Very sad news from the Game of Thrones camp — Wilko Johnson, who plays the mute (via tongue-rip) executioner Ilyn Payne, has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Johnson was also a guitarist and songwriter for the British band Dr. Feelgood, and became known as a major player in the British punk rock scene. His manager, Robert Hoy, released the following statement on the actor's Facebook page:
I am very sad to announce that Wilko has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas. 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.
He has just set off on a trip to Japan; on his return we plan to complete a new CD, make a short tour of France, then give a series of farewell gigs in the UK. There is also a live DVD in the pipeline, filmed on the last UK tour.
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.
As of publication, HBO reps have not responded to Hollywood.com's requst for comment.
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Will Ireland/Getty Images]