Ranny Williams Jamaican icon

Randolph Samuel Williams (Maas Ran) was born in Colon, Panama on October 26, 1912 and migrated to Jamaica at the age of six with his mother. He lived in Kingston for some time and the rest of his youth was spent in Williamsfield, St. Catherine. He attended Tutorial College, Calabar High and Kingston Technical High.

Ranny Williams was a dramatist and a comedian. He began his career as a youngster reciting poetry at church, Lodge halls, and school-rooms. He attained professional status in 1930, when he was asked by the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey to become a member of the vaudeville group at Edelweiss Park and to organize entertainment for the thousands of people who attended meetings there. Several productions at the Park have been listed as having been originated by Ranny Williams.

Ranny Williams and Lee Gordon became a really good duo named "Amos and Andy", and together went on to appear in the second LTM Pantomime "Babes in the Wood". Ranny and Lee provided a great deal of comic relief in the topicalities or 'knockabout' sections which facilitate scene changing in the pantomime.

Ranny rose to prominence when he began playing Brer Anancy in Anancy and Busha  Bluebeard, a creation of Louise Bennett and Noel Vaz. He performed in over 29 Pantomimes.  He also authored two pantomimes (Jamaica Way and Quashie Lady), adapted Robinson Crusoe, and co-wrote Queenie’s Daughter and Bredda Buck. His partnership with Louise Bennett was legendary.

Williams was the host of the telivised Ranny Williams Show and his films credits include: A High Wind in Jamaica, Oh Dad, Poor Dad, White Souls, Jamaica No Problems, Tropical Isles, Zacc Experience,  and The Marijuana Affair. His partnership with Louise Bennett was legendary they developed the "Lou and Ranny Show" for the opening of JBC Radio in 1959.

He was highly decorated and his most outstanding national award was Commander of the Order of Distinction (C.D.) for outstanding Services in the field of Entertainment (1976) and the Centenary Medal (1979). The Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre stands as a monument to his work.

Although Maas Ran accomplished much in his lifetime, his greatest accomplishment was of the love for the people of Jamaica whom he served outside of entertainment. He was a social worker, JAMAL worker, founder of the Ranny Williams Youth Club and a regular on “The Nugget for the Needy Show”.

Maas Ran died on August 11, 1980. He has left us with cherished memories and and his impact on mankind was positive, uplifting, and entertaining.

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