Details of his passing have not yet been released. A statement was posted to Johnson’s official Twitter account, which read, “This is the announcement we never wanted to make, and we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died. 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.”
Johnson was a founding member of the pub-rock band Dr. Feelgood alongside Lee Brilleaux and John B. Sparks. They had a number one UK album, Stupidity, in 1976, but Johnson parted ways with the band a year later. He later joined Ian Drury and the Blockheads and eventually released his own material, including an album with The Who’s Roger Daltrey in 2014, per Deadline.
The musician also had a brief acting career when he was cast on Game Of Thrones as Ser Ilyn Payne. Johnson played the mute executioner—notable for his role in the death of Ned Stark—in four episodes over the course of the first and second seasons. “They said they wanted somebody really sinister who went around looking daggers at people before killing them,” Johnson said in a 2011 interview. “That made it easy. Looking daggers at people is what I do all the time, it’s like second nature to me.”
Johnson’s role on the show was reduced when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013 and given less than a year to live. Though he chose not to undergo chemotherapy, he was declared cancer-free after surgery to remove a tumor, per Deadline.
Johnson lost his wife, Irene Knight, to cancer in 2004. He is survived by two sons, Matthew and Simon.