Paul Williams Is Sober… And Not Dead!

Paul Williams, who I will always remember as Little Enos from Smokey and The Bandit, is still alive and well (he’ll turn 71 this coming Monday) and to my delight very active in recovery (sober since 1990).  In my mind, he was as dead as Colonel Harry Potter from Mash (nope, he is alive) and Burgess Meredith (yep, really dead).   But now, here comes a new documentary about his life, starring… him – Paul Williams: Still Alive.  Even though Williams is out of the spotlight, he still remains extremely active in the music community. In addition to his work as an addiction advocate, he’s also President of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and is currently working on new material with the French dance cyborgs Daft Punk.  Check out his website for links to all the outstanding things he is doing in the recovery world.

Some cool things I already knew about Paul Williams:

  • He was the villain Swan in Phantom of the Paradise (cool movie when it came out – still kind of cool in a Dr. Phibes/Rocky Horror kind of way – and it was directed by Brian DePalma)
  • He was always on the Muppets – usually singing “Rainbow Connection”
  • He wrote songs for The Carpenters – even a headbanger like me can appreciate “We’ve Only Just Begun”.

Some cool things I did not know about Little E:

  • He was once a stunt parachutist
  • In his first movie role at the age of  24 he played a 10 year old in 1965′s The Loved One  & after seeing the trailer I want to see this.
  • He played Virgil the genius orangutan in Battle for the Planet of the Apes ( I knew this but had forgotten)
  • He wrote the theme for The Love Boat ( that alone should have made him the richest man on earth).
  • He has also starred or done voices in Star Trek Voyager, Babylon 5, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Batman: The Animated Series -wow.

If you have never seen Phantom of the Paradise and you are over 40 – you should check it out – younger people  will not be able to handle it (maybe the better word is appreciate).

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