Desperate search launched for missing artist friend of Lily Allen

Desperate search launched for society artist and friend of singer Lily Allen, William Cookson, 45, who has not been seen since his Suzuki car was found abandoned in London’s Mayfair district three weeks ago

  • Society artist William Cookson, 45, has not been seen for three weeks, say family
  • Family are growing increasingly concerned about the Old Harrovian’s welfare
  • His white Suzuki car was found abandoned in Mayfair at the start of this month
  • Family and friends say phone and social media messages have gone unanswered

A desperate search has been launched for a society artist whose friends include pop singer Lily Allen and the families of top model Cara Delevingne and former Chancellor George Osborne.

Old Harrovian William Cookson, 45, has not been seen for three weeks, and his family and friends are increasingly worried about his welfare.

His white Suzuki car was found abandoned in Mayfair at the start of this month, while phone and social media messages to him have gone unanswered.

‘I pray that he is found,’ Heather Bird, the American ex-wife of property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz, tells me.

Old Harrovian William Cookson (pictured here with Heather Bird) , 45, has not been seen for three weeks, and his family and friends are increasingly worried about his welfare

‘I met William at a fundraising event for elephants. William kindly donated one of his art pieces for the auction.’

Yesterday, members of his extended family started putting up hundreds of Missing posters in West London areas where he was regularly seen, including Notting Hill and Chelsea.

‘He is a talented artist, but deeply troubled,’ says another of his friends.

William, of Fulham, is the son of Richard and the late Patricia Cookson, who transformed the fortunes of a sleepy Greek backwater when they founded holiday lettings agency Corfu Villas.

They helped turn the north-east corner of the island, where Prince Philip was born, into a favoured holiday destination for the upper classes to such an extent that it became known as ‘Kensington-on-Sea’.

Yesterday, members of his extended family started putting up hundreds of Missing posters in West London areas where he was regularly seen, including Notting Hill and Chelsea. Pictured: A post by Lilly Allen on her Instagram

William (pictured), of Fulham, is the son of Richard and the late Patricia Cookson, who transformed the fortunes of a sleepy Greek backwater when they founded holiday lettings agency Corfu Villas

They rented holiday homes to stars including actor Jude Law, while the Duke of Cambridge learnt to water-ski while staying in a CV villa.

William’s talent as a portrait painter and abstract artist was apparent from an early age and he set up his own Chelsea studio, following just one term at the Byam Shaw School of Art.

It wasn’t long before he started attracting famous fans, with German film score composer Hans Zimmer known to be one, while chef Marco Pierre White’s estranged wife, Mati, is another.

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