Billy Dee Williams

Actor, Painter
Moving freely between the gritty, street-level world of Blaxploitation and the dreamy realms of science fiction and comic book fantasy, Billy Dee Williams enjoyed a diverse five-decade career in legitimate theatre ... Read more »
Born: 04/06/1937 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (119)

Star Wars: Rebels 2015 (Tv Show)

Voice

Dancing With the Stars 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Gideon's Crossing 1990 - 1992, 1998 - 2001, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

IMurders 2014 (Movie)

Robert Delgado (Actor)

In Living Color 1990 - 1991, 1999 - 2001, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Martin 1990 - 1992, 1999 - 2001, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

NCIS 2012, 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Promised Land 1990 - 1992, 1998 - 2001, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Good Neighbor 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Hughleys 1999 - 2001, 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Lego Movie 2014 (Movie)

Lando (Voice)

This Bitter Earth 2014 (Movie)

Joe Watkins (Actor)

Titan Maximum 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Voice

The Annoying Orange 2013 (Tv Show)

Voice

The Life and Times of Tim 2012 (Tv Show)

Voice

The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll 2011 (Movie)

Ace Millstone (Actor)

Barry Munday 2010 (Movie)

Lonnie Green (Actor)

Fanboys 2009 (Movie)

Judge Reinhold (Actor)

Robot Chicken 2007, 2009 (Tv Show)

Voice

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Voice

Mind of Mencia 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Private Practice 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Constellation 2007 (Movie)

Helms Boxer (Actor)

Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror 2007 (Movie)

Pastor Charlie (Actor)

Denis Leary's Merry F#%$in Christmas 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Place on Earth 2005 (Movie)

(Actor)

When Star Wars Ruled the World 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

That '70s Show 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

4th Annual Soul Train Christmas Starfest 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Undercover Brother 2002 (Movie)

General Boutwell (Actor)

Canned Ham: The Ladies Man 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

James Caan: Making a Scene 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ladies Man 2000 (Movie)

Lester (Actor)

The Visit 2000 (Movie)

Henry Waters (Actor)

A Tribute to Muddy Waters, King of the Blues 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

An All Star Party For Aaron Spelling 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Motown 40: The Music Is Forever 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Steel Sharks 1998 (Movie)

Admiral Perry (Actor)

The Contract 1998 (Movie)

Senator J Harmon (Actor)

Moving Target 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Prince 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

Ninth Annual Genesis Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Presenter

The NFL at 75: An All-Star Celebration 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Third Annual Trumpet Awards Ceremony 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Diamonds on the Silver Screen 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Marked For Murder 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Alien Intruder 1992 (Movie)

Cammander Skyler (Actor)

Guiding Light: The Primetime Special 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Driving Me Crazy 1991 (Movie)

Max (Actor)

Giant Steps 1991 (Movie)

Slate Thompson (Actor)

Voices That Care 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Secret Agent 00 - Soul 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Batman 1989 (Movie)

Harvey Dent (Actor)

Dynasty 1980 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 3rd Annual Soul Train Music Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Performer

Courage 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Deadly Illusion 1987 (Movie)

Hamberger (Actor)

Diana Ross... Red Hot Rhythm & Blues 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Number One With a Bullet 1987 (Movie)

Hazeltine (Actor)

The Imposter 1987 (Movie)

Matthew (Actor)

Double Dare 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Fear City 1985 (Movie)

Al Wheeler (Actor)

The Imposter 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Chiefs 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Time Bomb 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Eubie Blake: A Century of Music 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Marvin and Tige 1983 (Movie)

Richard Davis (Actor)

Return of the Jedi 1983 (Movie)

Lando Calrissian (Actor)

Children of Divorce 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Nighthawks 1981 (Movie)

Matthew Fox (Actor)

The Empire Strikes Back 1980 (Movie)

Lando Calrissian (Actor)

Scott Joplin 1977 (Movie)

Scott Joplin (Actor)

Blast 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mahogany 1975 (Movie)

Brian Walker (Actor)

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings 1975 (Movie)

Bingo Long (Actor)

Hit! 1973 (Movie)

Nick Allen (Actor)

The Take 1973 (Movie)

Sneed (Actor)

Brian's Song 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Lady Sings the Blues 1972 (Movie)

Louis McKay (Actor)

Truman Capote's "The Glass House" 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Carter's Army 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

The Final Comedown 1970 (Movie)

Johnny Johnson (Actor)

The Out-of-Towners 1970 (Movie)

Lost and Found Clerk (Actor)

The Last Angry Man 1958 (Movie)

Josh Quincy (Actor)

18 Wheels of Justice (TV Show)

Actor

Another World (TV Show)

Actor

Blood, Sweat and Tears (TV Show)

Actor

Children of Divorce (Movie)

(Actor)

Cougar! (TV Show)

Actor

Dangerous Passion (TV Show)

Actor

Epoch: Evolution (TV Show)

Actor

Falling For You (TV Show)

Actor

It's Black Entertainment (TV Show)

Actor

Marked for Murder (Movie)

Capt. Jack Reilly (Actor)

Mask of Death (TV Show)

Actor

Oceans of Fire (TV Show)

