Jesse Williams graduated from Temple University with degrees in media arts and African American studies. After briefly working as a model, he taught English and American studies at a public high school. He eventually pursued an acting career in 2006, making his debut in an episode of Law & Order.
Williams' first roles were on stage, appearing in off-Broadway productions of The American Dream and The Sandbox. In 2008, he made his film debut, in a supporting role in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. He later appeared in the film Brooklyn's Finest.
His television credits include a recurring role in Beyond the Breaks, and a major role in the failed HBO pilot Washingtonienne. In 2009, he took a multi-episode arc in Grey's Anatomy; he was promoted to series regular in the seventh season.
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
- Brooklyn's Finest (2009)
- The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
- Greek (recurring, 2008)
- Beyond the Breaks (recurring, 2008)
- Grey's Anatomy (regular, 2009-present)