Clarence Williams III, best known for playing undercover cop in TV series The Mod Squad, passes away at 81

Clarence Williams III, best known for playing undercover cop in TV series The Mod Squad, passes away at 81
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Clarence Williams III, best known for playing undercover cop in TV series The Mod Squad, passes away at 81

Clarence Williams III, who performed the frosty undercover cop Linc Hayes on the counterculture series The Mod Squad and Prince’s father in Purple Rain, has died. He was once 81.

Williams died Friday at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with colon most cancers, his supervisor Allan Mindel talked about Sunday. Tributes obtained proper right here snappily on social media from each those who labored with Williams and those who admired him for his trailblazing roles and impactful performances.

Tales from the Hood director Rusty Cundieff tweeted that his disappointment over Williams’ passing, “cannot be overstated. His artistry and sheer coolness was once exceptional. I’ll without end be in his debt for his vibrant efficiency in Tales From the Hood. Cherished working with him! Blessed travels unbiased sir!”

Lenny Kravitz wrote on Twitter, “After I was a toddler rising up in NYC Clarence Williams III was once a face on TV that I recognized with and that impressed me. From the Mod Squad, to Purple Rain and Sugar Hill, he repeatedly carried out with dynamic power. Leisure in power, king.”

Director Peyton Reed tweeted that he labored with Williams on the TV film The Esteem Computer virus in 1995.

“I had grown up looking at him as Linc in The Mod Squad and thought he was once the epitome of frosty. Seems he was once. Leisure In Peace, Clarence,” Reed wrote.

An area of Contemporary York, Williams occupation spanned over 5 a long time in theater, tv and film. He was once born right into a ingenious family in 1939 and raised by his musical grandparents. His grandfather was once a jazz composer and pianist, his father a musician and his mother, Eva Taylor, a singer and actress. He bought his performing begin on Broadway after a stint as a paratrooper and obtained a Tony nomination for his attribute in William Hanley’s Insensible Dance on the Killing Ground in 1964.

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His breakout attribute would advance with The Mod Squad, which he led with Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole. Bill Cosby had seen Williams slay and educated Aaron Spelling he should take into story him for the attribute of Linc. The mutter ran from on ABC from 1968 through 1973. A trailblazing mutter for trying to exclaim the hippie technology of the time, The Mod Squad was once a superstar-maker for all three. However roles had been not like a flash to get a research for Williams.

He regarded on Broadway reverse Maggie Smith in Tom Stoppard’s Evening and Day in 1979 sooner than getting solid because the scared father in Purple Rain, which obtained proper right here out in 1984.

Director John Frankenheimer would flip right into a frequent collaborator. They first teamed up for his adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 52 Make a choice-Up at a time when Williams was once not having worthy unbiased right fortune in Hollywood and crashing on Cosby’s sofa to discount a roof over his head.

“He requested me to be taught for the share of one of many blackmailers, nonetheless after handiest 4 traces, he educated me to pause,” Williams recalled in a 1999 interview. “I believed it was once at some degree of, nonetheless he talked about, ‘Have your agent title me. This will perchance perchance perchance perchance perchance be a 10-week shoot. Thanks for coming in.’ That was once it.”

Williams additionally regarded in Frankenheimer’s Towards the Wall, Reindeer Video games and a few episodes of Tales from the Crypt.

Williams may perchance perchance insist a unfold of genres, together with comedy. He performed a drug lord reverse Dave Chappelle in Half of Baked and stole scenes in Keenen Ivory Wayans’ blaxploitation parody film I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. He additionally had a recurring attribute because the FBI agent in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks who tells Agent Cooper he’s been suspended.

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Diversified film roles integrated Tales from the Hood, Deep Veil, Sugar Hill, The Similar earlier’s Daughter, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and an uncredited attribute in American Gangster. And he had many, many tv appearances on your complete lot from Miami Vice and Hill Avenue Blues to Everybody Hates Chris and Justified.

He was once married to the actress Gloria Foster from 1967 to 1984.

Williams by no plot fretted over his longtime affiliation with The Mod Squad, although.

“All most people uncover out about me is the 2 hours they’ve invested in a film present or the time spent in entrance of their TV,” he talked about in an interview in 1999. “There’s so worthy leisure out there upright now, it’s complicated to destroy through and switch into share of the nationwide consciousness. It’s nice to be recognized, and I do not get any mission with it in any admire.”

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