Clarence Williams III, actor of Purple Rain and The Mod Squad, has died

 Clarence Williams III passed away at the age of 81. The actor had appeared in various films and series including The Mod Squad and Purple Rain. 


The veteran actor's management team confirmed the sad news on Sunday, stating that Clarence had in fact passed away Friday in Los Angeles from colon cancer.


CWIII has a long history with his craft dating back to the 1960s, when he started in the theater and broke through on Broadway by winning a Tony for his work in Slow Dance on the Killing Ground. He went on to act in television and film, and has had a number of memorable roles.


He is best remembered for the role of Detective Linc Hayes in Mod Squad in which he played for five seasons, 123 episodes. After that, Clarence continued to work, taking on supporting roles in such hit 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 countless others.


Clarence also had several notable roles in cult films, including Purple Rain, in which he played Prince's troubled father, as well as Dave Chappelle's comedy Half Baked, in which he played a flamboyant local drug lord, Samson Simpson, who was dueling with the drug trade.

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  • Clarence Williams III
  • Purple Rain
  • The Mod Squad