Legendary actor Clarence Williams III, who is perhaps best known for his role as Linc Hayes on The Mod Squad, died on Friday at the age of 81, his management confirmed to Variety, Sunday morning. Williams’ cause of death was revealed to be colon cancer.
The late actor was born in New York City on Aug. 21, 1939. Williams’ acting career took off on the stage in the late 1950s and he would later earn a Tony nomination in 1965 for his role in Slow Dance on the Killing Ground.
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Williams also starred in a number of noteworthy films throughout his career, including Purple Rain, in which he portrayed Prince’s father. Other movie credits include 52 Pick-Up, Reindeer Games, and Tales from the Hood.
As for television, besides The Mod Squad, Williams appeared in such series as The Cosby Show, The Littlest Hobo, Hill Street Blues, T.J. Hooker, Miami Vice, Nasty Boys, Twin Peaks, Tales from the Cyrpt, The Highwayman, Star Trek, Walker, Texas Ranger, and many more.
Williams also served in the US Army as a paratrooper for the 101st Airborne Division.
He is survived by his sister Sondra Pugh, daughter Jamey Phillips, niece Suyin Shaw, grandnephews Elliot Shaw and Ese Shaw, and grandniece Azaria Verdin.