Billy Dee Williams

  • Oct 6, 2021
  • Buddy TV

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Biography

Born on April 6, 1937 in New York City, New York, Billy Dee Williams is an actor and writer best known for his role as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars.  The son of an elevator operator and a janitor, Williams has a twin sister and they were raised by his grandmother while his parents worked several jobs.  He graduated from famed Manhattan’s School of Performing Arts, where he was classmates with Diahann Carroll who would later play his wife on an ’80s primetime soap.  He was briefly married to actress Marlene Clark in the late 1960s, then noted mystery author Maura James.

Billy Dee Williams made his film debut in the 1959 picture The Last Angry Man where he played the role of a teenage delinquent.  His first big break, however, came in a television movie called Bryan’s Song.  In 1972, he played opposite Billie Holliday as her husband in the biopic Lady Sings the Blues.  His most famous role however, was as Lando Calrissian in the series of Star Wars movies, namely Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He originally auditioned for the role of Han Solo.  Another memorable role of his was in the 1989 picture Batman.

Williams also appeared in several television shows, such as the short-lived Gideon’s Crossing.  He also made a brief cameo on Scrubs.  He received flak for appearing in liquor commercials, which he responded by saying “I drink, you drink. Hell, if marijuana was legal, I’d appear in a commercial for it.  Billy Dee Williams also had a long-time team-up with actress Marla Gibbs as the two were paired up in three different television shows, namely The Jeffersons, 227, and The Hughleys.  He also guest-starred in an episode of That ’70s Show, Lost, and General Hospital.

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Birth Name

Billy Dee Williams

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