Nafessa Williams

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Nafessa Williams
Nafessa Williams at ClexaCon in 2018
Williams in 2018
Born (1985-12-04) December 4, 1985 (age 34)[citation needed]
Alma materWest Chester University
Years active2011–present
Known forCode Black, Black Lightning

Nafessa Williams (born December 4, 1985)[1][2][failed verification] is an American actress. She is most known for her 2011 role as Nicole Gordon in the Meek Mill film Streets, her 2011 role as Deanna Forbes on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, and her 2016 role as Dr. Charlotte Piel on the CBS drama Code Black. Since 2018, she plays Anissa Pierce in The CW's Black Lightning.

Early life and education[edit]

Williams was raised in West Philadelphia. She attended Robert E. Lamberton High School. Williams studied criminal justice at West Chester University and interned in the homicide unit of the District Attorney's Office.[3]


Williams got her big break in 2010 when she was cast opposite Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill in Streets. The film was released in 2012.[3] In March 2011, it was announced that Williams would join the cast of ABC's One Life to Live in the contract role of Deanna.[4] When Williams auditioned, the character was only supposed to appear in three episodes. However by the time of her debut, Williams had signed a four year contract.[3] Only a month into her stint, it was announced that ABC had decided to cancel the series.[5] Williams was released from her contract early and last appeared in July 2011.[6]

In March 2012, Williams announced that she would be appearing on the CBS soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful.[7] Williams made her debut on May 8, 2012.[8] However, the role was short lived and Williams only appeared in two episodes. In 2015, Williams appeared in the Queen Latifah executive produced feature film, Brotherly Love, opposite Keke Palmer.[9] In April 2016, Williams was cast in the Showtime continuation of the 1990s ABC drama Twin Peaks.[10] In July 2016, Williams was cast in the recurring role of Charlotte on the CBS prime time drama, Code Black.[11] In 2017, Williams was cast as Anissa Pierce in the 2018 Mara Brock Akil/Greg Berlanti series Black Lightning.[12]

In May and June 2019, Williams, DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee, writer Tom King, and fellow CW series actresses Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker toured five U.S. military bases in Kuwait with the United Service Organizations (USO), where they visited the approximately 12,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in that country as part of DC's 80th anniversary of Batman celebration.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 Streets Nicole Gordon
2014 The Dirty 30 Samantha Kimm
2015 Brotherly Love Simone
The Man in 3B Krystal
2016 Restored Me Monica Berry
2017 Burning Sands Toya
True to the Game Sahirah
2019 Black and Blue Missy


Year Title Role Notes
2011 One Life to Live Deanna Forbes Series regular
2012 The Bold and the Beautiful Margo Ivey Recurring role
2013 Dumb Girls Female Co-Ed #1 Television film
2014 Survivor's Remorse Adina Parker Episode: "Six"
2015 Real Husbands of Hollywood Eboni Episode: "Hart Medication"
2016 Code Black Dr. Charlotte Piel
4 episodes
Episode: "Second Year"
Episode: "Life and Limb"
Episode: "Corporeal Form"
Episode: "Demons and Angels"
2017 Twin Peaks Jade
3 episodes
Episode: "Part 3"
Episode: "Part 5"
Episode: "Part 6"
Tales Jenny Episode: "Fuck the Police"
2018–present Black Lightning Anissa Pierce Main role


  1. ^ Newcomb, Roger (December 4, 2017). "Today in Soap Opera History (December 4)". We Love Soaps. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Wills, Cortney (January 18, 2018). "Interview with Nafessa Williams on Playing Thunder on Black Lightning". The Grio. Entertainment Studios. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Gross, Dan (March 22, 2011). "Dan Gross: She's starting 'One Life' job". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Fairman, Michael (February 16, 2011). "Nafessa Williams joins cast of OLTL in new role of Deanna!". On-Air On-Soaps. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Interview: Nafessa Williams On One Life To Live Cancellation". SheKnows Media. April 18, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "One Life To Live's Nafessa Williams Exits". SheKnows Media. August 18, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  7. ^ Bowe, Jillian (March 14, 2012). "One Life to Live Alum Nafessa Williams to Play a Model on The Bold and The Beautiful". Daytime Confidential. Confidential Media, Inc. (SAY Media). Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "Ex-One Life To Live's Nafessa Williams To The Bold And The Beautiful. (UPDATED.)". SheKnows Media. May 7, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  9. ^ Zumberge, Marianne (April 14, 2015). "Jamie Foxx, Diddy Show Support of 'Brotherly Love' Premiere". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 25, 2016). "'Twin Peaks': Here Is the Full Cast Of David Lynch's Showtime Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 1, 2016). "Code Black Season 2: Heroes Vet Among 3 New Doctors Checking In". TVLine. TVLine Media, LLC. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2017). "'Black Lightning': Nafessa Williams & China Anne McClain To Star As Jefferson's Daughters In the CW Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  13. ^ Arrant, Chris (June 2, 2019). "JIM LEE, TOM KING, DC-CW Stars Make Surprise USO Trip To KUWAIT". Newsarama. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2019.

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