J. D. Williams

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This article is about the contemporary television actor. For the early film producer see James Dixon Williams. For the British home shopping company see N Brown Group. Not to be confused with soap opera actor Darnell Williams.
J. D. Williams
J. D. Williams 2007.jpg
Born Darnell Williams
(1978-05-22) May 22, 1978 (age 38)
Newark, New Jersey
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Known for Playing Preston "Bodie Broadus" in The Wire and Kenny Wangler in Oz

Darnell "J.D." Williams (born May 22, 1978) is an American actor from New York. Best known for his starring roles in the HBO television programs Oz as Kenny Wangler, The Wire as Bodie Broadus and Pootie Tang as froggy.

Early life[edit]

Williams was born in Newark, New Jersey. He attended Newark Arts High School, a performing arts public school in Newark, New Jersey.[1] He portrayed a biracial 15-year-old dealing with racism and his father's infidelity in the play A.M. Sunday in late 2003 at Baltimore's Centerstage theater.[2] He had a number of cameos and leading roles in R&B and hip-hop music videos between 2002 and 2005.[3][4]


Williams appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street, a show based on a book by The Wire creator David Simon, where he guest-starred as Casper in the episode "The Why Chromosome".[5] He had a small guest starring role in The Sopranos episode "46 Long" as Special K, an incompetent stickup man and one of Brendan Filone's goons.[4] He went on to play series regular, inmate Kenny Wangler, in the first four seasons of Oz.[6] He then appeared in HBOs The Wire as Bodie Broadus, a Barksdale Organization drug dealer who slowly rises through the ranks throughout the seasons.[6][7] In preparation for the role, he walked around Baltimore's inner city during the middle of the night a few days before the first taping; talking about this to AllHipHop, Williams stated "it was like 12 or 1:00 in the morning. I just threw on a black hoodie and walked around. I went to one of their hoods and watched that night. I learned not to do that no more, I was lucky I made it back that night."[4] He is older than his character by 8 years.[3]

According to his original HBO bio, he is credited with appearing in the film Graffiti Bridge, but a 2003 interview with AllHipHop revealed that Williams was not in the movie.[4] The page no longer exists, however. Tevin Campbell filled the cameo role with which Williams was credited.

Williams has had leading roles or cameo appearances in a number of R&B and hip-hop music videos. He has appeared as himself, a love interest, and characters resembling his role as a drug dealer on The Wire.[3][4]

In 2012, Williams had a major supporting role in the indie film Surviving Family as the ex-boyfriend of the main character. His character was a wounded veteran of the war in Iraq who had lost an eye in an IED attack and suffered from PTSD.

He has starred in a number of commercials; most recently played a delivery man in a FedEx commercial.[8] most recently appeared as Lemond Bishop's Lieutenant "Dexter" in episodes of The Good Wife.



Year Title
1994 Death Riders
1999 24 Hour Woman
2001 Pootie Tang
2001 Popcorn Shrimp
2001 Snipes
2002 Durdy Game
2003 Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler
2005 Two Guns
2005 The Warriors
2006 Shanghai Hotel
2007 4 Life
2008 Cash Rules
2009 Falling Awake
2010 Code Blue
2010 Happy New Year
2011 Sex, Money and You Already Know
2012 An American in Hollywood
2012 Surviving Family
2016 Guns and Grams


Year Title Notes
1997 New York Undercover one episode
1998 Law & Order one episode
1999 The Sopranos one episode
1999 Trinity one episode
1999 Homicide: Life on the Street one episode
1999 Third Watch one episode
2000 Sex and the City one episode
1997–2000 Oz twenty-three episodes
2000 Big Apple one episode
2001 100 Centre Street two episode
2002–2006 The Wire forty-two episodes
2006 Rap City three episodes
2008 The Kill Point eight episodes
2010, 2011 Detroit 1-8-7 two episodes
2010–2015 The Good Wife six episodes
2013 Blue Bloods one episode
2014 The Following two episodes
2016 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit one episode
2016 Saints & Sinners Series regular
2016 The Night Of multiple episodes

Music videos[edit]

Theater roles[edit]


  1. ^ Colaneri, Katie (July 5, 2012). ""Super Summer" Arrives In Newark". WBGO. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Marks, Peter (December 10, 2003). "In 'A.M. Sunday,' an Enigma Wrapped in a Family". The Washington Post. highBeam Research. Archived from the original on 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Yue, Jordan (June 12, 2012). "J.D. Williams: "I Didn't Want to Keep Doing Characters That Were Evil" | News". BET. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Dove (September 19, 2004). "JD Williams: Walking The Wire". AllHipHop. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ TV.com. "Homicide: Life on the Street - Season 7, Episode 21: The Why Chromosome". TV.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Bianculli, David (May 29, 2002). "HBO Show Arrives Under 'The Wire' - Baltimore crime drama suffers by comparison". NY Daily News. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Spitz, Marc (June 4, 2012). "Maxim Interrogates the Makers and Stars of The Wire". Maxim. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  8. ^ Rahman, Ray (September 19, 2011). "Watch The Wire's Bodie Push Weight in a FedEx Commercial". Vulture. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 

External links[edit]