Cress Williams

Cress Williams

Date Of BirthJuly 26, 1970
Age53 years 10 months 25 days
Day of BirthSunday
Place Of BirthHeidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Zodiac SignLeo
Professions Model , Actor
Nickname Cress

Personal Information
Religion Christianity
Language English
Star SignLeo
Nationality American
EthnicitiesAfrican American , Black
Trademark Height
Body Features & Measurements
Height196 CM
6 Feet 5 Inches
Eye color Black
Weight87 KG
192 lbs
Tattoos chest
Body Type Large
Family Information
Son Elijah Khali Thomas Williams (with Simbi Khali)
Wives Kristen Torrianni (Actress; married in 2013)
Simbi Khali (Ex; Actress & singer; married in 2000-divorced in 2001)
Daughter Amika Khali Williams (with Simbi Khali)
Education Qualifications
Education(College) Major in theatre (Junior College) , Fullerton College
Alma MaterUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Career Information
Debut (Movie) The Doom Generation (1995)
Years Active 1990-
Debut (TV) Beverly Hills
Salary $175,000 (Per Episode of Black Lightening)
Favorites, Hobbies, Likes/ Dislikes
Favorite TV show Friday Night Lights (Among his own TV shows)
Favorite Video Game Assassin Creed 3
Social Networks, Web links
Facebook ProfileCress Williams Facebook Profile
Twitter ProfileCress Williams Twitter Profile
Instagram ProfileCress Williams Instagram Profile
Talent Agent Aka Talent Agency
More Information
Mentor Tom Blank (Fullerton College)
Net worth$1 Million


Cress Williams was an American TV & movie Actor, Singer. He is popular for roles- Jefferson Pierce in Black Lightning, George in Never Been Kissed (1999), Joe in Fallen Detective(1998), Jake in In Your Eyes(2014), Talak'talan in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1994), Cole Guthrie in Code Black, Lavon Hayes in Hart of Dixie, Ed Williams in Close to Home, Wyatt Mathewson in Prison Break, Antwon Babcock in Nash Bridges.

Family - Childhood

Cress Williams was born on 26th July 1970 in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany to American parents. After the birth his family moved to Chicago, he grew up mostly in Orange County.


  • Fullerton College: Cress attended the Fullerton College- a public community college in Fullerton , California (North Orange County Community College District) [2]. While in the college he acted in the college production of Shakespeare's tragedy drama- Othello (directed by Tom Blank). He also acted in the black comedy "Red Noses" at the college (directed by Michael Fields)
  • UCLA: Cress graduated from the "University of California, Los Angeles"- a public research university in Los Angeles with a Major in theater. [3]

Marriage - Wife

Cress Williams & Kristen Torrianni

Cress married his long time girlfriend (since 2006) Kristen Torrianni on 15th June 2013 in Kauai, Hawaii. The event was attended by their parents and Cress's daughter. They both met during a Church event which they both attended. The event was attended by Cress's co-stars Kaitlyn Black, Scott Porter, Wilson Bethel & others.

Cress Williams with wife Kristen Torrianni

Image: Cress Williams with wife Kristen Torrianni

Cress Williams & Simbi Khali

Cress married actress Simbi Khali (Simbi Kali Williams) on 14th October 2000 in Malibu, California. She is know for her roles in- "3rd Rock from the Sun", "We Were Soldiers", "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate", "Martin".

Cress Williams & Simbi Khali

[ Cress Williams & Simbi Khali ]


Cress Williams and Simbi Khali have 2 children together. A son named Elijah Khali Thomas Williams born on July 20, 2004. And a Daughter named Amika Khali Williams born on August 13, 2007.

Facts & Trivia

  • Early interest in acting: His interest in acting started when he was 7 years old. While his friends were into basketball and football he would get into singing contests.
  • Acting school: He went to a junior college where he majored in Theatre.
  • Smooth transition: He got picked up for roles while he was studying in the last year at UCLA.
  • First Audition: His first audition was for Original Beverly Hills. He got the role and appeared in about 13 episodes.
  • He went to become a puppeteer after his college and worked for some time on it.
  • Othello: Cress acted in the Othello(1990) play produced by Fullerton College. "Red Noses", "The Elephant Man" were other plays he acted while at college.
  • He stated his career in 1990s, he started making enough money to focus solely on acting since 1993.
  • Startrek First: He was the first actor to play a Jem'Hadar in Star Trek.
  • Religion: He is a devoted Christian, he attends Churches regularly, coincidentally that is where he met his second wife.
  • Karaoke: He is a big fan ok Karaoke, he goes to Karaoke every week, his parents love singing as well and their love for music has rubbed off on him.
  • Video games: He likes playing video games, Assassin Creed is among his favorites.
  • Advice for young actors: Always enjoy what you are doing, let your passion lead you into what you want to do, when that happens give it your 110%
  • Drugs: He was addicted to drugs for about 20 years, He watched the show "Intervention" (made on drug addiciton) which eventually helped him get rid of the habit.
  • Left-Handed: He is Left Handed [4]

