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Paul Hamilton Williams, Jr. (born September 19, 1940) is an Americanmarker musician, composer, songwriter and actor.

Musical career

Williams is responsible for a number of enduring pop hits from the 1970s, including a number of hits for Three Dog Night (including An Old Fashioned Love Song, "The Family of Man", and "Out in the Country"), Helen Reddy ("You and Me Against the World"), and The Carpenters, most notably "Rainy Days and Mondays," "I Won't Last a Day Without You," and "We've Only Just Begun", which has since become a cover-band standard and de rigueur for weddings throughout North America. An early collaboration with Roger Nichols, "Someday Man", was covered by The Monkees (a group for which he auditioned but was not cast) on a 1969 single, and was the first Monkees' release not published by Screen Gems.

A frequent cowriter of Williams was musician Kenneth Ascher; their songs together included the popular children's favorite "The Rainbow Connection", sung by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie. Most recently, he collaborated with Scissor Sisters on their second album, Ta-Dah.

Williams has worked on the music of a number of films, including writing and singing on Phantom of the Paradise (in which he also starred) and Bugsy Malone. He wrote the music for a musical production of Happy Days that debuted in 2007.

He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and his songs have been performed by both pop and country music artists. He has won one Academy Award for best song (Evergreen) from A Star Is Born (co-written by the artist who performed it, Barbra Streisand) and has been nominated for several others.

In April, 2009, Paul was elected President and Chairman of ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).

Film and television career

Although predominantly known for his music, Paul Williams is also an actor, appearing in films and many television guest appearances, notably as the Faustian record producer Swan in the cult film Phantom of the Paradise (for which he also wrote the songs), a rock and roll remake of Phantom of the Opera, and as Virgil, the genius orangutan in Battle for the Planet of the Apes. His most recognizable role is "Little Enos Burdette" in Smokey and the Bandit. He also played Miguelito Loveless Jr. in The Wild Wild West Revisited, a reunion movie of the original Wild Wild West, and played himself, singing a song to Felix Unger's daughter Edna, in "The Odd Couple."

After appearing on The Muppet Show, Williams worked closely with Jim Henson's Henson Productions on The Muppet Movie, most specifically on the soundtrack, and even had a cameo in the movie as the piano player in the nightclub where Kermit the Frog meets Fozzie Bear.

Williams has appeared in many small roles. He provided the voice of The Penguin in Batman:The Animated Series. He had a role in Star Trek: Voyager as Prelate Koru of the Qomar Planetary Alliance, a race technologically superior to the Federation but lacking musical ability. He recently appeared in 2009 in an episode of Nickelodeon's children's show, "Yo Gabba Gabba!", entitled Weather, where he performed "The Rainbow Connection". He has also appeared on Cartoon Network's "Dexter's Laboratory" where he played Professor Williams in an episode entitled "Just An Old Fashioned Lab Song".

Personal life

Williams was born in Omaha, Nebraskamarker, the son of Bertha Mae (née Burnside), a homemaker, and Paul Hamilton Williams, an architectural engineer. He is married to writer Mariana Williams, and has two children, Sarah and Cole. His brothers are the late John Williams, a NASA rocket scientist, and Mentor Williams (fiancé of country legend Lynn Anderson), a successful songwriter in his own right who penned Dobie Gray's 1973 hit, "Drift Away."

Williams has been active in the field of recovery from addictions.

Songwriter career


Notable recordings

  • " Old Fashioned Love Song" (from "An Old Fashioned Love Song" [1971])
  • "Bitter Honey" (from "The Holy Mackerel" [1969])
  • "Don't Call It Love" (from "Ordinary Fool" [1975])
  • "Evergreen " (from "Classics" [1977])
  • "The Family of Man" (from "A Little Bit Of Love" [1974])
  • "Faust" (from "Phantom of the Paradise" [1974])
  • "Flash" (from "Ordinary Fool" [1975])
  • "For Goodness Sake" (from "A Little On The Windy Side" [1979])
  • "The Hell of It" (from "Phantom of the Paradise" [1974])
  • "Here's Another Fine Mess" (from "A Little On The Windy Side" [1979])
  • "If We Could Still Be Friends" (from "Here Comes Inspiration" [1974])
  • "I Won't Last a Day Without You" (from "Life Goes On" [1972])
  • "Let Me Be the One" (from "An Old Fashioned Love Song" [1971])
  • "A Little Bit of Love" (from "A Little Bit Of Love" [1974])
  • "Loneliness" (from "A Little Bit Of Love" [1974])
  • "Ordinary Fool" (from "Ordinary Fool" [1975])
  • "Out in the Country" (from "Life Goes On" [1972])
  • "Rainy Days and Mondays" (from "Here Comes Inspiration" [1974])
  • "Sad Song (That Used to Be Our Song)"
  • "Save Me a Dream" (from "A Little on the Windy Side" [1979])*
  • "Someday Man" (from "Someday Man" [1970])
  • "To Put Up with You" (from "Someday Man" [1970])
  • "Trust" (from "Someday Man" [1970])
  • "Waking Up Alone" (from "Classics" [1977])
  • "We've Only Just Begun" (from "An Old Fashioned Love Song" [1971])
  • "When I Was All Alone" (from "An Old Fashioned Love Song" [1971])
  • "You and Me Against the World"(from "Here Comes Inspiration" [1974])

Notable songs

Film music

Theatre music

Acting career




He made numerous television appearances in the 1970s and 1980s, including guest appearances on Hawaii Five-O, Match Game '79, The Love Boat, The Hardy Boys, The Odd Couple (as himself), The Muppet Show, The Fall Guy, and The Gong Show. He has also guest-starred in the Babylon 5 episode "Acts of Sacrifice" (Season 2 Episode 12) as Taq, the aide to Correlilmurzon, an alien ambassador whose species finalizes treaties and agreements by having sex with the other signees. In a bit of subtle irony, Williams also appeared in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Virtuoso" as the leader of a planet that has never heard music before. Williams appeared on an episode of Picket Fences as the brother of the just deceased Ginny Weedon (Zelda Rubinstein). He starred as Ferdinand the Bull in a musical 1/2 hour TV production of the same name written by the Sherman Brothers.

In October 1980 he was host of the Mickey Mouse Club 25th Anniversary Special on NBC-TV. He stated that he tried out for the show in early 1955 and was turned down.


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