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E G Harcourt Williams was an English character actor.
He was a conscientious objector in the First World War; this was said to be the reason why he received no official recognition for his theatre work.
Williams worked in Benson's company and toured Shakespeare in the provinces and was further greatly influenced by Martin-Harvey, and by Ellen Terry, who had coached him when he was in her company.
In 1929 Lilian Baylis appointed the then 49 year old actor as the new director of the Old Vic and he was responsible for asking John Gielgud to join as a leading actor in the new company he was forming.