UK producer Simon Channing Williams has lost his long-term battle with cancer. He died at his homein Cornwall on Saturday (April 11) aged 63.
Channing Williams began his career at the BBC working with a variety of directors including Stephen Frears, James MacTaggart, Mike Newell and Mike Leigh.
With Leigh, he formed Thin Man Films in 1988, producing many critically-acclaimed films such as Palme D’Or winner Secrets & Lies, Oscar winner Topsy-Turvy and Oscar nominated films Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky.
Outside his relationship with Thin Man Films, he produced a number of other films, including Puccini and the UK box-office hit, Jack and Sarah.
In 2000, he formed the independent production company Potboiler Productions with Gail Egan. They produced seven films including a classic adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby and the Oscar-winning The Constant Gardener.
Commenting on his death, Egan said “Nothing I can say could be enough, or express my sense of loss. He was larger than life. He was a wonderful friend, a passionate lover of film, of family, of Famous Grouse whiskey!
He was loved by all who worked with him and he brought out the very best in everyone. He was generous, kind, great fun to be with, a natural leader, he changed the lives of many and was an inspiration to us all.”
Channing Williams was instrumental in setting up The Constant Gardener Trust which aims to improve living conditions for the Kenyan people of Kibera and Loiyangalani. In December 2007, he received Kenya’s Order of the Grand Warrior from President Kibaki for his work on The Constant Gardener and the trust.
He is survived by his wife Annie, five children (three with his second wife Dorothy King, two with Annie) and five grandchildren.
A private funeral will be held this week and a memorial service in London is planned for a later date. The family have requested that in lieu of other tributes, donations may be made to the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign: http://www.royalmarsden.org/Campaign/Home/