Don Williams

Sign-Offs

Don S. Williams, 80, on Oct. 28, after a 25-year battle with Parkinson’s. Williams grew up in Stony Plain, AB, west of Edmonton where he developed a keen interest in the entertainment industry early on. He started his broadcasting career in 1957 at CKSA Lloydminster. A year later, he accepted a one-year contract at CKRM Regina and then moved on to CKX-TV Brandon where he worked as the producer and director, in addition to acting as artistic director at the Brandon New World Theatre. In 1963, Williams landed a job as a director and producer with CBC Winnipeg. He spent 15 years there, the last 10 freelance which involved travel to Vancouver where he worked on new series The Beachcombers. Williams relocated to Vancouver in 1979, where he directed actors like Bruce Greenwood and Michael J. Fox in the early stages of their careers. He started to focus on acting in the early 1990s, appearing as a guest star in shows including Wiseguy, Mom P.I., Neon Rider, and the recurring role of The First Elder on The X-Files. He also appeared in feature films The Stepfather (1987) and Reindeer Games (2000). Williams also worked behind the scenes as one of the founders of the Canadian Television Producers and Directors Association (CTPDA), acting as chief negotiator for collective bargaining agreements from 1968 to 1978. Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1993. His case received significant media attention in 2002 when documentary filmmaker Gerry Thompson featured him as one of four people who worked together at the CBC in 1979 (the most famous being Michael J. Fox) who would all go on not only to develop Parkinson’s, but to have the symptoms appear at roughly the same time.

Broadcast Dialogue, Nov 15 2018

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