Main Details







Clarence Williams III [edit]

Actor -

Born [edit]

August 21, 1939 in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Died [edit]

June 4, 2021 in Los Angeles, California, USA (colon cancer)

Mini Bio (1) [edit]

Born on August 21, 1939, the son of a displaced musician, Harlem-born African-American actor Clarence Williams III was raised by his musical grandparents, the legendary jazz and boogie-woogie composer/pianist Clarence Williams, who wrote such classics as "T'Aint Nobody's Business If I Do" and "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home," and blues singer Eva Taylor. While attending a local YMCA as a teen, Williams became interested in dramatics.

After a two-year hitch [edit]

with the U.S. Air Force, he started up his acting career, making a minor New York stage debut with "The Long Dream" in 1960. He continued impressively with roles in "Walk in Darkness" (1963), "Sarah and the Sax" (1964) and "Doubletalk" (1964), and capped his early career with a Theatre World Award and Tony-nomination for the three-person play "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground" (1964). Continuing on with powerful work in "Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?" (1966) and "King John," Vietnam-era Hollywood finally began to take notice of his "angry young man" charisma.

His casting [edit]

as former delinquent-turned-undercover cop Linc Hayes on the highly popular TV cop series Mod Squad (1968) along with fellow white partners Michael Cole and Peggy Lipton was a huge break for all three relative unknowns. Sporting a huge Afro, paisley shirts, dark shades and spouting catchprase language like "dig it" and "solid," the gap-toothed Linc (and his mod partners) showed the requisite anti-establishment defiance and coolness to attract the hip generation--while still playing good guys.

Following the series [edit]

' demise in 1973, he purposely avoided the "blaxploitation" Hollywood scene and returned to the stage, notably on Broadway opposite Maggie Smith in Tom Stoppard's play "Night and Day" (1979). In the 80s he launched an enviable character career in films, often playing a cool, streetwise character or threatening menace. Among his better-known on-screen assignments is the role of Prince's abusive father in Purple Rain (1984), a burnt-out political activist in the spoof I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), the recurring part of Roger Hardy in the twisted cult TV series Twin Peaks (1990), a good-guy cop in Deep Cover (1992), an rioter in the Attica-themed mini-series Against the Wall (1994) and Wesley Snipes heroin-addicted dad in Sugar Hill (1993), among others. Powerful roles on such shows as "Law & Order," "Profiler" and "Judging Amy" has kept him strongly in the limelight.

Millennium acting work [edit]

included solid performances in the films Reindeer Games (2000), Ritual (2000), Blue Hill Avenue (2001), The Extreme Team (2003), Constellation (2005), The Blue Hour (2007),The Way of War (2009), A Day in the Life (2009), Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) and American Nightmares (2018), as well as his interesting role as mysterious book store manager Philby in the lengthy Mystery Woman: Mystery Woman (2003) series of TV movies (2003-2007). Clarence also made guest appearances on TV programs: "Cold Case," "Memphis Beat," "Justified" and "Empire," to name a few.

Presently wed to wife Kelly [edit]

, Clarence was first married to actress Gloria Foster (1967-1984). The two appeared together in the movie The Cool World (1963). Following their divorce, they remained friendly and, upon her death in 2001, it was he who made the formal announcement. His married second wife Kelly
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh /

Spouse (2) [edit]

Gloria Foster (November 1967 - 1984) divorced

Trivia (5) [edit]

Grandson of jazz and blues entertainers Clarence Williams and Eva Taylor.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1965 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground."
Co-starred in Hoodlum (1997), which starred Laurence Fishburne as Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson. Williams later played Bumpy Johnson in American Gangster (2007).
His wife Kelly is 37 years his junior.
Best remembered by the public for his role as Linc Hayes on Mod Squad (1968).

Personal Quotes (2) [edit]

"Ben's lady Gwyneth flew in to see him all the time on the set. They would be standing in the snow holding hands. People would gasp because it was like the Golden Couple had arrived. Standing there were two Oscar winners. They're gorgeous, they have lots of money and fame. You almost wanted to bow to them". - on Ben Affleck, his co-star in Reindeer Games (2000), and Gwyneth Paltrow.
[on appearing in 'The Mod Squad'] I know a little about the street. I used to write numbers. I've seen police take bribes.I do know that a lot of officers love to get these jobs in the ghetto because they can shake people down. I know what's going on, but that has nothing to do with a TV show. I'm not appearing on the show each and every week to seduce people into believing in their police departments.

First Name
Middle Name
Last Name
Full Name at Birth
Clarence Williams III
Other Names
Clarence Williams III
81 (age at death)
Date of Birth
Date of Death
Location of Death
Cause of Death
Eye Color
Hair Color
Net Worth
$2,000,000 USD
Star Sign
Occupation Category
Claim to Fame
Lincoln "Linc" Hayes on The Mod Squad
Year(s) Active
1960–2018Kohn, Eric (July 13, 2018). "'Tales From the Hood' Director Rusty Cundieff: Why It Took 20 Years to Make a Sequel to His Black Horror Anthology". IndieWire. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.</ref>
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