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|Born||Michael T. Williamson
March 4, 1960
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
|Other names||Mykel T. Williamson|
|Spouse(s)||Sondra Spriggs (1997–present)
Cheryl Chisholm (1989–1991)
Olivia Brown (1983–1985)
Michael T. "Mykelti" Williamson (born March 4, 1960) is an American actor best known for his role as Benjamin Buford (Bubba) Blue in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, as Detective Bobby "Fearless" Smith in the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful crime drama Boomtown, as Baby-O in the 1997 film Con Air, as Brian Hastings, Director of CTU New York, for Season 8, the final season of the hit TV series 24, and recently as Ellstin Limehouse in the critically acclaimed Justified.
Williamson began performing at the age of nine. Along with acting, he also danced as an alternate member of The Lockers troupe on Soul Train along with Fred Berry (star of TV sitcom What's Happening!!). At age nine, Williamson relocated to Los Angeles with his family. While in high school he excelled in athletics, particularly football and basketball. However, acting was his first love and he pursued sports no farther than high school.
Williamson studied television/film at Los Angeles City College. He audited acting classes at USC under the tutelage of Dr. Frank X. Ford. Williamson later transferred to Gene Evans Motion Picture School in San Jose and earned his certificate in Cinematography/ Film Production.
Williamson began acting professionally as a child. His first TV appearances include "The Righteous Apples", Starsky and Hutch, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, China Beach, and Midnight Caller. His film debut was in Streets of Fire (1984). His credits include Wildcats (1986) with Goldie Hawn, Miracle Mile (1989), The First Power (1990) with Lou Diamond Phillips, Free Willy (1993), Forrest Gump (1994) Waiting to Exhale (1995), Heat (1995), Con Air (1997), Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997), "12 Angry Men (1198)"Three Kings (1999), Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999), Black Dynamite (2009) and The Final Destination (2009).
Williamson is best known as Private Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue in the Academy Award-winning 1994 film Forrest Gump. He also received favorable reviews when he played Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson in the HBO film Soul of the Game (1996).
Williamson has made many guest appearances in TV and film. His most recent film appearances have been Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Ali (2001),The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004), Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005) ATL (2006), August Rush (2007), Black Dynamite (2009) and The Final Destination (2009). He was Juror #10 in the 1997 TV movie remake of Twelve Angry Men (picking up the Ed Begley role). He also appeared in a short-lived TV series remake (CBS, 2000–2001) of the The Fugitive. CBS canceled the series after one season with a total of 22 episodes.
Williamson also starred in PBS's TV series The Righteous Apples. The show focuses on the activities of The Righteous Apples, five Boston-area high school musicians, who in a troubled world, seek to help people in distress. Williamson was the lead singer of the group in the show in which he was just a teenager at that time.
In 2002, he co-starred as Detective Bobby "Fearless" Smith in the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful crime drama Boomtown.
He was invited to join AMPAS in 2005.
In 2006, Williamson played the character Virgil Hayes, a body guard on the cancelled television drama series, Kidnapped.
Williamson was married to Miami Vice star Olivia Brown from July 2, 1983 – 1985. He later married Cheryl Chisholm in 1989 with whom he had his first child, Phoenix. He has been married to Sondra Spriggs since April 26, 1997; together they have two daughters, Nicole and Maya. In 1998, he was arrested for stabbing his ex-wife Cheryl Chisholm's partner Leroy Edwards. He was acquitted of attempted manslaughter but, in his own words, "I lost my home, which I sold to pay my lawyers, my car and basically lost my career," He appeared with Sondra Spriggs in the 1998 film Species II. The two were married during the filming of TNT's production of Buffalo Soldiers.
Williamson was interviewed on a television show called Celebrity Ghost Stories and told of a disturbing incident that happened to him in the early 1980s when he was a struggling young actor. It involved a childhood friend of his named Adrian who had been shot dead. Williamson said that shortly after his friend's death he received a collect phone call and recognized his friend's voice begging him for help. Williamson said he heard flames roaring in the background and eerie voices.