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In Memory of “Linc” aka Clarence Williams, III


Clarence Williams III, who played Prince’s father in “Purple Rain and undercover cop Linc Hayes on the tv show “The Mod Squad” has died. The 81-year-old Williams passed away Friday at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with colon cancer.

The NY native enjoyed a career that spanned five decades and included theater, television, and film. Williams was born into a creative family. Raised by musical grandparents, his grandfather was a jazz composer and pianist, his father a musician, and his mother, Eva Taylor, a singer and actress. Williams, got his acting start on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for his role in William Hanley’s “Slow Dance on the Killing Ground”.

The Mod Squad, which ran from 1968 through 1973, was William’s breakout role. He stared in the counterculture hit with Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole. Williams could easily adapt to various genres as he played a drug lord opposite Dave Chappelle in “Half Baked” and stole scenes in Keenen Ivory Wayans’ blaxploitation parody film “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” He also had a recurring role as the FBI agent in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks”. Williams also appeared in Frankenheimer’s “Against the Wall,” “Reindeer Games” and some episodes of “Tales from the Crypt.”


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