Actor James Arthur Williams Biography

Updated On Jul 31, 2018 Published On Jul 31, 2018
Facts of Actor James Arthur Williams
Name Arthur James Williams
Mother Blanche Brooks Williams
Nationality American
Birth Place/City Gordon, Georgia
Religion Christian
Ethnicity White
Profession Preservationalist
Famous for death of Danny Lewis Hansford
Died January 14, 1990
View moreless Facts of Actor James Arthur Williams

James Arthur Williams was the only person in Georgia to be tried four times for the same crime. He was charged with killing his assistant Danny Lewis Hansford.

Arthur Williams was born on December 11, 1931, in Gordon, Georgia. He was a renown Savanah, Georgia antique dealer, and historic preservationist. In 1955, at a young age of 24, he bought and restored his first three houses located in the East Congress Street. Over the 35 years, he restored almost 50 houses in Georgia and South Carolina, which included Odingsell House, Merault House, Hampton Lillibridge House, Habersham's Pink House, Armstrong House and Mercer House.

In 1969, he bought a house built initially for General Hugh Weedon Mercer, the great-grandfather of the American songwriter Johnny Mercer. Williams renumerated the house in the course of two years. After its restoration, it became his permanent residence from where he began operating his life-long career of antique restoration business.

Arthur was arrested in 1981 for the murder of Danny Hansford, with whom he is believed to have the sexual relationship. After four trials, he was found not guilty at the final trial in 1989. His case was first defended by lawyer Bobby Lee Cook and was convicted and almost got sentenced to life in prison. He appealed posting a bond of $200,000. By the end of the last trial, he was found not guilty by the court in Augusta, Georgia.

James died on January 14, 1990, six months after his final trial. He was 59 at the time and died of pneumonia and heart failure. He was buried next to his mother Blanche Brooks Williams, in Ramah church Cemetery in Gordo, Georgia.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a book that deals with the Hansford's murder and Williams' subsequent trial for the killing was written by author John Berendt and was published in 1994. It also became the finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.

The book was later adapted into a movie in 1997. The movie is directed by Clint Eastwood, and the role of Williams is portrayed by actor Kevin Spacey.

Talking about the financial aspect of his life, it has been a bit of a mystery. There are no details available about his net worth at the time of his death.

Actor James Arthur Williams

Actor James Arthur Williams facts on timeline

Born in Georgia, Gordon

December 11 , 1955

James Arthur Williams was born on December 11, 1931, in the state of Gordon, Georgia to mother Blanche Brooks Williams.

Started his restorataion business

1955

Williams was just 24 in 1955, when he brought three houses in the East Congress Street, and started his works on restoration.

Bought a house built for Hugh Weedon Mercer

1969

Williams bought a home originally built for General Hugh Weedon Mercer, great-grandfather of famed American songwriter Johnny Mercer and changed the house into his operating place for antique restoration.

Arrested for the murder of Danny Hansford

1981

Williams was arrested for the shooting death of assistant Danny Lewis Hansford in his Savannah with whom he was believed to have a sexual relationship.

Acquited by the Jury after 4 trials

1989

Williams was finally acquited by the jury of Augusta, Georgia, after facing four trials for the murder of Danny Hansford.

Died in 1990

January 14 , 1990

Six months after his trial, Willaims died unexpectedly in his home. He was 59 at the time and died in the same spot where Danny Hansford had died.

Book related to his trial was published

1994

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a book about Hansford's murder and Willaims' subsequent trial for the killing was written by author John Berendt and published in 1994.

A film of the same name Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, was made

1997

The book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, was adapted into a movie with the same name, and was directed by Clint Eastwood, and the role of Williams was played by Kevin Spacey.