An actor who was a key figure in the “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s and later earned honors for his work on the stage has died, The New York Times reports. Dick Anthony Williams, who also worked steadily in television for more than three decades, was 77.
Williams was a regular on the ABC series "Homefront" in the 1990s, and played Malcolm X in the 1978 NBC miniseries "King," the story says.
He was also a prolific actor on the stage and appeared in blaxploitation films in the 1970s, such as the 1973 movie "The Mack," which starred Richard Pryor. In that film, his character, Pretty Tony, was a pimp armed with a sword-cane, the story notes.
Williams won the 1974 Drama Desk Award for his work on the stage in “What the Wine-Sellers Buy,” which also earned him a Tony Award nomination. He was nominated for a Tony and a Drama Desk Award in 1975 for “Black Picture Show.”
His many film appearances included “Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Jerk,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Edward Scissorhands.” On the small screen, he was seen in “Dragnet,” “Ironside,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Cagney & Lacey,” “L.A. Law,” “The X-Files,” “NYPD Blue” and many other series.