Wendy Orlean Williams (28 May 1949 – 6 April 1998) was an American singer, songwriter, and actress.
Born in Webster, New York, she came to prominence as the lead singer of the punk rock band Plasmatics.
Her onstage theatrics included partial nudity, exploding equipment, firing a shotgun, and chainsawing guitars.
Dubbed the "Queen of Shock Rock" and the "Metal Priestess", Williams was considered the most controversial and radical female singer of her time.
Performing her own stunts in videos, she often sported a mohawk hairstyle.
In 1985, during the height of her popularity as a solo artist, she was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
Leaving home at 16, Williams hitchhiked to Colorado, earning money by crocheting string bikinis.
She travelled to Florida and Europe landing various jobs such as lifeguard, stripper, macrobiotic cook, and server at Dunkin' Donuts.
After arriving in New York City in 1976, she began performing in live sex shows, and in 1979 appeared in the porno Candy Goes to Hollywood.
That year manager Rod Swenson recruited her to the Plasmatics and the two became romantically involved.
The band quickly became known on the local underground scene, performing at clubs such as CBGB.
Three albums with Plasmatics later, Williams embarked on a solo career and released her debut album, WOW, in 1984.
Albums Kommander of Kaos (1986) and Deffest! and Baddest! (1988) followed, before her retirement from the music industry.
Williams made her non-adult screen debut in Tom DeSimone's film Reform School Girls (1986), for which she recorded the title song.
She also appeared in the 1989 comedy Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog, television series The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, and MacGyver.
On 6 April 1998, Williams committed suicide near her home in Storrs, Connecticut by gunshot.
She had attempted to kill herself twice in the years leading up to her death; allegedly she had also been struggling with deep depression.