Mykelti Williamson

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Mykelti Williamson
Mykelti Williamson (31627443022).jpg
Williamson in 2016
Michael T. Williamson

(1957-03-04) March 4, 1957 (age 64)
Other namesMykel T. Williamson
Years active1978–present
(m. 1983; div. 1985)
Cheryl Chisholm
(m. 1989; div. 1991)
Sondra Spriggs
(m. 1997)

Michael T. "Mykelti" Williamson (born March 4, 1957) is an American actor best known for his roles in the films Forrest Gump, Con Air and Ali, 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.

His other notable roles include Free Willy, Heat, Lucky Number Slevin, Three Kings, Black Dynamite, The Final Destination, ATL, Species II, and The Purge: Election Year.

Early life[edit]

Williamson was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the son of Elaine, a certified public accountant, and a father who was an Air Force Non-Commissioned Officer.[1]

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. He studied television and film at Los Angeles City College. He audited acting classes at USC under the tutelage of Dr. Frank X. Ford Williamson, and was later transferred to Gene Evans Motion Picture School in San Jose, earning his certificate in Cinematography/Film Production.[citation needed]


Williamson began acting professionally as a child. His first TV appearances include Starsky and Hutch, Father Murphy, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, China Beach, and Midnight Caller. Perhaps his best-known television role was as program director Donovan Aderhold in the syndicated series The New WKRP in Cincinnati. 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.

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), Soul of the Game (1996) with Delroy Lindo, 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), The Final Destination (2009), and The Purge: Election Year (2016).

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 included Ali (2001),The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004), Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005), ATL (2006), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), August Rush (2007), High School (2010), Convergence (2015), and Fences (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 The Fugitive (CBS, 2000–2001). CBS cancelled the series after one season with a total of 22 episodes.

In 2002, he co-starred as Detective Bobby "Fearless" Smith in the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful crime drama Boomtown.

Between 2007 and 2009, he appeared in seven episodes of CSI: NY as Chief Sinclair, reuniting him with his Forrest Gump co-star Gary Sinise. He was a main character in season 8 of 24 starring as Brian Hastings, the special agent in charge of the New York CTU.[2]

He had a recurring role as Ellstin Limehouse on the FX drama Justified. He was also cast as a homeless man named Terry in the third season of the ABC drama Nashville. Since October 2016, Williamson has had a recurring role as Admiral Chernow in Designated Survivor. In 2017, he began appearing on Chicago P.D..[3]

Personal life[edit]

Williamson was married to Miami Vice star Olivia Brown from July 2, 1983 until they divorced in 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. The two were married during the filming of TNT's production of Buffalo Soldiers.