Questions & Answers

  • Are Cress Williams & Nafessa Williams related?
    • NO, They are not related
  • Is Cress Williams Gay?
    • No, Cress has been marreid twice to women and has chidlren with his first wife Simbi
  • Can Cress Williams speak German? (he was born in Germany)
    • Though Cress was born in Germany, his (American) family had moved to United States before he could learn to speak
  • Why does 'Black Lightning' star Cress Williams look so familiar, is he a look alike of some other star?
    • Cress doesn't have a look alike, but he has been appearing on TV & movies for more than 2 decades, he has played numerous guest roles on TV, and many minor roles. 


Cress has Tattoos all over his body, on chest, arms, ribcage and many more.

Cress Williams Tattoos

[ Cress Williams Tattoos ]


  • Acting teacher: He teaches acting at the acting school, has been teaching since 2008. Usually teaches on the Saturdays.
  • Voice acting: He has done voice acting for some commercials and public service ads for the sake of his friends.
  • Director Cress: Cress Williams has directed plays like- Talk Radio, Answers, Loyalties.

Black Lightning

Cress Williams was the first choice for the role of Black Lightning in the Superhero TV series of same name, but the casting directors didn't tell him until he was actually announced.

The heavy suit he wore for his role in Black Lightening would initially cause bruises and wounds even to just wear it. He got used to it in the later stages. It is beleived that his salary per episode of the series was - $175,000

Cress Williams as Black Lightning

[ Cress Williams as Black Lightning ]


Movies List

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


TV Series List

Year TV Series Character Comments
2018-2020 Black Lightning Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning) Lead Role
2020 DC's Legends of Tomorrow Black Lightning "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five" (Season 5 Episode 1)
2019 The Flash Black Lightning "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three" (Season 6 Episode 9)
2018 Surge of Power: Big City Chronicles Black Lightning "Surge meets Black Lightning, Cress Williams" (Season 2 Episode 19)
2015-2017 Code Black Cole Guthrie "Sometimes It's a Zebra", "In Extremis", "You Are the Heart", "The Son Rises" , "Cardiac Support" (Season 1 Episode 4,6,8,9,10); "Unfinished Business" (Season 2 Episode 13)
2011-2015 Hart of Dixie Lavon Hayes Main Role; All 76 Episodes
2015 State of Affairs Dale Scott "Bellerophon", "Ghosts" (Season 1 Episode 7-8)
2011 Hawthorne Tony Gee "Price of Admission" , "A Shot in the Dark" (Season 3 Episode 8, 10)
2010-2011 Friday Night Lights Ornette Howard 10 Episodes
2009 Cold Case Jimmy Clarke "Jurisprudence" (Season 7 Episode 3)
2008 Prison Break Wyatt 9 Episodes (Season 4 Episodes 1-9)
2006-2008 Grey's Anatomy Tucker Jones 9 Episodes
1998-2008 ER Officer Reggie Moore 14 Episodes; lasted a decade
2006-2007 Close to Home Ed Williams 20 Episodes (Season 2)
2005-2006 The West Wing Lester "Undecideds", "Election Day: Part 1" ( Season 7 Episode 8,16)
2005-2006 Veronica Mars Nathan Woods "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang", "Green-Eyed Monster", "Blast from the Past" , "Rashard and Wallace Go to White Castle" (Season 2 Episode 3-5, 12)
2004 House Hospital Attorney "Maternity" (Season 1 Episode 4)
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sam Dufoy "Careless" (Season 5 Episode 18)
2003 The Lyon's Den Eddie "Beach House"( Season 1  Episode 12)
2003 Watching Ellie Dexter "Buskers" (Season 2 Episode 4)
2003 Touched by an Angel Riley "And a Nightingale Sang" (Season 9 Episode 14
2002 The District Dr. Carson "Drug Money" (Season 3 Episode 4)
2002 Presidio Med Richard Clayton "This Baby's Gonna Fly" (Season 1 Episode 1)
2001-2002 Providence Dr. Sam Magala 8 Episodes (some episodes of Season 4)
2001 Philly Calvin Burney "Loving Sons" (Season 1  Episode 9)
2000-2001 Nash Bridges Antwon Babcock 22 Episodes
2000 Good vs Evil Virgil Grissom "Underworld" (Season 2  Episode 11)
2000 Sports Night Steve Sarris "Dana Get Your Gun" (Season 2 Episode 13
1999 Becker Chris Davis "Blind Curve" (Season 2  Episode 11)
1998 Buddy Faro Jaleel Jermaine "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" (Season 1 Episode 4)
1998 Creature Tall Man "Night 1" (Season 1 | Episodes 1-2)
1993-1998 Living Single Terrence Williams 10 Episodes
1997 Leaving L.A. Dudley Adams 6 Episodes (Season 1  Episodes 1-6)
1996 JAG Captain Overton "The Brotherhood" (Season 1 Episode 12)
1996 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Baron Sunday "Never on Sunday" (Season 3 Episode 12)
1995 NYPD Blue Silky "A Murder with Teeth in It" (Season 2 Episode 14); "One Big Happy Family" ( Season 3 Episode 3)
1995 If Not for You Ahmed "Snap!" (Season 1 Episode 4)
1995 The Watcher   "Resurrection/Niles and Bob/Harry Stenz" (Season 1 Episode 2)
1994 Hardball 'Spotlight' Davis "See Spot Rum" (Season 1 Episode 8)
1993-1994 Beverly Hills, 90210 D'Shawn Hardell 13 Episodes; (season 4 & 5)
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Talak'talan "The Jem'Hadar" ( Season 2 Episode 26)

