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Cress Williams
Cress Williams SDCC 2017.jpg
Born (1968-07-26) July 26, 1968 (age 54)
Education Fullerton College
University of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1990–present
(m. 2000; div. 2011)

Kristen Torrianni
(m. 2013)
Children 4

Cress Williams (born July 26, 1968) is an American actor, known for his roles in Prison Break and Close to Home. His most recent roles include Mayor Lavon Hayes on The CW series Hart of Dixie and the title character on The CW's Black Lightning. Williams is also best known for his recurring role as Terrence "Scooter" Williams on Fox's Living Single and as Inspector Atwon Babcock on Nash Bridges.

Early life and education

Williams was born in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany, to American parents. He took courses at Fullerton College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre from University of California, Los Angeles.


Williams acted in a 1990 Fullerton College production of William Shakespeare's tragedy, Othello, which was directed by Tom Blank. He also acted in another production in the same year at Fullerton College called Red Noses, a black comedy produced by Peter Barnes and directed by Michael Fields.

Williams has appeared on many TV series since 1994, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Beverly Hills, 90210, NYPD Blue, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, JAG, Living Single, Nash Bridges, Providence, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Veronica Mars, The West Wing, Close to Home, ER, and Grey's Anatomy. He portrayed Talak'talan, a Jem'Hadar leader in the Star Trek series, in a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Jem'Hadar". Williams joined the Prison Break cast by playing The Company's assassin, Wyatt Mathewson. He appeared in the final season of Friday Night Lights as Ornette Howard, father of East Dillon's star quarterback Vince Howard. He also starred alongside Rachel Bilson on The CW series Hart of Dixie as former football star turned mayor Lavon Hayes.

From 2018 to 2021, he has ventured back into adaptations of DC Comics: As main character Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning on The CW's superhero TV series Black Lightning, which was integrated into Arrowverse's prime Earth during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and as John Henry Irons in the animated film The Death of Superman and its 2019 sequel, Reign of the Supermen. After his Black Lightning series concluded, he reprised the role on The Flash at the start of its eighth season as part of its "Armageddon" event.

Personal life

On October 14, 2000, Williams married actress Simbi Khali in Malibu, California. The couple had two children and divorced in 2011. Williams married girlfriend Kristen Torrianni in June 2013. Williams and Torrianni also have two children together.


Film and TV Movies

Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Doom Generation Peanut
1996 2 Days in the Valley Golfer
Rolling Thunder 'Grey' Toussaint TV Movie
Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault Kimbrough TV Movie
1997 Home Invasion Freemont TV Movie
L.A. Johns Bill Allen TV Movie
Pants on Fire Dream Guy Short
1998 Fallen Detective Joe
1999 Never Been Kissed George
The Dogwalker K.C.
2000 Masquerade Marcus TV Movie
2001 Pursuit of Happiness Ace
2002 Couples Marcus TV Movie
2004 Little Black Book Phil
2006 Haskett's Chance Hudson Chanticleer
2008 Ball Don't Lie Dante
2014 In Your Eyes Jake
2016 Lowriders Detective Williams
2018 The Death of Superman John Henry Irons (voice) Video
2019 Reign of the Supermen Video
2020 The Violent Heart Lee
2021 Crime Story Billy


Year Title Role Notes
1993–98 Living Single Terrence 'Scooter' Williams Recurring Cast
1993–94 Beverly Hills, 90210 D'Shawn Hardell Recurring Cast: Season 4-5
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Talak'talan Episode: "The Jem'Hadar"
Hardball 'Spotlight' Davis Episode: "See Spot Rum"
1995 The Watcher - Episode: "Resurrection/Niles and Bob/Harry Stenz"
If Not for You Ahmed Episode: "Snap!"
NYPD Blue Silky Episode: "A Murder with Teeth in It" & "One Big Happy Family"
1996 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Baron Sunday Episode: "Never on Sunday"
JAG Captain Overton Episode: "The Brotherhood"
1997 Leaving L.A. Dudley Adams Recurring Cast
1998 Creature Tall Man TV Mini Series
Buddy Faro Jaleel Jermaine Episode: "Ain't That a Kick in the Head"
1998–08 ER Officer Reggie Moore Supporting Cast: Season 5-6, Guest: Season 14
1999 Becker Chris Davis Episode: "Blind Curve"
2000 Sports Night Steve Sarris Episode: "Dana Get Your Gun"
G vs E Virgil Grissom Episode: "Underworld"
2000–01 Nash Bridges Inspector Antwon Babcock Main Cast: Season 6
2001 Philly Calvin Burney Episode: "Loving Sons"
2001–02 Providence Dr. Sam Magala Recurring Cast: Season 4
2002 Presidio Med Richard Clayton Episode: "This Baby's Gonna Fly"
The District Dr. Carson Episode: "..."
2003 Touched by an Angel Riley Episode: "And a Nightingale Sang"
Watching Ellie Dexter Episode: "Buskers"
The Lyon's Den Eddie Episode: "Beach House"
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sam Dufoy Episode: "Careless"
House Hospital Attorney Episode: "Maternity"
2005–06 Veronica Mars Nathan Woods Recurring Cast: Season 2
The West Wing Lester Episode: "Undecideds" & "Election Day: Part 1"
2006–07 Close to Home Detective Ed Williams Main Cast: Season 2
2006–08 Grey's Anatomy Tucker Jones Recurring Cast: Season 2, 4
2008 Prison Break Wyatt Matthewson Recurring Cast: Season 4
2009 Cold Case Jimmy Clarke Episode: "Jurisprudence"
2010–11 Friday Night Lights Ornette Howard Recurring Cast: Season 5
2011 Hawthorne Tony Gee Episode: "Price of Admission" & "A Shot in the Dark"
2011–15 Hart of Dixie Lavon Hayes Main Cast
2015 State of Affairs Dale Scott Recurring Cast
2015–17 Code Black Cole Guthrie Recurring Cast: Season 1-2
2017 Doubt A.D.A. Gates Episode: "To See, To Tell"
2018–21 Black Lightning Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning Main Cast
2019–21 The Flash 3 Episodes
2020 Legends of Tomorrow Episode: "Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part Five"
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