Game of Thrones actor Wilko Johnson has died

Wilko Johnson is dead.

The British musician and actor died on Monday at the age of 75. A statement released on behalf of his family on Johnson’s official social media accounts on Wednesday said he died at his home in south-east England.

The cause of death of the former guitarist and singer of the band Dr. Feelgood was not communicated.

Johnson performing in Los Angeles on March 23, 1976

Johnson performing in Los Angeles on March 23, 1976

Photo: Getty Images

Born John Wilkinson in 1947, Johnson grew up on Canvey Island, a swampy, industrial oil town on the Thames Estuary. He studied Anglo-Saxon literature at Newcastle University and worked as a teacher before forming the band Dr. Feelgood founded.

In the 1970s, Johnson became known with the rock band (She Does It Right, Milk and Alcohol), which had a major influence on the later punk movement. In the ’80s, Johnson was a member of Ian Dury & The Blockheads. He also founded the Wilko Johnson Band.

Johnson as Ser Ilyn Paynes in Game of Thrones

Johnson as Ser Ilyn Paynes in Game of Thrones

Photo: HBO

He will be remembered by a wider (and rather younger) audience as an actor – in one role in particular: the striking-faced Brit starred in four episodes of the hit series Game Of Thrones as the silent executioner Ser Ilyn Payne.

In 2013, Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The musician decided against chemotherapy and went on a farewell tour instead. It later turned out, however, that it had been a misdiagnosis. In fact, Johnson had a rare, non-aggressive tumor that was removed in a complex operation. In 2014 he was considered cancer-free.

The musician was active with his Wilko Johnson Band until shortly before his death. The band was still on tour in October. Further concerts in Great Britain were planned for the coming year. But the performance a few weeks ago in London was Wilko Johnson’s last concert.

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