Billy Dee Williams Profile
Billy Dee Williams is an American award-winning actor and painter working as a cast member at on a web-based original series called Diary of a Single Mom since 2009. As of 2019, Williams has painted over 300 paintings.
Billy Dee Williams Education
Williams went to Booker T. Washington Junior High School where he had his first experience as a painter. After Junior High, he joined LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts based in Manhattan where he attained his high school diploma with a major in arts with a focus on visual arts. During his time in high school, he earned a two years scholarship in New York for the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design. The school, later on, changed its name to the National Academy of Design.
Billy Dee Williams Stage Career
Williams started his acting career in March 1945 on Broadway in The Firebrand of Florence when he was only 7 years old. In 1960, he made a return to Broadway as an adult in the adaptation of The Cool World. That same year(1960), he made an appearance in A Taste of Honey. In 1976, he starred as Martin Luther King Jr. in a Broadway production, I Have a Dream which was directed by Robert Greenwald. In 1988, he replaced James Earl Jones of Troy Maxson in a movie called August Wilson’s Fences.
Billy Dee Williams TV|Film Career
In 1959, Williams began his TV and Film career. He kickstarted this new journey by appearing in a film called The Last Angry Man where he acted as a lawless and troublesome young man opposite Paul Muni. In 1971, he got the big break he was waiting for after starring in a TV film called Brian’s Song where he acted under the role of Gale Sayers, a Chicago Bears star football player. William and Caan were nominated for an Emmy Award for best actor for their performances in this movie. After starring in Brian’s Song, he signed a seven-year contract with Motown’s Berry Gordy which was very beneficial to him. Williams rose to fame in the 1970s after appearing in several movies most of them being in the “blaxploitation” genre.
Billy Dee Williams Painting Career
Williams resumed painting in the late 1980s and devoted so much time to painting. In 1988, he went to New York and starred in a play called Fences which was produced and directed by August Wilson. Coming back home, he renewed his friendship with Peter Max who is a trained artist and sold art. Billy is also the honorary chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz based in Washington, D.C. Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is involved in fostering jazz education and uses its artwork for its competition programs since 1990.
In 1991, Williams had his very first solo exhibition which was followed by the world and North America. In 1992, he was motivated by Peter Max who is a painter and artist in starting a cookie jar collection. Since 1993 one of his self-portraits is at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution (Washington D.C.). He also painted several impressionistic portraits of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Quick Facts About Williams
|Age||85 years old as of 2022|
|Net Worth||$1 Million – $5 Million|
In the 1990s, he began his impressionistic portraits of the Tuskegee Airmen which made the Space Museum (NASM) and National Air want more and to use them in an exhibition. Furthermore, his art was displayed at the African-American Museum of Art, Culture, and History based in New Orleans. In early 2000, his art was displayed in the NASM based in Washington, D.C.
Williams did paintings for Walt Disney Company’s Mighty Ducks arena for the Anaheim Ducks in 1997. Williams also works alongside collage elements and has created three-dimensional canvasses that assimilate neon light, Lucite, and ceramic. As of 2019, Williams has painted over 300 paintings and most of them have helped him build a legacy for himself.
Billy Dee Williams Video Games
Being a multi-talented person as William is, he has also voiced several video games including Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Star Wars Battlefront as Lando Calrissian. He also voiced the spin-off Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron. In addition to that, he also played GDI Director Redmond Boyle, a live-action character in March 2007, game Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. In 2015, in Star Wars: Battlefront for the DLC pack Bespin William voiced Lando Calrissian. William voiced Colonel Jackson in the 2016 game Let It Die.
Billy Dee Williams Internet|Social Media
Williams extricated himself in a video on Funny or Die in a mock political ad in 2008 where he protected himself from vicious attack ads from Emperor Palpatine. He is also working on a web-based original series called Diary of a Single Mom since 2009.
Billy Dee Williams’s Age
Williams was born on April 6, 1937, in New York City, U.S. He is therefore 85 years old as of 2022.
Billy Dee Williams Height
Williams stands at an approximate height of 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Billy Dee Williams Family
Williams was born and raised by his mother, Loretta Anne, and father William December Williams Sr. His late mother worked at the Lyceum Theatre as an elevator operator and aspiring performer from Montserrat. Loretta Anne was born 0n 1915 and died in 2016 at the age of 101 years old. After studying opera for years, she became a well-known opera star who appeared in several movies.
His father was an African-American caretaker who was born in 1909 with some Native American ancestry from Texas and 1973. Growing up, he was raised alongside his twin sister, called Loretta. Billy and his sister, Loretta often stayed with their grandmother especially when their parents worked several jobs.
Billy Dee Williams Wife(-ves)
Over the years, Williams has been married thrice and from these marriages, has three children. His first wife was Audrey Sellers, Marlene Clark, and his third wife, Teruko Nakagami.
Williams and Audrey Sellers
Williams was married to his first wife, Audrey Sellers. During the time of their marriage, the two were blessed with a son called Corey Dee Williams who was born in 1960. The couple tied the knot in 1959 and divorced in 1963 when their son was only three years old. Williams also publicized that his divorce from Audrey left him depressed and broken and had to co-parent in raising their son with Audrey.
Williams and Marlene Clark
After divorcing Audrey in 1963, he married actress and model Marlene Clark in 1968 in Hawaii. The two called it quits and divorced in 1971 and Williams moved to California from New York that same year(1971). In addition to that, the two did not have children.
Williams and Teruko Nakagami
On December 27, 1972, Williams married Teruko Nakagami. Teruko has a daughter, Miyako from her previous marriage to Wayne Shorter who is a musician. In 1973, Teruko and William welcomed their daughter Hanako. In 1993, Williams filed for divorce from Teruko but got back together in 1997.
Billy Dee Williams Controversy|Case
On January 30, 1996, Williams was arrested after he allegedly assaulted his live-in girlfriend. After he posted a US$50,000 bail, the police stated that the assaulted lady only had minor scratches and bruises. After some time, his girlfriend wanted the police to drop the case and also stated that it was her fault. Williams later on publicized that he never abused or slapped her girlfriend in 2019.
Billy Dee Williams Sexuality|Gender Fluid
During a 2019, interview, Williams addressed his feminine side and used both feminine and masculine pronouns when referring to himself. This led to a lot of people thinking that he is gender fluid. However, he clarified this misunderstanding and stated that he is straight.
Billy Dee Williams’ Net Worth
Williams has an estimated net worth of between $7 Million – $10 Million which he has earned through his successful career as a painter, actor, and artist.
Billy Dee Williams Books
Williams is also an author and writer. He has written and authored quite a number of books since the late 1990s. Some of the books include;
- JUST/In Time which debuted in 2001
- a comic book called Batman 89
Billy Dee Williams Awards and Honors
- Black Reel Awards: Nom 2002 Theatrical – Best Supporting Actor for The Visit
- Image Award (1977) for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)
- (2018) Hollywood Legacy Award
- Behind the Voice Actors Awards(2017)
- ISA (2010) for Best Performance by a Guest Actor in Diary of a Single Mom (2009)
- Saturn Award (Nominee) (1981) for Best Supporting Actor in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- Inducted into the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame in 1984.
- TV Land Award (Winner) (2006) for Blockbuster Movie of the Week In Brian’s Song (1971)
- Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the arts in 2006.