Goodbye to a Dear Friend (cont’d)

Photographs of Bill Hamlin appear throughout our online album. Start by clicking here for photos of Bill’s last work on our stage, last season’s world premiere of Bob Brustein’s SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK — and then work your way back to all his many other roles.

Was there a more photogenic actor than Bill at our theater? I don’t think so. One with a more sonorous voice (radio DJ that he was for some 30 years)? Let the memories flow. Let the images linger. Let the achievement and the generosity of his talent and spirit last forever.

Bill’s illness was swift. On January 12, his friend, actor John Dow (who read with 14 other beautiful actors today in Vaclav Havel’s new play) got a call from Bill asking to take him to the doctor. The diagnosis of lung cancer came only a little bit later. Six weeks later… this…
So swift.

This was sent from Bill Largess, company member at Washington Stage Guild where Bill was also part of the company, which is to say, like family.

Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Though thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta’en thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must,

As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Fear no more the frown o’ th’ great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke.

Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak.
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor th’ all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear no slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan.
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee,
Nor no witchcraft charm thee.
Ghost unlaid forbear thee;
Nothing ill come near thee.
Quiet consummation have,
And renowned be thy grave.
— Shakespeare, Cymbeline