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Billy Dee Williams

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William December Williams, better known as Billy Dee Williams (born April 6, 1937), is an actor best known for playing Lando Calrissian in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

BiographyEdit

His first big break was in the acclaimed Brian's Song in which he played Gale Sayers. His next hit came in 1973 when he played Louis McKay in Lady Sings the Blues. In 1976, he auditioned for the role of Han Solo, during the casting of Star Wars. Although he didn't get the role, he was eventually cast as Lando Calrissian in the two follow-up films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Williams has since appeared in numerous films, including 1989's Batman as district attorney Harvey Dent. Williams originally took the role with the agreement that it would land him in a sequel playing the villain Two Face, but the studio did not use him when the time came for the third installment, Batman Forever. In between, Williams has appeared in supporting roles in a number of films.

Williams is well-known for his appearance in advertisements for Colt 45, a low-cost brand of malt liquor. Currently, Williams is part of the large star-studded cast assembled for the latest installment in EA Games's acclaimed Command & Conquer computer game series, and is quoted on the official site as saying "This is the most fun I've had since Star Wars". He's also an accomplished painter and owns his own art gallery, where much of his artwork has sold for thousands of dollars. In 1961, he recorded a jazz LP -- currently out of print -- for Prestige Records entitled Let's Misbehave, featuring Williams singing swing standards.

Williams guest starred on That '70s Show as a pastor. When counseling Eric and Donna, Eric continually made Star Wars references to which the pastor replied, "Star Wars is one of the greatest films ever made." He guest starred on Scrubs as the godfather of J.D.'s love interest in the episode. Turk called him Lando all throughout the episode, much to the annoyance of Williams. In 2014, he appeared on two episodes of Dancing with the Stars, in which he and a partner danced to Meco's version of the Star Wars theme.

Star Wars-related workEdit

Title Role Release date
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Lando Calrissian May 1980
The Empire Strikes Back radio adaptation February 1983
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi May 25, 1983
Dark Empire radio adaptation July 1994
Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast March 26, 2002
Funny or Die - "Vote for Lando Calrissian! w/ BILLY DEE WILLIAMS" [1] 2008
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II 2008
Fanboys Judge Reinhold 2009
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III Lando Calrissian 2010
The Cleveland Show - "Back to Cool" 2011
Mad - "Potions 11/Moves Like Jabba" 2012
Star Wars Cantina Karaoke w/ BILLY DEE WILLIAMS & PATTON OSWALT:
Course of the Force [2]
2013
LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles:
"The Phantom Clone", "Menace of the Sith"
Lindo Calrissian 2013
The LEGO Movie Lando Clarissian 2014
Star Wars Detours TBA
Star Wars Rebels[1] TBA TBA

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit

InterviewsEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Twitter favicon @realbdw (Billy Dee Williams) on Twitter

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