Billy Dee Williams made his first film debut in 1959. He starred in the movie the “The Last Angry Man,” opposite of Paul Muni, in which he portrayed a delinquent young man. Williams became one of America’s well-known African-American film actors during the 1970’s. He rose to stardom after his role in Brian’s Song (1971). In 1972, Williams starred as Billie Holiday’s husband Louis McKay in Motown Productions’ Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues. Williams had all the women mesmerized by his line “Are You Going to Let My Arm Fall Off?” Diana Ross starred in the movie opposite Williams, the movie become one of the highest grossing films of the year and received five Academy Award nominations. Later, Diana Ross and Williams starred in another film together, Mahogany. Williams has a trademark for having a deep smooth voice and charming charisma.
Williams has been married three times. His first marriage was to Audrey Sellers in 1959. They were divorced some years later, after which he apparently became quite depressed. Williams admitted to hitting a rough patch after his marriage.
Billy Dee has a very impressive array of film and television appearances over the past 50+ years. He is best known to international film audiences as the roguish Lando Calrissian in the last two episodes of the original Star Wars-trilogy.
Most people do not know it but Billy Dee Williams has a twin sister Loretta Williams was also classmates with actress/singer Diahann Carroll at New York City High School of the Performing Arts, the school that was featured on the popular television series Fame (1982).
Williams enjoys painting and showcasing his artistic abilities. Some of his work can be seen at his online gallery. He has had solo exhibitions in various galleries around the United States, and his work hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Schomburg Museum. Billy Dee Williams appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2014. At age 76 he showed people he still had a few good moves left. However, he had to withdraw from the competition due to prior back injuries.