Home News Clarence Williams III, ‘The Mod Squad’s’ Linc, dies at 81
News - June 7, 2021

Clarence Williams III, ‘The Mod Squad’s’ Linc, dies at 81

(AP) – Clarence Williams III, who performed the cool undercover cop Linc Hayes on the counterculture collection “The Mod Squad” and Prince’s father in “Purple Rain,” has died. He was 81.

Williams died Friday at his dwelling in Los Angeles after a battle with colon most cancers, his supervisor Allan Mindel stated Sunday.

A local of New York, Williams’ profession spanned over 5 many years in theater, tv and movie. He was born right into a inventive household in 1939 and raised by his musical grandparents. His grandfather was a jazz composer and pianist, his father a musician and his mom, Eva Taylor, a singer and actress. He obtained his appearing begin on Broadway after a stint as a paratrooper and obtained a Tony nomination for his function in William Hanley’s “Sluggish Dance on the Killing Floor” in 1964.

His breakout function would include “The Mod Squad,” which he led with Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole. Invoice Cosby had seen Williams carry out and informed Aaron Spelling he ought to think about him for the function of Linc. The present ran on ABC from 1968 by means of 1973. A trailblazing present for making an attempt to painting the hippie technology of the time, “The Mod Squad” was a star-maker for all three. However roles weren’t fast to comply with for Williams.

He appeared on Broadway reverse Maggie Smith in Tom Stoppard’s “Evening and Day” in 1979 earlier than getting solid because the troubled father in “Purple Rain,” which got here out in 1984.

Director John Frankenheimer would change into a frequent collaborator. They first teamed up for his adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s “52 Decide-Up” at a time when Williams was not having a lot luck in Hollywood and crashing on Cosby’s sofa to maintain a roof over his head.

“He requested me to learn for the a part of one of many blackmailers, however after solely 4 strains, he informed me to cease,” Williams recalled in a 1999 interview. “I believed it was throughout, however he stated, ‘Have your agent name me. It is going to be a 10-week shoot. Thanks for coming in.’ That was it.”

Williams additionally appeared in Frankenheimer’s “Towards the Wall,” “Reindeer Video games” and a few episodes of “Tales from the Crypt.”

Williams may command quite a lot of genres, together with comedy. He performed a drug lord reverse Dave Chappelle in “Half Baked” and stole scenes in Keenen Ivory Wayans’ blaxploitation parody movie “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” He additionally had a recurring function because the FBI agent in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” who tells Agent Cooper he’s been suspended.

Williams by no means fretted over his longtime affiliation with “The Mod Squad.”

“All most individuals learn about me is the 2 hours they’ve invested in a movie show or the time spent in entrance of their TV,” he stated in an interview in 1999. “There’s a lot leisure on the market proper now, it’s tough to interrupt by means of and change into a part of the nationwide consciousness. It’s good to be acknowledged, and I’ve no drawback with it in any respect.”

He was married to the actress Gloria Foster from 1967 to 1984.

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