J. D. Williams

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J. D. Williams
J. D. Williams 2007.jpg
J. D. Williams in 2007
Born Darnell Williams
(1978-05-22) May 22, 1978 (age 40)
Newark, New Jersey
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1994–present
Known for "Bodie Broadus" in The Wire and Kenny Wangler in Oz

Darnell "J.D." Williams (born May 22, 1978) is an American actor from New Jersey. 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, and played a delivery man in a FedEx commercial.[8] He appeared as Lemond Bishop's Lieutenant "Dexter" in episodes of The Good Wife.



Year Title Role Notes
2017 Served Film Uncle Q Short film
2016 The Choir Police Officer Short film
Guns and Grams BK Credit only
2014 Shelter Drug Dealer
Cymbeline Quarry Cop 2
An American in Hollywood Dorian
2013 The Lost Book Of Rap Hassen Short film
Chinese Puzzle Le barman
2012 Surviving Family Bobby
Zoo Red
2011 After Hours: The Movie D.C.
Shanghai Hotel Thump
Happy New Year Jerome
2010 Code Blue Wicked
2009 Falling Awake D-Money
2008 Cash Rules Spike (J.D.) Direct-to-Video
2007 The Second Line Natt Short film
4 Life Pooh Direct-to-Video
2005 Two Guns Bill
2002 Durdy Game Little Man
Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler Abe
2001 Snipes J.D.
Popcorn Shrimp Bubba Short film
Pootie Tang Froggy
1999 The 24 Hour Woman Toy Store Clerk
1994 Death Riders Buzz Saw


Year Title Role Notes
2016–present Saints & Sinners Jabari Morris Main cast
2016 The Night Of Trevor Williams 4 episodes
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective Anton Jefferson 2 episodes
2015 Deadbeat Frank 1 episode; Hulu Original Series
2014 Black Box George 3 episodes
The Following Carlos 3 episodes
2012 Blue Bloods Benjamin Banks 1 episode
2010–2015 The Good Wife Dexter Roja 6 episodes
2010–2011 Detroit 1-8-7 Pup Clemmons 2 episodes
2009 Nite Tales: The Series Rapper 1 episode
2007 The Kill Point Mr. Cat/Marshall O'Brien, Jr. 8 episodes
2002–2006 The Wire Preston 'Bodie' Broadus 42 episodes
2001 Big Apple Derrick 1 episode
100 Centre Street William Floyd 2 episodes
2000 Sex and the City Sweet Sauce 1 episode
1999 Third Watch Pee Wee 1 episode
Homicide: Life on the Street Damon 'Casper' Kelly 1 episode
Trinity Malik 1 episode
The Sopranos Special K 1 episode
1998 Law & Order 2nd Kid 1 episode
1997–2000 Oz Kenny Wangler 23 episodes
1997 New York Undercover Victor 1 episode

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2008 Midnight Club: Los Angeles Henry
2005 True Crime: New York City N/A
The Warriors Additional Soldier


  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" ana | 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]