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Ser Ilyn Payne of the ‘Game of Thrones,’ musician Wilko Johnson dies at 75

Wilko Johnson, an occasional actor and musician from England, passed away at the age of 75. The actor achieved fame as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the pub rock/rhythm and blues band Dr. Feelgood, formed in 1971 in Canvey Island, Essex, but is best known today for portraying the part of royal executioner Ser Ilyn Payne in HBO’s fantasy drama ‘Game of Thrones.’

The official Twitter handle of Johnson updated his fans about the sad news. A tweet from the account, which also carried a pictue of the late musician and actor, read, ‘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.’

Johnson made his acting debut in ‘Game of Thrones.’ After the casting director noticed him in the music documentary ‘Oil City Confidential,’ he was given the part.

‘They stated they wanted somebody incredibly evil who went about gazing daggers at people before killing them,’ he told Echo News UK in 2011. This made it simple. I constantly stare with a dagger in my eyes; it comes naturally to me.

‘It meant I didn’t have to learn any lines,’ he joked.

‘On the first day, I had to look evilly at this girl. So I sort of boggled at her. Afterwards, the American director came up to me and said ‘Wilko, you don’t have to act scary. You are scary,’ he added.

In the first and second seasons of the well-liked show, Johnson portrayed the part. In season 1, Payne executed Ned Stark by beheading him.


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