Clarence Williams III, who starred in films such as Purple Rain, Sugar Hill and
Reindeer Games has died at the age of 81. The actor passed away at his home in
Los Angeles on Friday after a bout of colon cancer.
Williams’ manager Allan Mindel confirmed that the actor died at his home in Los Angeles
on Friday after a battle with colon cancer.
Tributes have poured in for Williams, with musician and actor Lenny Kravitz tweeting:
‘When I was a kid growing up in NYC Clarence Williams III was a face on TV that I
identified with and that inspired me. From the Mod Squad to Purple Rain and Sugar Hill,
he always performed with dynamic energy. Rest in power, king.’
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Director Peyton Reed worked with Williams on TV movie The Love Bug in 1995
and tweeted: ‘I had grown up watching him as Linc in The Mod Squad and thought
he was the epitome of cool. Turns out he was. Rest In Peace, Clarence.’
‘My sadness at the passing of Clarence Williams III cannot be overstated.
‘His artistry and sheer coolness was extraordinary. I will forever be in his debt for his
brilliant performance in Tales From the Hood. Loved working with him! Blessed travels
Williams, who hailed from New York, enjoyed an illustrious career that spanned
five decades. Following a stint as a paratrooper, he began treading the theatre boards on
Broadway and earned a Tony nomination for his performance in William Hanley’s Slow
Dance on the Killing Ground in 1964.