Williams became a blockbuster sci-fi legend with his role as Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back” & “Return of the Jedi”
Billy Dee Williams turns 84 today
Billy Dee Williams was born on April 6, 1937, in New York City. Having appeared on the Broadway stage as a child, he eventually developed a passion for acting as seen with an array of screen and stage work starting in the late 1950s. He received an Emmy nomination for his role in “Brian’s Song” (1971) and became a national heartthrob due largely to his turns opposite Diana Ross in “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972) and “Mahogany” (1975). He later became a blockbuster sci-fi legend with his role as Cloud City administrator Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and “Return of the Jedi” (1983). Williams has also appeared in critically acclaimed films like “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” (1976), “Nighthawks” (1981), and “Batman” (1989), in which he played Harvey Dent. In addition to his acting pursuits, Williams is a visual artist and painter. Williams has been married three times. His first marriage was to Audrey Sellers in 1959 and they were divorced some years later. They have a son, Corey Williams. In 1968, Williams married model and actress Marlene Clark in Hawaii. Their marriage lasted only two years and they divorced in 1971. He married Teruko Nakagami on December 27, 1972. She brought a daughter, Miyako from her previous marriage to musician Wayne Shorter. They have a daughter Hanako born in 1973.
By Ken Warren, 2018
Look back at Billy Dee Williams interview about “Return of the Jedi”
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