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Tyler James Williams

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Tyler James Williams
Williams in 2012
Born (1992-10-09) October 9, 1992 (age 31)
Occupation(s)Actor, rapper
Years active1999–present

Tyler James Williams (born October 9, 1992) is an American actor and rapper. He began his career as a child actor, making several appearances on Saturday Night Live, Little Bill, and Sesame Street.[2] Williams later rose to prominence for playing the role of Chris Rock on the UPN/CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris (2005–2009). Following this, he starred as songwriter Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel film Let It Shine (2012), and Noah on the AMC drama television series The Walking Dead (2014–15).[3]

He currently stars as Gregory Eddie on the ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary, for which he received critical acclaim as well as a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and two nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Additionally, Williams has also appeared in films such as Detroit (2017) and The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021).

Early life[edit]

Williams was born in Westchester County, New York, and grew up in Yonkers, New York.[4] His mother, Angela Williams, is a counselor, and his father, Le'Roy Williams, is a teacher and retired police sergeant.[4][5] Williams has two younger siblings, both of whom are also actors; Tyrel Jackson Williams (b. 1997) and Tylen Jacob Williams (b. 2001).


Williams began his acting career at age 4.[6] He later starred in Little Bill as the voice of Bobby, briefly replacing Devon Malik Beckford in 2000, and played himself (or an eponymous character, "Tyler") on the PBS series Sesame Street from 2000 to 2005. He rose to fame in September 2005 by playing the title character in the hit series Everybody Hates Chris,[7] which finished in May 2009. He won a Young Artist Award in 2007 for his work on the show. He was also a guest star in Two for the Money, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the show Hi-Jinks.[citation needed] In late 2009, Williams appeared in the second season of True Jackson, VP as True's love interest Justin "Lil' Shakespeare" Weber in the two-part episode "Flirting with Fame."[8]

In 2012, Williams played the role of Owen in the series Go On.[9] He also played the lead role of Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel film Let It Shine[10] alongside Coco Jones, Trevor Jackson, and Brandon Mychal Smith. Williams was also featured on nine songs on the film's soundtrack, showing off his rapping skills. The film premiered on June 15, 2012, and his songs "Don't Run Away," "Me and You," "Guardian Angel," "Let It Shine" and "Moment of Truth" all received airplay on Radio Disney.[11] The videos were also played frequently on the Disney Channel. Williams also guest starred in the Disney XD series Lab Rats as a future version of the character played by his younger brother Tyrel Jackson Williams.[12]

In 2014, Williams starred in Justin Simien's independent film Dear White People as Lionel Higgins,[13] and was cast as the recurring character Noah on the television series The Walking Dead.[14][15] In 2016, Williams played Russ "Monty" Montgomery in the Criminal Minds spin-off Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.[16][17]

Williams was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2017, after experiencing symptoms for three years. Since his diagnosis, he has undergone treatment, including multiple surgeries.[18] In 2019, Williams was cast as Jake in The Wedding Year, a teen romantic comedy film directed by Robert Luketic and starring Sarah Hyland, Jenna Dewan, Matt Shively, and Anna Camp.[19]

In 2020, Williams played the role of Paul in The Argument.[20] In 2021, he began playing the role of Gregory Eddie in the ABC mockumentary sitcom Abbott Elementary.[21] At the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, Williams earned a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for the role.[22]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Two for the Money Guest at Party Uncredited
2006 The Ant Bully Blue Teammate #1 Voice[23]
Unaccompanied Minors Charlie Goldfinch
2013 Tyler Perry Presents Peeples Simon Peeples
2014 Dear White People Lionel Higgins
2017 Detroit Leon
2019 The Wedding Year Jake Riddick
2020 The Argument Paul
2021 The United States vs. Billie Holiday Lester 'Prez' Young


Year Title Role Notes
1999–2003 Saturday Night Live Jack Black's adopted son / Young Boy / Entari Shakunte 3 episodes
2000 Sesame Street Tyler 10 episodes
2000–2002 Little Bill Bobby Voice, 6 episodes
2004 Judge Mooney Melvin
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kyle McGovern Episode: "Parts"
2005–2009 Everybody Hates Chris Chris Lead role; 88 episodes[24]
2009 The Cleaner Kenji Simon Episode: "Last American Casualty"
True Jackson, VP Justin 2 episodes
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Jason Rusch / Firestorm Voice, 3 episodes[23]
Our Show Andre Television film
2011 House Landon Episode: "Carrot or Stick"
2012 Lab Rats Future Leo Episode: "Back from the Future"
Let It Shine Cyrus DeBarge / Truth Television film
2012–2013 Go On Owen Lewis Series regular
2014 Key & Peele Jaleel White Episode: "Family Matters"
2014–2015 The Walking Dead Noah Recurring role; season 5
2015 Criminal Minds Russ "Monty" Montgomery Episode: "Beyond Borders"
Ballers Water boy Episode: "Raise Up"
Instant Mom Jamal Episode: "Jamal in the Family"
Comedy Bang! Bang! Temptation Episode: "Brie Larson Wears a Billowy Long-Sleeve Shirt and White Saddle Shoes"
2016 RePlay Nate Main role, web series
2016–2017 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Russ "Monty" Montgomery Main role
2018 Dear White People Carson Rhodes 2 episodes
2019 Whiskey Cavalier Edgar Standish Main role
A Black Lady Sketch Show Rome Episode: "Where Are My Background Singers?"
2021–present Abbott Elementary Gregory Eddie Main role[3]
2023 Harley Quinn Hawkman Voice, episode: "A Very Problematic Valentine's Day Special"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Little Bill Thinks Big Bobby [23]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Black Reel Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2015 Best Breakthrough Performance Dear White People Won

