University of California, Los Angeles (BA)
(m. 2000; div. 2011)
Cress Williams (born July 26, 1970) is an American actor, known for his roles in Prison Break and Close to Home. His most recent roles include Mayor Lavon Hayes on The CW series Hart of Dixie and the title character on The CW's Black Lightning. Williams is also best known for his recurring role as Terrence "Scooter" Williams on Fox's Living Single and as Inspector Atwon Babcock on Nash Bridges.
Early life and education
Williams was born in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany, to American parents. He took courses at Fullerton College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre from University of California, Los Angeles.
Williams acted in a 1990 Fullerton College production of William Shakespeare's tragedy, Othello, which was directed by Tom Blank. He also acted in another production in the same year at Fullerton College called Red Noses, a black comedy produced by Peter Barnes and directed by Michael Fields.
Williams has appeared on many TV series since 1994, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Beverly Hills, 90210, NYPD Blue, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, JAG, Living Single, Nash Bridges, Providence, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Veronica Mars, The West Wing, Close to Home, ER, and Grey's Anatomy. He was the fifth cast member in the original pilot for Will & Grace, playing Will's law firm partner, but was dropped during rehearsals because director Jim Burrows said they didn't need his character. He portrayed Talak'talan, a Jem'Hadar leader in the Star Trek series, in a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Jem'Hadar". Williams joined the Prison Break cast by playing The Company's assassin, Wyatt Mathewson. He appeared in the final season of Friday Night Lights as Ornette Howard, father of East Dillon's star quarterback Vince Howard. He also starred alongside Rachel Bilson on The CW series Hart of Dixie as former football star turned mayor Lavon Hayes.
From 2018 to 2021, he has ventured back into adaptations of DC Comics: As main character Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning on The CW's superhero TV series Black Lightning, which was integrated into Arrowverse's prime Earth during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and as John Henry Irons in the animated film The Death of Superman and its 2019 sequel, Reign of the Supermen. After his Black Lightning series concluded, he reprised the role on The Flash at the start of its eighth season as part of its "Armageddon" event.
On October 14, 2000, Williams married actress Simbi Khali in Malibu, California. The couple had two children and divorced in 2011. Williams married girlfriend Kristen Torrianni in June 2013. Williams and Torrianni also have two children together.
Film and TV Movies
|1995||The Doom Generation||Peanut|
|1996||2 Days in the Valley||Golfer|
|Rolling Thunder||'Grey' Toussaint||TV Movie|
|Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault||Kimbrough||TV Movie|
|1997||Home Invasion||Freemont||TV Movie|
|L.A. Johns||Bill Allen||TV Movie|
|Pants on Fire||Dream Guy||Short|
|1999||Never Been Kissed||George|
|2001||Pursuit of Happiness||Ace|
|2004||Little Black Book||Phil|
|2006||Haskett's Chance||Hudson Chanticleer|
|2008||Ball Don't Lie||Dante|
|2014||In Your Eyes||Jake|
|2018||The Death of Superman||John Henry Irons (voice)||Video|
|2019||Reign of the Supermen||Video|
|2020||The Violent Heart||Lee|
|1993–98||Living Single||Terrence 'Scooter' Williams||Recurring Cast|
|1993–94||Beverly Hills, 90210||D'Shawn Hardell||Recurring Cast: Season 4-5|
|1994||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Talak'talan||Episode: "The Jem'Hadar"|
|Hardball||'Spotlight' Davis||Episode: "See Spot Rum"|
|1995||The Watcher||-||Episode: "Resurrection/Niles and Bob/Harry Stenz"|
|If Not for You||Ahmed||Episode: "Snap!"|
