google10fa0980c6101c7f.html The Many Faces of Death: Choked to DEATH on a Bottle Cap - Tennessee Williams, USA


The stories mentioned on this site are of real deaths (famous or otherwise), and may contain graphic pics, text and/or videos. This site is NOT for the squeamish or Faint of Heart! You have been warned.

Strange as their stories may be, they were flesh and blood once, and were loved by people who knew them. Let's respect the deaths of those who have been mentioned....

Friday, September 9, 2011

0 Choked to DEATH on a Bottle Cap - Tennessee Williams, USA

Tennessee Williams (age 54)
photographed by Orland Fernandez in 1965
for the twentieth anniversary of
The Glass Menagerie
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs. His professional career lasted from the mid 1930s until his death in 1983, and saw the creation of many plays that are regarded as classics of the American stage. Williams adapted much of his best known work for the cinema.

Williams remained close to his sister Rose, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young adult and later institutionalized following a lobotomy, visiting her at the facilities where she spent most of her adult life and paying for her care.  The devastating effects of Rose's illness may have contributed to his alcoholism and his dependence on various combinations of amphetamines and barbiturates.

After some early attempts at heterosexual relationships, by the late 1930s Williams had accepted his homosexuality.

In the fall of 1948, New York, he met and fell in love with Frank Phillip Merlo (1922–1963), an occasional actor of Sicilian heritage who had served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.
As he had feared, in the years following Merlo's death Williams was plunged into a period of nearly catatonic depression and increasing drug use resulting in several hospitalizations and commitments to mental health facilities. He submitted to injections by Dr. Max Jacobson – known popularly as Dr. Feelgood – who used increasing amounts of amphetamines to overcome his depression and combined these with prescriptions for the sedative seconal to relieve his insomnia. Williams appeared several times in interviews in a nearly incoherent state, and his reputation both as a playwright and as a public personality suffered. He was never truly able to recoup his earlier success, or to entirely overcome his dependence on prescription drugs.

On February 25, 1983, Williams was found dead in his suite at the Elysee Hotel in New York at age 71. The medical examiner's report indicated that he choked to death on the cap from a bottle of eyedrops he frequently used, further indicating that his use of drugs and alcohol may have contributed to his death by suppressing his gag reflex. Prescription drugs, including barbiturates, were found in the room. Williams' body was found by director John Uecker who was identified as his secretary and who travelled with Williams, and was staying in a separate room in Williams' suite.


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