star in other stage productions including "Hamlet" at London's Round House Theatre and Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" for which he was shortlisted for a Tony award a second time.
His best known film roles included Merlin in "Excalibur" and Father Morning in "The Exorcist III." His final screen appearance was in 1997 picture "Spawn."
Williamson was working on a new album of music before his death, and his son told the Daily Telegraph he was as yet undecided over whether to post it on the website.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)