Short Movies

Year Short Movie Character Comments
2002 Couples Marcus TV
1997 Pants on Fire Dream Guy  

Video Games

  • Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game- He appears in the video game as Tucker Jones.

News & Updates

  • He attended Denver Comic Con 2018.


  • While growing up, I always wanted to be an actor, I don't know anytime of my life when I was not interested in acting.
  • The [acting] program taught me to respect the craft, something I hold dear even today
  • When I got my first role I thought I'd get famous instantly and spent all my money in the summer thinking I'll be famous very soon. When I didn't get a call for couple of months the panic set in.
  • I'm 6 feet 5, and I'm black, I was aware people thought I should be on the basketball court and not in the theatre.
  • When I was in college I was like a Jedi Knight, I was focused, I would plan what to do next from monologues at school to food and chores.
  • Having had no prior experience before college, I felt like an underdog, kids who come to acting college usually attend acting classes before that. I had to work twice as hard to be perceived an equal.
  • You would be surprised how many people take arts lightly.
  • There is always someone willing to work harder than you, there is always someone got it harder than you and those who got it easier than you.
  • Art is a natural ability, but you need to cultivate the ability into craft and make Art a craft.
  • To be an actor you have to learn to be joyful, not on sets, but outside, you may not get jobs for months, you need to be busy with things that make you happy. That is the key for longevity in acting. Their joy is dependent on how their career is going, living that way burns you out.
  • [About playing superhero] I have always wanted to be a superhero. I feel almost like I have been practicing my whole life. 
  • The most challenging part in acting is 'free falling' , if you have a job you know you have a job and a salary, in acting you are always free lancing.
  • It is a dream come true to play a superhero.
  • Justice, like lightning, should ever appear to some men hope, to other men fear
  • I was getting old. I thought, maybe my dream of becoming a superhero will never be realized. And then "Black Lightning" came along, not only is it fulfilling this dream, It is telling a story that is even more important in a package.
  • I have studied Improv and highly recommend it, not only to actors but directors as well. Having those skills as an improver you can change the dialogues and change with the scene especially in comedy.
  • If it is a long day for actors and directors, one must not forget that crew has had a even longer day, they come before everyone and go after everyone.
  • When I first started acting all I had was instincts, my instincts were good but there was no practice or technique. An actor with technique will know how audience responds to subtle changes.
  • If things are a bit chaotic on the set, trying to be little patient, stepping outside and giving them room to fix things up, trying to behave with grace is the best an actor can do.
  • One of the biggest things about acting is you have to make 100% commitment, even if you think it feels silly to act certain way.
  • [About Black Panther & Black Lightening coming out at the right time] I think it is product of the times we live in, 
  • Our children are our precious commodity, you ask anybody who has a kid.


  1. Cress Williams Wiki
  2. Fullerton College
  3. UCLA
  4. Imdb bio

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