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Tony Winner : Noel Willman; Actor-Director on Broadway

December 27, 1988|United Press International

NEW YORK — Noel Willman, an Irish-born actor and director who staged the Tony Award-winning "A Man for All Seasons," suffered a fatal heart attack in a movie theater, friends said Monday. He was 70 years old.

Willman, a native of Londonderry, Ireland, died Saturday on the way to a New York hospital, said a friend, Emanuel Gambino. He was recently diagnosed as having a heart ailment and was stricken while watching an afternoon movie at a theater near his home.

He won the Tony Award for his 1961 "A Man for All Seasons," which he directed both in London and on Broadway.

Role With Burton

Willman first appeared in New York in 1951, when he starred on Broadway opposite Richard Burton and Elizabeth Ashley in "Legend of Lovers."

In 1966, he directed the Broadway version of "A Lion in Winter," starring Robert Preston and Rosemary Harris.

He last worked as a director in 1981, when he directed Katharine Hepburn in "A Matter of Gravity" and "West Side Waltz" in New York.

Plans for funeral and memorial services were delayed until Willman's sister, Aline Wales, arrives in New York Tuesday from her home in Belfast, Gambino said.

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