‘The Mod Squad’ Actor Clarence Williams III Dead at 81

‘The Mod Squad’ Actor Clarence Williams III Dead at 81

‘The Mod Squad’ Actor Clarence Williams III Dead at 81

Hollywood is mourning the death of an actor who starred in the 60s television series “The Mod Squad.”

According to The Associated Press, Clarence Williams III, who shot to fame after his starring role as Lincoln “Linc” Hayes an undercover police officer in the crime drama series, “The Mod Squad,” has recently passed at the age of 81. The actor, who also played the role of Prince Nelson’s father in “Purple Rain” died on Friday in his Los Angeles home after battling with colon cancer, his manager Allan Mindel said Sunday.

Rusty Cundieff, who directed Williams in the movie, “Tales From the Hood” tweeted out his condolences on Sunday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor started his career as a stage actor and earned a Tony nomination in 1965 for best-featured actor in a play for the work he performed in the three-person drama Slow Dance on the Killing Ground. He returned to Broadway decades later when he starred opposite Maggie Smith in the original 1979 production of Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day.

Some of the roles he’s been recognized for include playing Prince’s troubled father in Purple Rain (1984) and also playing the drug-addicted father of Wesley Snipes and Michael Wright in Sugar Hill (1993). In Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Legend of 1900 (1998), Williams appeared as jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton. Williams was also seen in the comedies I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) and in the classic Half-Baked (1998) which starred Dave Chappelle.

Comedian Bill Cosby suggested that Williams play the role of “Linc” to “The Mod Squad” executive producer, Aaron Spelling, and the rest, as they say, is history.

According to CNN, Williams is survived by his sister Sondra Pugh, daughter Jamey Phillips, niece Suyin Shaw, grandnephews Elliot Shaw and Ese Shaw, and grandniece Azaria Verdin.

‘The Mod Squad’ Actor Clarence Williams III Dead at 81