Actor Wilko Johnson has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, his manager confirmed this week. Johnson starred on HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones" and has received an outpouring of support from fans everywhere.
"I am very sad to announce that Wilko has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas," his manager, Robert Hoy, posted on his Facebook page. "He has chosen not to receive any chemotherapy. He is currently in good spirits, is not yet suffering any physical effects and can expect to enjoy at least another few months of reasonable health and activity."
Johnson's role on "Game of Thrones" was that of a mute executioner known as Ser Ilyn Payne. He has played Payne for the past two years and created an iconic character that fans appreciate.
Johnson is also a famous guitarist and played with the band Dr. Feelgood in the 1970s. According to WFSB Connecticut News, Johnson has plans to "complete a new CD, tour France, and give a series of farewell performances in the U.K. in the upcoming months."
After leaving Dr. Feelgood, he performed with Ian Dury's Blockheads and later formed his own group, The Wilko Johnson Band. He was famous throughout Europe, but it wasn't until "Game of Thrones" that he became increasingly popular with an American audience.
"Wilko wishes to offer his sincere thanks for all the support he has had over his long career, from those who have worked with him to, above all, those devoted fans and admirers who have attended his live gigs, bought his recordings and generally made his life such an extraordinarily full and eventful experience. Thank you," Hoy wrote.
"The biggest of blows – The man who labeled Canvey Island the 'Thames Delta'! Bless you, Wilko!" tweeted jaydeepee.
"Really upset to hear about Wilko Johnson's cancer diagnosis. Endearing person, great character and massively influential guitarist," added Bob Harris.
"Very sad to hear about Wilko Johnson having terminal cancer," noted John Simm. "One of the GREATEST and most influential British guitarists."