Golden Globe Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2023 Best Supporting Actor - Television Series Abbott Elementary Won

Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2022 Best Supporting Actor in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy Abbott Elementary Nominated

NAACP Image Award[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2006 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2007 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Won[25]
2008 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2010 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2018 Outstanding Independent Motion Picture Detroit Won
2023 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Abbott Elementary Won

Primetime Emmy Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2022 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Abbott Elementary Nominated
2023 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated

Screen Actors Guild Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2023 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Abbott Elementary Won
2024 Nominated

Teen Choice Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2006 Choice Actor: Comedy Everybody Hates Chris Nominated

Young Artist Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2006 Leading Young Actor (Comedy or Drama) Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2008 Best Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young Actor Won

Peabody Award[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2022 Entertainment Abbott Elementary Won


  • Let It Shine Soundtrack (2012)
  • Me, My Brother, And A Mic (2015)


  1. ^ "Toledo Blade - Google News Archive Search". google.com.
  2. ^ "Tyler James Williams: From Child Actor to Hollywood Hunk + Nina Parker on 'Tamron Hall' | WATCH". EURweb. February 17, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Thomas, Carly (March 24, 2023). "Tyler James Williams Says 'Everybody Hates Chris' Producer Told Him He Would "Probably Never Work Again"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Tyler James Williams filmreference.com
  5. ^ Tyler James Williams Biography. Tvguide.com. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  6. ^ "Tyler James Williams: star of Everybody Hates Chris". Ebony. January 1, 2006.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Everybody Hates Chris". teacher.scholastic.com. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  8. ^ J-14 Magazine (May 6, 2013). "Natasha Bedingfield and Tyler James Williams Guest Star in New True Jackson, VP Movie!". J-14. Retrieved November 29, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Tyler James Williams Cast in 'Criminal Minds' Spinoff". January 28, 2015.
  10. ^ "Tyler James Williams Reveals His Musical Talents In Disney's 'Let It Shine'". HuffPost. June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  11. ^ Walt Disney Records (May 22, 2012). "Walt Disney Records' Let It Shine Soundtrack Boasts Songs By Coco Jones, Tyler James Williams And Other Stars From The Disney Channel Original Movie". PR News Wire. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  12. ^ jaej (September 6, 2017). "6 Fantastic Facts About Actor and Hip Hop Recording Artist, Tyler Williams". On the Black List. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  13. ^ ""Dear White People" Actor Tyler James Williams Talks To BOSSIP About Race & Sexuality". bossip.com. October 26, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  14. ^ Lesley Goldberg (September 24, 2014). "'Walking Dead' Adds 'Go On' Alum in New Mystery Role". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ "'Walking Dead's' Latest Fatality: Savage Death Will "Rock" Glenn". www.hollywoodreporter.com. March 15, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  16. ^ "'Criminal Minds' Episode 10.19 Photos: Meet the FBI's International Unit". www.buddytv.com. March 27, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 28, 2015). "Tyler James Williams Cast In 'Criminal Minds' Spinoff". Deadline. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  18. ^ Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (December 1, 2018). "#myIBD: Tyler James Williams' Story". Facebook. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  19. ^ "The Wedding Year". Rotten Tomatoes.
  20. ^ "'The Argument': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. September 4, 2020.
  21. ^ "'Abbott Elementary': Tyler James Williams Explains Moment He Knew Show Was a Hit". IndieWire. February 16, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  22. ^ Schneider, Jordan Moreau,Michael; Moreau, Jordan; Schneider, Michael (July 12, 2022). "Emmys 2022: The Complete Nominations List". Variety. Retrieved July 12, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ a b c "Tyler James Williams (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved December 7, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  24. ^ "Everybody Hates Chris". IMDB. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  25. ^ "It's All About Image - Image 9 from Everybody Loves Tyler James Williams". BET (Black Entertainment Television). Retrieved January 20, 2022.

External links[edit]