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Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Stars' tributes to actor Williams
Michael Williams with Judi Dench and daughter Finty
Michael Williams was an actor and family man
Stars of stage and screen packed the actors' church St Paul's in Covent Garden on Monday to celebrate the life of the late Michael Williams.

Among the celebrities at the London church were Kevin Spacey, Kenneth Branagh, Sir Nigel Hawthorne, Richard E Grant, June Whitfield and Maureen Lipman.

Dame Judi Dench, who was married to Williams for nearly 30 years and starred with him in the TV comedy A Fine Romance, attended with her daughter Finty.

Williams died in January after a long battle with cancer.

Rev Mark Oakley, who led the private service, said that it had been a full house.

"There must have been about 500 people there, and many had to stand at the back," he told BBC News Online.

"The laughter was one thing that stood out," he said.

Roses

There were several readings and tributes, including a poem from Branagh and a Shakespearean sonnet 116 read by Richard Henders.

Sir Trevor Nunn led the tributes by repeating an address, at Dame Judi's request, he gave at the actor's funeral.

Rev Oakley said that a baptismal bowl full of red roses had been dedicated at the service.

"Michael sent a red rose to his wife every Friday, wherever she was in the world," he said.

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See also:

12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Tributes pour in for 'gifted' actor
12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Michael Williams: End of the fine romance
28 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Dame Judi nurses ill husband
26 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Dame Judi's husband 'has cancer'
12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Actor Michael Williams dies
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