Dick Anthony Williams

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Dick Anthony Williams
Richard Anthony Williams

(1934-08-09)August 9, 1934
DiedFebruary 16, 2012(2012-02-16) (aged 77)
EducationHyde Park High School
Herzl Junior College
Years active1968–2010
Gloria Edwards (m. 1974–1988)
(2 children)

Dick Anthony Williams (born Richard Anthony Williams; August 9, 1934 – February 16, 2012)[1] was an American actor. Williams is known for his starring performances on Broadway in The Poison Tree, What the Wine-Sellers Buy and Black Picture Show. Williams won the 1974 Drama Desk Award for his performance in What the Wine-Sellers Buy, for which he was also nominated for a Tony Award, and was nominated in 1975 for both a Tony and a Drama Desk Award for his performance in Black Picture Show.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Born Richard Anthony Williams in Chicago, Williams was an actor in films and on television.[3] His best-known film roles include Pretty Tony in The Mack (1973), the limo driver in Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Denzel Washington's father in Mo' Better Blues (1990) and Officer Allen in Edward Scissorhands (1990), and his other film credits include Uptight (1968), The Anderson Tapes (1971), Who Killed Mary What's 'Er Name? (1971), Slaughter's Big Rip-Off (1973), Five on the Black Hand Side (1973), Deadly Hero (1975), The Deep (1977), An Almost Perfect Affair (1979), The Jerk (1979), The Night the City Screamed (1980), The Star Chamber (1983) Gardens of Stone (1987), as Diamond's father in The Player's Club (1998), and Roberto in Blood and Bone (2009).

In television, Williams guest starred in the Season 1 episode of Starsky & Hutch, "Kill Huggy Bear." He played the title character in the Phillip Hayes Dean drama Freeman, broadcast on PBS in October 1977. In the 1978 six-hour NBC docudrama King, about the life of Martin Luther King Jr., Williams played the role of Malcolm X. He guest starred on a number of TV shows including The Rockford Files, Cagney & Lacey, Lou Grant and Hart to Hart.

Williams was a regular cast member on the post World War II–era ABC primetime soap opera Homefront (1991-1993), appearing in all 42 episodes as chauffeur Abe Davis. In 1996, he played the father of Larry's assistant Beverley in an episode of The Larry Sanders Show. Williams also starred in the documentary film The Meeting, about two African-American political leaders (Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.) discussing the fate of black people in America.

In 1971-72, Williams appeared in Melvin Van Peebles' acclaimed off-Broadway musical "Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death."[4] One of Williams' co-stars in the production was actress Gloria Edwards (1944-1988). They married in 1974 and had two children, Jason Edward Williams and Mikah Lauren Williams. Edwards died of cancer in 1988.[5]

Selected filmography[edit]


Williams died on February 16, 2012 at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California, after a long illness.[6]


  1. ^ Dick Anthony Williams, Actor and Theater Producer, Dies at 77
  2. ^ IBDB Persons Awards, Dick Anthony Willians
  3. ^ Dick Anthony Williams on IMDb
  4. ^ "Pittsburgh Courier". 1 April 1972 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ ""Black Stars Mourn Death of Actress Gloria Edwards"". Jet. 21 March 1988.
  6. ^ http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2013/apr/16/noted-actor-dick-anthony-williams-dead-at-77/

External links[edit]