Clarence Williams III

  • Birth Place: New York, New York, United States
  • Profession: Actor
Watchlist Added
Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on

Next on TV

Fast Facts

  • Discovered drama after accidentally walking onto a stage at a theater below a Harlem YMCA.
  • Began his stage career on Broadway in The Long Dream (1960). 
  • Served as artist-in-residence at Brandeis University in 1966.
  • Best known for his role as the hip undercover cop Linc Hayes on the TV series The Mod Squad (1968-73).
  • Worked in a variety of genres, from comedy (I'm Gonna Git You Sucka; Half-Baked) to sci-fi (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and drama (Purple Rain, as Prince's father).
  • Looking back at his Purple Rain performance, he recalled with relish a moment between scenes, in which Prince "picked up the guitar and started doodling...I had my eyes closed...and I thought about Jimi Hendrix."
  • Uncredited film roles include Pork Chop Hill (1959) and American Gangster (2007).


  • 1965, Tony — Actor, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic): Nominee


  • Eva Taylor — Grandmother
  • Clarence Williams — Grandfather
  • Gloria Foster — Ex-wife
  • Clay Williams — Father
Cord-Cutting Guide. Credit: Robert Rodriguez / TV Guide
How to Cut Cable

How to stream the shows and sports you love

Discover Now!
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, <em>Supernatural</em>
RIP: Shows Ending in 2020

Say goodbye to your friends

Discover Now!

My News

Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now