Who was Wilko Johnson? 'GoT' star passes away at 75
Wilko Johnson who played Ser Ilyn Payne on Games of Thrones died at the age of 75. The guitarist of popular British blues-rock band Dr. Feelgood passed away on Monday at his residence in southeast England, informed Johnson's family. A statement by the grieving family was posted on the musician's social media handles on Wednesday, informing of his passing away.
'Thank you for respecting Wilko's family's privacy'
A statement was issued on behalf of Johnson's family and the band on the late musician's Twitter handle stating that "Wilko Johnson has died." It further read that Johnson peacefully passed away in his sleep at his residence on Monday evening, November 21, at the age of 75. "Thank you for respecting Wilko's family's privacy at this very sad time," it further read.
Read the full statement here
This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died. He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family's privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.— Wilko Johnson (@wilkojohnson) November 23, 2022
(Image: Leif Laaksonen) pic.twitter.com/1cRqyi9b9X
The early life of Johnson
Born as John Wilkinson in the year 1947, Johnson was brought up at Canvey Island in England. He went to study Anglo-Saxon literature at Newcastle University. He worked as a schoolteacher before he formed the British blues-rock band, Dr. Feelgood with some of his other local friends. Apart from being a musician, Jonson also acted in Game of Thrones as Ser Ilyn Payne.
When Jonson was diagnosed with cancer
In 2012, Johnson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was told that the cancer was terminal. However, he declined to undergo chemotherapy; instead, he chose to go on a tour to record one final album titled Going Back Home with Roger Daltrey. Later, in 2014, Johnson announced he underwent surgery for the removal of a 3-kilogram tumor and said that he was cancer free.
Released another album after being cancer-free in 2018
Johnson assumed Going Back Home was his final album. However, as destiny had it, after becoming cancer free in 2014, he recorded another album Blow Your Mind which was released in the year 2018. Johnson continued to play at gigs with his band until last month. He is now survived by his two sons, Simon and Matthew, and his grandson Dylan.
Johnson on how he felt after being diagnosed with cancer
In an old interview with The Associated Press, Johnson had spoken about how he looked at life after he was diagnosed with cancer. He said in the 2013 interview that he found himself to be "in a position where nothing matters anymore." He then reportedly said how his perception changed toward life, saying "you're looking around and you think, 'I'm alive. Ain't it amazing?'"