William Byrd Wilkins 1965-2015Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 3 November 2015 - Reported by Marcus

The actor William Byrd Wilkins has died at the age of 50.

William Byrd Wilkins played The Preacher in the 2012 Doctor Who story A Town Called Mercy.

Other TV roles included playing a crack dealer in 2006 Wayne Cramer film Running Scared and playing a bouncer in the 1998 comedy Overnight Delivery.

William Byrd Wilkins was born in Louisburg, North Carolina. After seeing the acclaimed African-American theatre company Penumbra perform locally, he moved to the company's base, Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he was determined to join the company, something he achieved after two years. His memorable roles at Penumbra included playing Boy Willie, a brother who wants to sell a family heirloom to fund a land-buying scheme, in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson.

In recent years, he returned to his home town, teaching drama at Louisburg College.

Earlier this year he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Wilkins declined chemotherapy saying he wanted to live out his days without Doctors and toxic chemo, and a fund was set up to raise money to allow him to enjoy his final few months.

William Byrd Wilkins died last Saturday, 31 October. He is survived by his mother, sister and two brothers.
Thanks to Tim Brown; Star Tribune