Wilko Johnson, Guitarist and Game of Thrones Actor, Dead at 75

Wilko Johnson, Guitarist and Game of Thrones Actor, Dead at 75

The music world is mourning the loss of a bright star.

Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, who appeared on the HBO series Game of Thrones as royal executioner Ser Ilyn Payne, died on Nov. 21 at the age of 75, a message on the English musician's social media pages confirmed. "This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died," the statement, posted to Twitter Nov. 23, read. "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."

While an official cause of death has not been shared publicly, Wilko's passing comes nearly 10 years after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. According to The Guardian, Wilko "elected not to receive chemotherapy" and "was told he had nine to 10 months left to live."

However, the following year, Wilko shared that he was cancer-free after undergoing an operation to remove a tumor.

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As news of his death emerged, many fans and fellow stars took to social media to mourn Wilko's death. "I'm sad to hear today of the passing of Wilko Johnson, the Dr Feelgood guitarist and singer/songwriter," musician Jimmy Page tweeted Nov. 23. "I saw Wilko perform at Koko in Camden in May 2013 and the atmosphere was electric. This show was originally billed as his farewell tour."

"But, thankfully, he continued performing and thrilling crowds until recently," Jimmy continued. "I really admired him and we'll all miss him. RIP Wilko."

Wilko Johnson
Lorne Thomson/Redferns

Singer-songwriter Billy Bragg also honored the late artist. "Wilko Johnson was a precursor of punk," he wrote Nov. 23. "His guitar playing was angry and angular, but his presence - twitchy, confrontational, out of control - was something we'd never beheld before in UK pop. Rotten, Strummer and Weller learned a lot from his edgy demeanour. He does it right RIP."

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