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|Also Known As:||Paul H. Williams,Paul Hamilton Williams Jr.||Died:|
|Born:||September 19, 1940||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Omaha, Nebraska, USA||Profession:||Music ... songwriter singer actor stunt parachutist set painter apprentice jockey insurance clerk|
A prolific and ubiquitous presence in music, film and on television in the 1970s, Paul Williams was an Oscar-winning songwriter whose gift for gentle pop-rock songs like the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" led to a prolific career as both an artist in his own right as well as a composer for film and television. He also enjoyed a second, more modest career as an actor, spawned in part from his self-effacing appearances on talk shows where he spoofed his diminutive stature and unlikely sexy symbol status. By the mid-1970s, he had scored major hits with "Evergreen" from "A Star in Born" (1976) and "The Rainbow Connection" from "The Muppet Movie" (1979), but alcohol and drug issues, as well as changing tastes among music audiences, upended his career. Williams spent much of the 1980s as an actor while gaining his sobriety; he resurfaced in the 1990s with a generation of listeners, including many musicians testifying to the brilliance of his early work. Williams' renaissance led to new songwriting and film work, as well as a humorous tribute with the documentary "Paul Williams Still Alive" (2011), in which he and the film's director attempted to come to terms with his turbulent past. Throughout it all, Williams' best work from the 1970s and beyond remained a high-water mark in pop music, preserving his status as one of its most talented practitioners.
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