Monday, March 19, 2018

Remembering Sammy Williams

I'm sad to have learned of the death of Tony Award-winning actor Sammy Williams over the weekend. I never had the privilege of seeing him perform, and I never had the honor of meeting the man. But he impacted my life nonetheless. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

The first time I ever saw A Chorus Line, when it got to the part where Williams' character, Paul San Marco launched into his monologue, I found myself holding my breath and clinging to every single word. And I wept. Lots of other people all around me were sniffling - it's one hell of a monologue and very touching. But I was full-on crying, and I couldn't stop.  It was the first time this then-14 year-old ever saw someone like me - gay, scared, self-loathing, and terrified of being discovered - come to life on the stage. It was a life-changing, life-affirming moment.

Thank you, Mr. Williams. I will forever be in your debt. Rest in peace.


  1. Sammy Williams sings on the original Broadway Cast Album of A Chorus Line. " I really need this job." His great monologue of Paul is history. I never saw him on stage, yet his performance in ACL lives on in the actors who recreate his triumph.

  2. Sammy was my upstairs neighbor and, while I thought he was a very handsome man, I had no clue as to his notoriety. One day, he invited me up, as we'd been becoming friends for some time. I began to notice all this "A Chorus Line" artwork throughout his home, then noticed the "Antoinette Perry Award" and my jaw dropped! "Sammy, I exclaimed, do not tell me this is you." Oh, the smile on his face. Had SO much fun going back to the pictures and picking him out in the cast. " I pick this guy because he has absolute perfect point with his feet whilst sitting upon a stool." I was right. Then it was "I pick this guy, for sure!" "Why?" Sam asked. I said, "because he is the most handsome!" We had such a lovely, fun afternoon. It wasn't too long after that Sammy's illness presented. What I choose to remember is how Sam's smile, laughter, and huge heart absolutely lit up the world. Grateful to have had him in my life. Love him. ALWAYS!


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