Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee Williams' career included a few notable turns that helped him ascend to a new level of popularity every few years. Born and raised in New York City, he made his film acting debut at age 22 in "The Last Angry Man" (1959). For the next decade, he steadily worked but it wasn't until his Emmy-nominated turn as Gale Sayers in "Brian's Song" (1971) that Williams became a more known name. The rest of the '70s were filmed with leading roles, most notably in the Billie Holiday biopic "Lady Sings the Blues" (1972) as the husband of the jazz singer, played by Diana Ross. In 1980, Williams took his talent to space with his supporting role in "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), the second entry in the Star Wars series. He played charming scoundrel Lando Calrissian, reprising the role in "Return of the Jedi" (1983) and a wide variety of video games, TV shows, and more. After his interstellar stint, Williams kept busy with a recurring role on "Dynasty" (ABC 1981-89). He made his next big pop culture splash appearing as Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's "Batman" (1989). However, despite stated intentions from Burton in turning Williams into Dent's villainous alter-ego Two-Face, Williams only ever appeared in the first movie, with Two-Face being played by Tommy Lee Jones in the sequel. While he kept busy over the next 20 years, the majority of his work was in cameo appearances or small-scale projects. While Williams' Lando appeared in other Star Wars projects, he never returned to play him again in live action, though it was reported that he would reappear in the role in "Star Wars: Episode IX" (2019).