Williamson was charged with attempted murder in 1998 after he stabbed his ex-wife's boyfriend. He was acquitted of the charge.[4]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 Sunnyside Hot Dog
1984 Streets of Fire B.J. - The Sorels
1986 Wildcats Levander 'Bird' Williams
1986 The Delta Force Delta Force Member Uncredited
1987 Number One with a Bullet Casey
1987 You Talkin' to Me? Thatcher Marks
1988 Miracle Mile Wilson
1990 The First Power Detective Oliver Franklin
1993 Free Willy Dwight Mercer
1994 Forrest Gump Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue
1995 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Dwight Mercer
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Winston
1995 Heat Sergeant Drucker
1995 Waiting to Exhale Troy
1997 Truth or Consequences, N.M. Marcus Weans
1997 Con Air Baby-O
1997 Double Tap Agent Hamilton
1998 Primary Colors Dewayne Smith
1998 Species II Dennis Gamble
1998 Gideon Coleman Walker
1999 Three Kings Colonel Horn
2001 Ali Don King
2004 The Assassination of Richard Nixon Harold Mann
2004 After the Sunset Agent Stafford
2005 Get Rich or Die Tryin' Charlene's Stepfather Uncredited
2006 Lucky Number Slevin Sloe
2006 Fatwa Grady Frank
2006 ATL Uncle George
2007 Spinning into Butter Aaron Carmichael
2007 August Rush Reverend James
2008 Ball Don't Lie Dallas
2008 Vice Sampson
2009 Black Dynamite Chicago Wind
2009 The Final Destination George Lanter
2010 High School Paranoid
2014 Hollows Grove F.B.I. Agent Jones
2015 Convergence Captain Miller
2015 You Bury Your Own Detective Goodman
2016 The Purge: Election Year Joe Dixon
2016 Fences Gabriel Maxson [5]
2018 Run the Race Coach Hailey
2018 Canal Street Jackie Styles
2018 Saint Judy Dikembe Mustafa
2018 Thriller Detective Raymond Johnson
2019 Don't Let Go Bobby Owens
2020 Emperor Truesdale
2020 The 24th Sgt. Hayes
2020 Butter Professor Dunn[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Starsky & Hutch Bruce Episode: "Black and Blue"
1978 Salvage 1 Eddie Episode: "Golden Orbit: Part 1"
1979–1981 The White Shadow Fred/Malcolm Gruner 2 episodes
1980 The Righteous Apples Charles "Big Neck" McMorris Unknown episodes
1981 Freebie and the Bean Lemar Washington Episode: "Highway Robbery"
1981 Father Murphy Lijah Episode: "Establish Thou the Works of Our Hands"
1982 Desperate Lives Jack Television film
1983 Alice Player #1 Episode: "Carrie on the Rebound"
1983–1984 Bay City Blues Deejay Cunningham 8 episodes
1983–1986 Hill Street Blues Officer Ron Garfield/Raymond Hawkins Jr. 9 episodes
1984 Gimme a Break! Waiter Episode: "Nell's Birthday"
1984–1985 Cover Up Rick 19 episodes
1984–1985 Miami Vice Sylvio Romulus/Leon Jefferson 2 episodes
1986 The Love Boat James Russell 2 episodes
1987 J.J. Starbuck Calvin Episode: "First You've Got to Go to the Picnic"
1987–1988 The Bronx Zoo Gus Butterfield 21 episodes
1988 Police Story: Monster Manor Officer Don Luntner Television film
1988–1991 Midnight Caller Deacon Bridges 47 episodes
1989 China Beach Jean Jacques Rousseau 2 episodes
1990 A Killer Among Us Greg Hopkins Television film
1991–1993 The New WKRP in Cincinnati Donovan Aderhold 44 episodes
1994 Time Trax Luther Bell Episode: "Cool Hand Darien"
1995 The Outer Limits Dr. Michael Alders Episode: "The Second Soul"
1996 Soul of the Game Josh Gibson Television film
1997 12 Angry Men Juror #10 Television film
1997 Buffalo Soldiers Cpl. William Christy Television film
1999 Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years Papa Delany Television film
1999–2000 The Hoop Life Marvin Buxton 22 episodes
2000 Holiday Heart Silas Television film
2000–2001 The Fugitive Lt. Philip Gerard 23 episodes
2002 Our America Graham Ellis Television film
2002 Touched by an Angel Tevis Lockwood Episode: "Ship-in-a-Bottle"
2002–2003 Boomtown Detective Bobby "Fearless" Smith 24 episodes
2004 Monk Captain Walter Cage Episode: "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan"
2005 Third Watch Detective Dante Rice 2 episodes
2006 Justice Joshua Mortin Episode: "Prior Convictions"
2006–2007 Kidnapped Virgil Hayes 13 episodes
2007 Raines Detective Bobby "Fearless" Smith Episode: "Pilot"
2007–2009 CSI: NY Chief Brigham Sinclair 7 episodes
2009 Psych Coach Sammy Winslow Episode: "Any Given Friday Night at 10PM, 9PM Central"
2010 24 Brian Hastings 17 episodes
2010 The Good Wife Mathew Wade[7] Episode: "On Tap"
2011 Have a Little Faith Donnie Television film
2011 Rizzoli & Isles U.S. Marshal Whitmore Episode: "Don't Stop Dancing, Girl"
2012 Single Ladies Pierce Episode: "All or Nothing"
2012–2015 Justified Ellstin Limehouse 18 episodes
2013 Touch Detective Lang 4 episodes
2014 Scorpion General Ned Walker Episode: "Plutonium Is Forever"
2014 Nashville Terry George 4 episodes
2015–2016 Hawaii Five-0 Clay Maxwell 2 episodes
2016 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Brigadier General Yazee Zwane Episode: "Iqiniso"
2016 Underground Moses 6 episodes
2016–2017 Designated Survivor Admiral Chernow 3 episodes
2017 Rebel Rene Knight 5 episodes
2017–2018 Chicago P.D. Lieutenant Denny Woods 14 episodes
2018 Insecure Preacher Episode: "Obsessed-Like"
2018–2019 Lethal Weapon Tom Barnes 4 episodes
2021 Law & Order: Organized Crime Preston Webb 1 episode[8]


  1. ^ Mykelti Williamson profile,; accessed January 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "24 Hires Mykelti Williamson to Take Charge of CTU". Retrieved May 29, 2009.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 18, 2017). "'Chicago P.D.': Mykelti Williamson Joins NBC Cop Drama As Recurring In Season 5". Deadline. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  4. ^ "'Forrest Gump' Actor Acquitted in Stabbing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  5. ^ Rosen, Lisa (December 1, 2016). "Mykelti Williamson looks forward to a life of service, now that 'Fences' has made life perfect". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (December 7, 2018). "Mykelti Williamson, Ravi Patel, Annabeth Gish, Newcomer Alex Kersting Plus More Join Mira Sorvino In 'Butter'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "'The Good Wife' review: Alicia and the dangers of cell-phone romance". Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (August 25, 2021). "'Law & Order: Organized Crime': Lolita Davidovich, Mykelti Williamson, Guillermo Diaz & Dash Mihok Set To Recur On 'SVU' Spinoff". Deadline. Retrieved October 28, 2021.

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