Debonair actor Billy Dee Williams turns 75 years young today! The veteran actor of stage, film and television was born in New York City and graduated from the Fioello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts. Like many actors, he started on Broadway before he made that transition into film and television.
He starred in his first film in 1959 with the film, The Last Angry Man. But, it led to bigger projects such as co-starring with Diana Ross in two films in the seventies, Lady Sings The Blues and Mahogany. In the eighties, he landed the plum role as Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars sequels, Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. He also had a role in the very first Batman movie (1989) as district attorney Harvey Dent.
He received critical acclaim as the Chicago Bears football player Gale Sayers in the TV movie, Brian’s Song (he received an Emmy nomination for this portrayal). He also played Motown founder Berry Gordy in the TV mini-series, The Jacksons: An American Dream. Over the years, he has made numerous appearances on different shows from The Jeffersons to A Different World to Scrubs.
Other interests that Williams has tapped into has been art and music. He has several painting that are exhibited in various galleries and museums. He has even recorded a jazz album in 1961! One of his most famous claim to fame is being the pitchman for the malt liquor beer, Colt 45.
Watch one of the classic commercials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHtT0x6_MDM