Hal Williams

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Hal Williams
Hal Williams.jpg
Williams at The Waltons 40th Anniversary, 2012.
Halroy Candis Williams

(1938-12-14) December 14, 1938 (age 80)
Years active1969–present
Renee Himes (m. 1978–1984)

Gay Anderson (m. 1975–1976)

Halroy Candis Williams (born December 14, 1938) is an American actor, best known for his recurring role as Police Officer Smith ("Smitty") on Sanford and Son (1972–76) and as the patriarch Lester Jenkins, the husband of Marla Gibbs's character, on the NBC sitcom 227 (1985–90).

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Williams worked as a postal worker and corrections officer before moving to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.[1]


Williams started in the acting business in 1969. Since then, he has appeared in movies such as Paul Schrader's Hardcore, Howard Zieff's Private Benjamin (he also portrayed the role of Sgt L.C. "Ted" Ross in the television series of the same name), and Clint Eastwood's The Rookie. He was controversially fired from The Jimmy Stewart Show in 1971 at the insistence of its star, James Stewart.[2] In the early to mid-1990s, he starred in many of comic Sinbad's productions, including The Sinbad Show and The Cherokee Kid. He played the grandfather in the Bernie Mac film Guess Who.

His other television credits include Moonlight, Moesha, Suddenly Susan, Minor Adjustments, L.A. Law, Night Court, Magnum, P.I., Hill Street Blues, Gimme a Break, The Jeffersons, The Dukes of Hazzard, T.J. Hooker, The Waltons, Knots Landing, The White Shadow, What's Happening!!, Good Times, Quincy, M.E., Kung Fu, S.W.A.T., Gunsmoke, That Girl, and Sanford and Son.

Williams is also the host of the annual Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation nationally televised telethon. Hal Williams was also on the show 227 with his co-Stars Marla Gibbs and Jackée Harry.

Selected credits[edit]


Year Production Role Theater(s) Notes
1981 Nevis Mountain Dew Boise McCanles Los Angeles Actors Theatre


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Cool Breeze Harry, Policeman Uncredited
1974 Herbie Rides Again
1979 Hardcore Big Dick Blaque
1980 On the Nickel Paul
1980 Private Benjamin Sgt. L.C. Ross
1982 The Escape Artist Cop at Mayor's Office
1990 The Rookie Powell
2005 Guess Who Howard Jones
2011 Night Club Resident Playing Cards at Casino Night
2012 Flight Whip's Dad Voice


  1. ^ "Small role led Hal Williams to big part on NBC's hit '227'". Frederick News Post. Associated Press. 3 September 1987. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ James Stewart: A Biography by Donald Dewey (Turner Publishing, Atlanta, 1996, page 454)

External links[edit]