Actor Clarence Williams III Dies At 81

Actor Clarence Williams III died Friday (June 4) following a battle with colon cancer. Williams, who played "Linc Hayes" in The Mod Squad series and as Prince’s father in Purple Rain, died at his home in Los Angeles, his manager Allan Mindel confirmed Sunday (June 6). 

Those who worked with and admired Williams took to social media to share their condolences and recall Williams’ on screen talent. 

“His artistry and sheer coolness was extraordinary. I will forever be in his debt for his brilliant performance in Tales From the Hood,” director Rusty Cundieff tweeted. “Loved working with him! Blessed travels good sir!”

Williams was born in New York in 1939 and was raised in a family of musicians and creatives. His grandparents were a jazz composer and pianist. Eva Taylor, his mother, was a singer and actress, His father was also a musician. 

He received a Tony nomination in 1964 for his Broadway performance in William Hanley’s Slow Dance on the Killing Ground

Williams’ five-decade career includes an eclectic resume with roles from comedy, action, thrillers and more. He played in Half Baked, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Twin Peaks, Deep Cover, Sugar Hill, The Butler, and appeared in several episodes of Tales from the Crypt, Miami Vice, and Everybody Hates Chris.

Photo: Getty Images

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