Cress Williams

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Cress Williams
Cress Williams SDCC 2017.jpg
Born (1970-07-26) July 26, 1970 (age 51)
EducationUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Years active1990–present
(m. 2000; div. 2011)

Kristen Torrianni
(m. 2013)

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.

Early life and education[edit]

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.[1][2]


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.[3]

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 portrayed Talak'talan, a Jem'Hadar leader in the Star Trek series, in a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Jem'Hadar".[4] Williams joined the Prison Break cast by playing The Company's assassin, Wyatt Mathewson.[5] 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, set in the Arrowverse, 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.[6]

Personal life[edit]

On October 14, 2000, Williams married actress Simbi Khali in Malibu, California.[7] The couple had two children and divorced in 2011. Williams married girlfriend Kristen Torrianni in June 2013.[8] Williams and Khali had 2 children (a boy and a girl) and he went on to have two more with Torrianni.



Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Doom Generation Peanut
1996 2 Days in the Valley Golfer
1997 Pants on Fire Dream Guy Short film
1998 Fallen Detective Joe
1999 Never Been Kissed George
The Dogwalker K.C.
2001 Pursuit of Happiness Ace
2004 Little Black Book Phil
2006 Haskett's Chance Hudson Chanticleer
2008 Ball Don't Lie Dante
2016 Lowriders Detective Williams
2018 The Death of Superman John Henry Irons Direct-to-video film
2019 Reign of the Supermen John Henry Irons/Steel Direct-to-video film
2020 The Violent Heart Lee
TBA The Last Job Billy


Year Title Role Notes
1993–1998 Living Single Terrence 'Scooter' Williams 10 episodes
1993–1994 Beverly Hills, 90210 D'Shawn Hardell 13 episodes
1994 Hardball 'Spotlight' Davis Episode: "See Spot Rum"
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Talak'talan Episode: "The Jem'Hadar"
1995 The Watcher Episode: "Resurrection/Niles and

Bob/Harry Stenz"

1995 If Not for You Ahmed Episode: "Snap!"
1995 NYPD Blue Silky 2 episodes
1996 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Baron Sunday Episode: "Never on Sunday"
1996 JAG Captain Overton Episode: "The Brotherhood"
1996 Rolling Thunder 'Grey' Toussaint Television film
1996 Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault Kimbrough
1997 Home Invasion Freemont
1997 L.A. Johns Bill Allen Unsold pilot
1997 Leaving L.A. Dudley Adams 6 episodes
1998 Creature Tall Man Television film
1998 Buddy Faro Jaleel Jermaine Episode: "Ain't That a Kick in the Head"
1998–2008 ER Officer Reggie Moore 14 episodes
1999 Becker Chris Davis Episode: "Blind Curve"
2000 Sports Night Steve Sarris Episode: "Dana Get Your Gun"
2000 G vs E Virgil Grissom Episode: "Underworld"
2000 Masquerade Marcus Television film
2000–2001 Nash Bridges Inspector Antwon Babcock 22 episodes
2001 Philly Calvin Burney Episode: "Loving Sons"
2001–2002 Providence Dr. Sam Magala 8 episodes
2002 Couples Marcus Unsold pilot
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"
2005–2006 Veronica Mars Nathan Woods 4 episodes
The West Wing Lester 2 episodes
2006–2007 Close to Home Ed Williams 20 episodes
2006–2008 Grey's Anatomy Tucker Jones 7 episodes
2008 Prison Break Wyatt Matthewson 9 episodes
2009 Cold Case Jimmy Clarke Episode: "Jurisprudence"
2010–2011 Friday Night Lights Ornette Howard 10 episodes
2011 Hawthorne Tony Gee 2 episodes
2011–2015 Hart of Dixie Lavon Hayes 76 episodes
2015 Code Black Cole Guthrie 6 episodes
2017 Doubt A.D.A. Gates Episode: "To See, To Tell"
2018–2021 Black Lightning Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning Lead role
2019, 2021 The Flash[9] "Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part Three"
2020 Legends of Tomorrow[9] "Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part Five"


  1. ^ "All About Cress". Cress Williams Online. Retrieved 2012-09-29.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Fullerton College Centennial Celebration | Alumni Stories". Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  3. ^ Smith, Mark Chalon (1990-06-19). "Fullerton College Lacks Breadth for Black Comedy `Red Noses'". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ "The Jem'Hadar". Star Trek. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Wed". Passages. People. Time Inc. 54 (22). November 27, 2000. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Johnson, Zach (June 17, 2013). "Cress Williams Marries Kristen Torrianni: Wedding Pictures and Details". Us Weekly. American Media, Inc. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  9. ^ a b 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.

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