Billy Dee Williams Net Worth 2022; Early Life, Career,Trivia and Awards

William December Williams Jr. is a renowned actor, musician, and artist who is best known for playing Lando Calrissian in the “Star Wars” movie series. He made his stage debut at the age of seven. He was born in the USA to African American parents. While attending the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design, his ultimate ambition was to become a painter, so he began acting to pay for his materials and finally decided to pursue it as a career. In the late 1980s, Williams started spending the majority of his time painting.

Billy Dee Williams Net Worth

Billy Dee Williams’ net worth has been reported to be $9 million. Billy Dee Williams has established himself in the world of television commercials in addition to his work in film and television, most notably in advertisements for Colt 45 malt liquor. Because of his well-known depiction of Lando Calrissian, Williams has also been a featured guest at fan conventions, primarily science fiction ones.

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Early Life & Education

Billy Dee Williams was born William December Williams Jr. on April 6, 1937, in New York City. His father, William December Williams, Sr., was of African American ancestry. 

At the Lyceum Theater on Broadway, his mother, Loretta Ann, an aspiring opera singer from the Caribbean island of Montserrat, operated the elevators. Loretta was his twin sister’s name.

For his high school education, Billy attended the High School of Music & Art (now the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art), graduating from there in 1955. After that, he received a scholarship and enrolled in the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design in New York, using traditional painting techniques.

He frequently ran out of money while attending the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design, making it difficult for him to pay for his art supplies. When one of the “Take A Giant Step” producers asked him whether he could act, he saw a way out.

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His breakthrough came at the age of 34, when he played Gale Slayer in “Brian’s Song,” after making his film and television debut at the age of 33. But it was his performance as Louis McKay in “Lady Sings the Blues” that cemented his reputation as a matinée idol and earned him the nickname “Black Clark Gable.” He attained the height of his fame at the age of 43, playing Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back.” He began painting very quickly as well, holding his first solo exhibition at the age of 56. He has now held additional exhibits despite having a busy schedule.

Family Life

Billy Dee Williams has been married three times in his personal life. He had a son named Corey Dee Williams from his first marriage to Audrey Sellers, which lasted from 1959 until 1963. In 1968, Williams got hitched a second time. Marlene Clark, a model, and actress, was his second spouse. Sadly, the pair split up in 1971. In 1972, Williams finally wed Teruki Nakagami. She had a daughter from her first marriage to musician Wayne Shorter, but in 1973, she started a new family with Williams and gave birth to Hanako. Despite getting divorced in 1993, the pair later got back together and started living together in 1997.

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  • In “Lady Sings the Blues,” Billy Dee Williams‘ sexy and elegant demeanor earned him the nickname “Black Clark Gable.”
  • Williams, who wants to be regarded as an actor and not just a black actor, was pleased to be cast as Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back” because the script did not specify a race. Prior to this, he had only ever played parts written specifically for black actors.


Primetime Emmy Awards

1972 Nominee

Primetime Emmy

Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Brian’s Song (1971)

For playing: “Gale Sayers”.

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA

1984 Nominee

Saturn Award

Best Supporting Actor

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

1981 Nominee

Saturn Award

Best Supporting Actor

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)

2012 Winner

Special Achievement Award

Behind the Voice Actors Awards

2018 Nominee

BTVA Feature Film Voice Acting Award

Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Film Independent Spirit Awards

2001 Nominee

Independent Spirit Award

Best Supporting Male

The Visit (2000)

Image Awards (NAACP)

2001 Nominee

Image Award

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

The Visit (2000)

1977 Winner

Image Award

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)

1972 Winner

Image Award

Best Actor – Motion Picture

Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Indie Series Awards

2011 Nominee


Outstanding Supporting Actor

Diary of a Single Mom (2009)

2010 Winner


Best Performance by a Guest Actor

Diary of a Single Mom (2009)

Rome International Movie Awards

2022 Winner

May Award

Best Acting Ensemble

Stallone: Frank, That Is (2021)

TV Land Awards

2006 Winner

TV Land Award

Blockbuster Movie of the Week

Brian’s Song (1971)

2003 Nominee

TV Land Award

Most Memorable Male Guest Star in a Comedy as Himself

The Jeffersons (1975)

Walk of Fame

1985 Winner

Star on the Walk of Fame

Motion Picture

On 27 March 1985. At 1521 Vine Street.


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