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Clarence Williams III
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Clarence Williams III

Clarence Williams III has a chance to bring history to life playing Jelly Roll Morton, the man who claimed he single-handedly invented jazz. Here, Jelly Roll Morton enters the realm of fable, challenging 1900 to a piano duel that becomes a war of sizzle.

Williams was born in Harlem into a family of jazz musicians but instead became an actor. He rose to international fame in the 60s as the ultra-hip undercover cop Linc in the influential television series The Mod Squad. Since then, Williams has enjoyed a diverse career, most recently starring in Life with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence and The General's Daughter with John Travolta. He will next be seen in John Frankenheimer's Reindeer Games with John Cusack.

Among Williams' many film credits are the role of Prince's father in Purple Rain, the Harlem crime drama Sugar Hill, Hoodlum with Tim Roth, The Brave, Deadfall, Deep Cover, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, The Immortals, Half Baked, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, 52 Pick-Up and Tough Guys Don't Dance.

On television he starred in the seminal David Lynch series Twin Peaks, in the remake of The Love Bug, in The Return of The Mod Squad, as well as in such telefilms as George Wallace, The Legend of Earl Manigualt, Encino Woman, Against The Wall, Father & Son: Dangerous Relations and The Last Innocent Man.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Clarence Williams III Facts

BirthdayAugust 21, 1939 (82)
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.