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Williamson at the Astoria Hotel in May 2003
|Born||Michael T. Williamson
March 4, 1957
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
|Other names||Mykel T. Williamson|
|Known for||Forrest Gump
|Spouse(s)||Sondra Spriggs (1997–present)
Cheryl Chisholm (1989–1991)
Olivia Brown (1983–1985)
Michael T. "Mykelti" Williamson (born March 4, 1957) is an American actor best known for his roles in the films Forrest Gump and Con Air, and the television shows Boomtown, 24, and Justified. In 2016, he portrayed Gabriel Maxson in Denzel Washington's acclaimed film adaptation of August Wilson's play Fences, reprising his role from the 2010 Broadway revival.
Williamson began performing at the age of nine. Along with acting, he also danced as an alternate member of The Lockers troupe on Soul Train along with Fred Berry (star of TV sitcom What's Happening!!). At age nine, Williamson relocated to Los Angeles with his family. While in high school he excelled in athletics, particularly football and basketball. However, acting was his first love and he pursued sports no farther than high school.
Williamson studied television/film at Los Angeles City College. He audited acting classes at USC under the tutelage of Dr. Frank X. Ford. Williamson later transferred to Gene Evans Motion Picture School in San Jose and earned his certificate in Cinematography/ Film Production.
Williamson began acting professionally as a child. His first TV appearances include The Righteous Apples, Starsky and Hutch, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, China Beach, and Midnight Caller. His film debut was in Streets of Fire (1984). His credits include Wildcats (1986) with Goldie Hawn, Miracle Mile (1989), The First Power (1990) with Lou Diamond Phillips, Free Willy (1993), Forrest Gump (1994) with Tom Hanks, Waiting to Exhale (1995), Heat (1995), Con Air (1997), Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997), William Friedkin's TV version of 12 Angry Men (1997), Three Kings (1999), Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999), Holiday Heart (2000), Black Dynamite (2009) and The Final Destination (2009).
Williamson is best known as Private Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue in the Academy Award-winning 1994 film Forrest Gump. He also received favorable reviews when he played Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson in the HBO film Soul of the Game (1996).
Williamson has made many guest appearances in TV and film. His most recent film appearances have been Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Ali (2001),The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004), Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005) ATL (2006), August Rush (2007), Black Dynamite (2009), The Final Destination (2009), and The Purge: Election Year (2016). He was Juror #10 in the 1997 TV movie remake of 12 Angry Men (picking up the Ed Begley role). He also appeared in a short-lived TV series remake (CBS, 2000–2001) of the The Fugitive. CBS canceled the series after one season with a total of 22 episodes.
Williamson also starred in PBS's TV series The Righteous Apples. The show focuses on the activities of The Righteous Apples, five Boston-area high school musicians, who in a troubled world, seek to help people in distress. Williamson was the lead singer of the group in the show in which he was just a teenager at that time.
In 2002, he co-starred as Detective Bobby "Fearless" Smith in the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful crime drama Boomtown.
He was invited to join AMPAS in 2005.
In 2006, Williamson played the character Virgil Hayes, a bodyguard on the cancelled television drama series Kidnapped.
Since October 2016, Williamson has a recurring role as Admiral Chernow in Designated Survivor.
Williamson was married to Miami Vice star Olivia Brown from July 2, 1983 – 1985. He later married Cheryl Chisholm in 1989 with whom he had his first child, Phoenix. He has been married to Sondra Spriggs since April 26, 1997; together they have two daughters, Nicole and Maya. Williamson appeared with Spriggs in the 1998 film Species II. The two were married during the filming of TNT's production of Buffalo Soldiers.
- "Today in history: March 4". MSNBC. AP. March 3, 2006. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
- Mykelti Williamson Biography (1960–)
- "24 Hires Mykelti Williamson to Take Charge of CTU". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2009-05-29.