Before causing audiences to shudder in fear as a sadistic guard on Prison Break
, this imposing character actor made his name doing Shakespeare plays and musicals. A classically trained performer and singer who appeared both regionally and on Broadway, Williams began landing TV guest spots (usually as bad guys) in the late '90s and upped his profile with a recurring role as a curmudgeonly priest on the sitcom Bernie Mac
. Off screen, he's an affable, fiddle-playing family man, the antithesis of his seminal character. Williams is such the family man that he initially considered passing up the audition to play Brad Bellick on Prison Break
because he didn't want his young daughter seeing him in such a harsh light. His agent convinced him to go out for the role, and he was featured on all four seasons of the series. After Prison Break
ended, Williams kept up his TV profile with guest appearances on a number of popular series, including Criminal Minds
.Wade Williams Fast Facts:
- Originally planned to study medicine at the University of Tulsa, but after signing up for voice lessons, decided to be an actor instead.
- Has appeared in a number of Broadway musicals, including Guys and Dolls, Les Miserables and Kiss of the Spiderwoman.
- Made his TV debut on an episode of the NBC crime drama Profiler.
- First big-screen appearance was in the Garry Shandling box-office bomb What Planet Are You From? (2000).
- Originally turned down an audition for Prison Break because he didn't want his young daughter to see him portraying such a bad guy.
- Writes songs and can play the harmonica, guitar, banjo and fiddle.
- University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK (BA in Theatrical Arts); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Mason Gross School of the Arts, New Brunswick, NJ (MA in Acting)