Tributes paid to late star of Purple Rain and The Mod Squad

Clarence Williams III, the US actor who performed Prince’s father in Purple Rain and likewise starred in 1960s present The Mod Squad, has died on the age of 81. Prince’s property paid tribute to him for his “gripping efficiency” as Prince’s abusive dad within the singer’s 1984 movie. The actor’s different roles included ageing manservant Maynard in Lee Daniels’ 2013 movie The Butler. Writing on Twitter, the director stated he was an “extraordinary” actor who had been “forward of his time”.

Prince’s drummer Sheila E additionally paid tribute, saying he had finished an “unimaginable job” in Purple Rain and had been “one of many cool actors” she had watched on TV as a baby. Actress Kellie Martin was amongst others to recollect him fondly, saying it had been “an honour” to work with him on the 2000s TV sequence Thriller Lady. Born in New York in 1939, Williams was named, like his father, after his musician grandfather, a celebrated jazz pianist. After serving within the US Air Pressure he began out on stage, incomes a Tony nomination in 1965 for Sluggish Dance on the Killing Floor.

His massive break got here in 1968 when he was solid in The Mod Squad as Lincoln “Linc” Hayes, certainly one of three former juvenile delinquents recruited as an undercover cop. He starred alongside Michael Cole and the late Peggy Lipton within the ABC detective present, showing in additional than 120 episodes over the following 5 years. ABC needed him to remain on the present longer, however by 1973 he had had sufficient. “I might finished all I may with the half,” he informed the Chicago Tribune in 1997. “And so I stated let me return, refresh myself, be taught some issues, learn, journey and simply attempt to put some extra arrows in my quiver.”

But he was persuaded to reprise his character – performed by Omar Epps within the little-liked 1999 movie reboot – in a 1979 TV film that reunited the present‘s authentic solid. The actor went on to behave in Twin Peaks, by which Lipton additionally appeared, in addition to such movies as The Basic‘s Daughter, Reindeer Video games and Johnny Depp’s The Courageous.Identified for his signature gap-toothed smile and simmering depth, he was nominated 4 occasions for the NAACP’s Picture Awards. “It isn’t a 100-yard sprint, it is a long-distance run,” he stated of his profession in 1997. “You want endurance, since you‘re going for the space.” In accordance with his representatives, the actor died of bowel most cancers in Los Angeles on four June. He was married as soon as, to actress Gloria Foster, from 1967 to 1984. Foster went on to play The Oracle within the first two Matrix movies earlier than dying in 2001.