Clarence Williams III,’The Mod Squad’s Linc, aged 81
Clarence Williams III played the cool undercover policeman Linc Hayes in the counterculture series “The Mod Squad” and the prince’s father in “Purple Rain”. He has passed away. He is 81 years old.
Williams’ agent Alan Mindel said on Sunday that Williams died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday after battling colon cancer. Those who worked with Williams and those who admired his groundbreaking role and influential performance quickly expressed their respect on social media.
“Hood’s Story” director Rusty Kandieev said on Twitter that he was saddened by Williams’ death, “It cannot be overemphasized. His artistry and sheer calmness are extraordinary. I will always be grateful for his outstanding performance in “Ghost Stories”. I love working with him! Mr. Good goes all the way!”
Lenny Kravitz wrote on Twitter: “When I was a kid growing up in New York, Clarence Williams III was a face on TV. I recognized and inspired me. From Mod Squad to Purple Rain and Sugar Hill, his performances are always full of energy. Rest in peace, king.”
Director Peyton Reed tweeted that he and Williams filmed the TV movie “Love Bug” in 1995.
“I’ve watched him play Linc in’The Mod Squad’ since I was a kid, and thought he was the epitome of cool. Turns out he was. Rest in peace, Clarence,” Reid wrote.
As a native of New York, Williams has a career in theater, television, and film that spans more than 50 years. He was born in a creative family in 1939 and was raised by his musical grandparents. His grandfather was a jazz composer and pianist, his father was a musician, and his mother was singer and actor Eva Taylor. After serving as a paratrooper, he started his acting career on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in William Hanley’s “Slow Dance on the Killing Fields” in 1964.
His “The Mod Squad” (The Mod Squad), led by Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole, will bring his breakthrough role. Bill Cosby had seen Williams perform and told Aaron Spellin that he should consider letting him play the role of Link. The show was broadcast on ABC from 1968 to 1973. As a groundbreaking show trying to portray the hippie generation at the time, “The Mod Squad” is the star maker of these three people. But Williams’s role did not follow up soon.
In 1979, he performed on Broadway across from Maggie Smith in Tom Stoppard’s “Night and Day”, and then in 1984’s “Purple Rain”. “Playing a troubled father.
Director John Frankenheimer will become a frequent collaborator. For the first time they worked together to adapt Elmore Leonard’s “52 Pick-Up” when Williams was out of luck in Hollywood and crashed into Cosby’s sofa to keep the roof above his head.
Williams recalled in a 1999 interview: “He asked me to read one of the blackmailers, but after only reading four lines, he asked me to stop.” “I thought it was all over, but he Say,’Let your agent call me. This will be a 10-week shoot. Thank you for coming in. That’s it.’
Williams also appeared in some episodes of Frankenheimer’s “Anti-Wall”, “Reindeer Game” and “Crypt Story”.
Williams can direct a variety of genres, including comedy. He played the drug lord across from Dave Chappelle in “Half Baked” and stole scenes in Keenen Ivory Wayans’ spoof movie “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”. He also played the role of an FBI agent in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks,” and he told Agent Cooper that he had been suspended.
Other movie roles include “Going Around”, “In-Depth Reporting”, “Sugar Mountain”, “General’s Daughter”, Lee Daniels’ “Steward” and unsigned roles in “American Gangs”. From “Miami Storm” and “Hill Street Blues” to “Everyone hates Chris” and “Defense”, he has many, many TV shows.
From 1967 to 1984, he married actress Gloria Foster.
However, Williams never worried about his long-term connection with “Mod Squad”.
In an interview in 1999, he said: “Most people know me only the two hours they spend in the cinema or the time they spend in front of the TV. There are too many entertainment activities now, it’s hard to break through and become Part of the national consciousness. It’s great to be recognized. I have no problem at all.”