Actor

Percy and Thunder (TV Show)

Actor

Shooting Stars (TV Show)

Actor

The Hostage Tower (TV Show)

Actor

The Maintenance Man (Movie)

(Actor)

The Return of Desperado (TV Show)

Actor

The Right of the People (TV Show)

Actor

Time Bomb (Movie)

(Actor)

Triplecross (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Moving freely between the gritty, street-level world of Blaxploitation and the dreamy realms of science fiction and comic book fantasy, Billy Dee Williams enjoyed a diverse five-decade career in legitimate theatre, television and cinema, often being called the "black Clark Gable. " A talented artist whose work went on to hang in museums around the world, Williams was compelled by poverty to turn his back on a potential career as a painter to make a living as an actor in New York. Studying briefly with Sidney Poitier, Williams seemed poised at one point to inherit Poitier's mantle of Hollywood's go-to black leading man after prominent roles in "Lady Sings the Blues" (1972) and "Mahogany" (1975) with Diana Ross and by reinterpreting Poitier's famous "Homer Smith" character in the 1979 telefilm "Christmas Lilies of the Field," Ralph Nelson's belated sequel to "Lilies of the Field" (1963). The actor's classical good looks and roguish appeal won him a prominent part in the "Star Wars" (1977) sequels "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (1983), which cemented his status as an American cultural icon. Maturing over the years from firebrand leading man to assured character player, Williams' innate sense of humor about his career choices and reputation as a ladies man allowed him to remain a familiar face and a beloved presence in films and on television long after he ceased being an A-list actor.

Relationships

Miyaka Williams

Child

Camera Williams

Daughter

Corey Williams

Child

Marlene Clark

Wife
second wife divorced

Patricia Heitman

Companion
no longer together alleged that Williams beat her in a 1996 incident

Teruko Nakagami

Wife
third wife married c. 1973 filed for divorce in June 1993 reported to have reconciled c. 1997 together as of June 2002

Audrey Sellers

Wife
first wife divorced

Hanako Williams

Daughter
born c. 1974

Loretta Williams

Sister
twin

William Williams

Father
originally from Texas

EDUCATION

High School of Music and Art

New York , New York 1955

National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts

New York , New York
attended on scholarship

Harlem Actors Workshop

New York , New York
studied with Sidney Poitier

City College of New York

New York , New York

Milestones

2007

Co-starred in the southern drama, "Constellation"

2002

Lent his voice to the character Lando Calrissian for the video game "Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast"

2002

Had small role in "Undercover Brother"

2000

Co-starred in the indie feature "The Visit"; received a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards

2000

Had supporting role in "The Ladies Man"

1999

Co-starred with Lucky Vanous in The Nashville Network series "18 Wheels of Justice"

1992

Portrayed Motown Records founder Berry Gordy in the ABC miniseries "The Jacksons: An American Dream"

1991

Had first solo art exhibition

1989

Portrayed district attorney Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's "Batman"; was replaced by Tommy Lee Jones for the third installment, "Batman Forever" (1995)

1988

Succeeded James Earl Jones in the role of Troy Maxon in the Broadway production of "Fences" by August Wilson

1985

Primetime series debut as regular on the short-lived CBS series "Double Dare"

1983

Had pivotal role in the CBS miniseries "Chiefs"

1983

Reprised his role as Lando Calrissian in "The Return of the Jedi"

1980

Cast as Lando Calrissian in "The Empire Strikes Back"

1979

Starred in the TV-movie "Christmas Lillies of the Field" (NBC); played role originated by Sidney Poitier in the feature

1977

Played title role of ragtime musician "Scott Joplin"

1975

Portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in the stage play "I Have a Dream"

1975

Reteamed with Diana Ross as her love interest in "Mahogany"

1972

Starred opposite Diana Ross in "Lady Sings the Blues"

1970

Co-starred with James Caan in "Brian's Song" (ABC); earned Emmy nomination for his performance as football player Gale Sayers

1969

TV-movie debut in "Carter's Army" (ABC)

1967

Broadway musical debut, replacing Robert Hooks in "Hallelujah, Baby!"

1966

Had featured role as Dr. Jim Frazier on the CBS daytime drama "The Guiding Light"

1960

First adult stage role in "The Cool World"

1959

Film acting debut in "The Last Angry Man"

1944

Stage acting debut opposite Lotte Lenya in "The Firebrand of Florence"

Raised in Harlem section of NYC

Was commerical spokesperson for Colt .45 malt liquor

Played recurring role of Brady Lloyd on "Dynasty" (ABC)

Appeared on the NBC daytime "Another World" as an assisant D.A.

Bonus Trivia

.

Some sources give 1938 as the year of Mr. Williams' birth

.

In 1996, Williams created four paintings for Nissan that were displayed at the Olympics. The following year, he created paintings for a sports center owned by the Walt Disney Company.

.

Williams has exhibited a series of impressionistic portraits of the Tuskegee Airmen. His artwork has also been featured in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

.

In 1996 Williams was charged with misdemeanor spousal abuse for allegedly hitting his live-in girlfriend in February; ordered to undergo 52 sessions of counseling; charges ultimately dropped in April 1997

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