|NYPD Blue||Silky||Episode: "A Murder with Teeth in It" & "One Big Happy Family"|
|1996||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Baron Sunday||Episode: "Never on Sunday"|
|JAG||Captain Overton||Episode: "The Brotherhood"|
|1997||Leaving L.A.||Dudley Adams||Recurring Cast|
|1998||Creature||Tall Man||TV Mini Series|
|Buddy Faro||Jaleel Jermaine||Episode: "Ain't That a Kick in the Head"|
|1998–08||ER||Officer Reggie Moore||Supporting Cast: Season 5-6, Guest: Season 14|
|1999||Becker||Chris Davis||Episode: "Blind Curve"|
|2000||Sports Night||Steve Sarris||Episode: "Dana Get Your Gun"|
|G vs E||Virgil Grissom||Episode: "Underworld"|
|2000–01||Nash Bridges||Inspector Antwon Babcock||Main Cast: Season 6|
|2001||Philly||Calvin Burney||Episode: "Loving Sons"|
|2001–02||Providence||Dr. Sam Magala||Recurring Cast: Season 4|
|2002||Presidio Med||Richard Clayton||Episode: "This Baby's Gonna Fly"|
|The District||Dr. Carson||Episode: "Drug Money"|
|2003||Touched by an Angel||Riley||Episode: "And a Nightingale Sang"|
|Watching Ellie||Dexter||Episode: "Buskers"|
|The Lyon's Den||Eddie||Episode: "Beach House"|
|2004||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sam Dufoy||Episode: "Careless"|
|House||Hospital Attorney||Episode: "Maternity"|
|2005–06||Veronica Mars||Nathan Woods||Recurring Cast: Season 2|
|The West Wing||Lester||Episode: "Undecideds" & "Election Day: Part 1"|
|2006–07||Close to Home||Detective Ed Williams||Main Cast: Season 2|
|2006–08||Grey's Anatomy||Tucker Jones||Recurring Cast: Season 2, 4|
|2008||Prison Break||Wyatt Matthewson||Recurring Cast: Season 4|
|2009||Cold Case||Jimmy Clarke||Episode: "Jurisprudence"|
|2010–11||Friday Night Lights||Ornette Howard||Recurring Cast: Season 5|
|2011||Hawthorne||Tony Gee||Episode: "Price of Admission" & "A Shot in the Dark"|
|2011–15||Hart of Dixie||Lavon Hayes||Main Cast|
|2015||State of Affairs||Dale Scott||Recurring Cast|
|2015–17||Code Black||Cole Guthrie||Recurring Cast: Season 1-2|
|2017||Doubt||A.D.A. Gates||Episode: "To See, To Tell"|
|2018–21||Black Lightning||Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning||Main Cast|
|2019–21||The Flash ||3 Episodes |
|2020||Legends of Tomorrow ||Episode: "Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part Five"|
- "All About Cress". Cress Williams Online. Retrieved 2012-09-29.[permanent dead link]
- "Fullerton College Centennial Celebration | Alumni Stories". fullertoncollegecentennial.com. Retrieved 2020-12-10.
- Smith, Mark Chalon (1990-06-19). "Fullerton College Lacks Breadth for Black Comedy `Red Noses'". Los Angeles Times.
- "Paley Celebrates Pride: Will & Grace at PaleyFest LA: Full Conversation". Retrieved 21 January 2023.
- "The Jem'Hadar". Star Trek. Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
- Nikki. "Cress Williams to Join Prison Break Season 4 as Assassin". Prison Break Buff. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Del Rosario, Alexandra (25 August 2021). "'The Flash': Lineup of Superheroes & Villains Revealed For 5-Part Season 8 Launch Event". Deadline. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
- "Wed". Passages. People. Time Inc. 54 (22). November 27, 2000. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Johnson, Zach (June 17, 2013). "Cress Williams Marries Kristen Torrianni: Wedding Pictures and Details". Us Weekly. American Media, Inc. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Lang, Brent (2021-10-12). "Kellan Lutz, Anne Heche, Cress Williams to Star in Murder Mystery 'What Remains' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2022-11-23.
- Agard, Chancellor (November 15, 2019). "Black Lightning grabs [Spoiler] in new 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' promo". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
- Byrne, Craig (November 6, 2021). "The Flash "Armageddon, Part 2" Description: Guest Starring Black Lightning!". FlashTVNews.