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 inFallen 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.
Cress Williams was born on 26th July 1970 in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. After the birth his family moved to Chicago, he grew up mostly in Orange County.
Cress Williams & Simbi Khali Marriage: The couple married on 14th October 2000 in Malibu.
The couple have 2 children. A son named Elijah Khali Thomas Williams born on July 20, 2004. And a Daughter named Amika Khali Williams born on August 13, 2007.
Cress Williams & Kristen Torrianni Marriage: 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. It was attended by Cress's co-stars Kaitlyn Black, Scott Porter, Wilson Bethel.
Image: Cress Williams with wife Kristen Torrianni
Cress Williams: 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 also 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.
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.
He was the first actor to play a Jem'Hadar in Star Trek.
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.
Believer: He is a devoted Christian, he attends Churches regularly, coincidentally that is where he met his second wife.
He attended Denver Comic Con 2018.
Cress has Tattoos all over his body, on chest, arms, ribcage and many more.
Director Cress: Cress Williams has directed plays like- Talk Radio, Answers, Loyalties.
Karaoke: He is a big fan ok Karaoke, he goes to Karaoke every week, his parents love singing as well and has brushed up on him.
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%
He wears a heavy suit for his role in Black Lightening, initially it would cause bruises and wounds even to just wear it.
Drugs: He was addicted to drugs for about 20 years, He watched the show intervention which evnetually helped him get rid of the habit.
Cress Williams: Quotes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 actos but directors as well. Having those skills as an improver you can change the dialogues and change with the scene especially in comedy.
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.
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.
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.
It is a dream come true to play a superhero.
[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.
Cress Williams: Filmography
Lowriders(2016): He portrayed the role- Detective Williams in the Adventure Crime Drama movie by Ricardo de Montreuil with stars- Gabriel Chavarria, Demián Bichir, Theo Rossi playing important roles
In Your Eyes(2014): He portrayed Jake in this Romantic Fantasy movie directed by Brin Hill , it has Mark Feuerstein, Michael Stahl-David, Zoe Kazan playing in the lead.
Ball Don't Lie(2008): He portrayed the role- Dante in this Drama movie directed by Brin Hill with actors- Grayson Boucher, Rosanna Arquette, Ludacris in the lead cast.
Haskett's Chance(2006): He portrayed the character- Hudson Chanticleer in the Comedy by Tim Blake Nelson created by Conaco, Willie Reale with actors- John Ainsworth, David Aaron Baker, Dylan Baker playing the lead characters.
Little Black Book(2004): Cress was Phil in the Comedy movie by Nick Hurran with actors- Brittany Murphy, Ron Livingston, Holly Hunter playing main roles.
Couples(2002): He played the character- Marcus in the , it was directed by Marc Buckland , it stars Ever Carradine, Ryan Dowler, Scott Grimes in the cast.
Pursuit of Happiness(2001): He portrayed the character- Ace in the Romantic Comedy movie directed by John Putch , cast included Annabeth Gish, Amy Jo Johnson, Frank Whaley
Masquerade(2000): Cress was in the directed by Roy Campanella II with actors- Kellita Smith, Simbi Kali, Cress Williams in the lead cast.
The Dogwalker(1999): He played the character- K.C. in this Comedy Drama movie directed by Paul Duran with actors- Will Stewart, Tony Todd, Stepfanie Kramer playing main roles.
Never Been Kissed(1999): He played George in the Romantic Drama movie directed by Raja Gosnell , it has Michael Vartan, Drew Barrymore, David Arquette in the lead cast.
Fallen(1998): Cress Williams portrayed the character of Detective Joe in this Crime Drama movie directed by Gregory Hoblit , cast included Donald Sutherland, John Goodman, Denzel Washington
Home Invasion(1997): Cress was Freemont in the Thriller directed by David Jackson starring Veronica Hamel, Cress Williams, Bonnie Root in the lead.
L.A. Johns(1997): He acted as Bill Allen in the Drama , it was directed by Joyce Chopra , it has Thomas Calabro, Brittney Powell, John Terry in the main roles.
2 Days in the Valley(1996): He acted as Golfer in this Comedy movie directed by John Herzfeld with stars- Teri Hatcher, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello playing important roles.
Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault(1996): He portrayed the role- Kimbrough in the Sports Drama by Eriq La Salle with stars- James Earl Jones, Michael Beach, Don Cheadle in the main roles.
Rolling Thunder(1996): He played the role of Grey Toussaint in this Comedy , it was directed by Ralph Hemecker, P.J. Pesce , it stars Cress Williams, Yvette Nipar, Stephen Shellen in the cast.
The Doom Generation(1995): He acted as Peanut in this Comedy by Gregg Araki created by Gregg Araki, featuring James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech in the cast.
Black Lightning(2018): He portrayed the role of Jefferson Pierce in the Drama TV Series with stars- China Anne McClain, Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams playing important roles.
Doubt(2017): He portrayed the role of ADA Gates in the Series produced by Midwest Livestock, Joan Rater, Tony Phelan with actors- Dulé Hill, Katherine Heigl, Laverne Cox in the lead cast.
Code Black(2015): Cress was Cole Guthrie in the Drama Series created by Michael Seitzman , it has Marcia Gay Harden, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Harry Ford in the lead cast.
State of Affairs(2015): Cress Williams was Dale Scott in the Drama Series produced by Alexi Hawley, Abishag Productions, Aardwolf Creative, STX Entertainment with the cast Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Adam Kaufman
Hart of Dixie(2011): Cress played Lavon Hayes in the Romantic Comedy Drama Series , it has Rachel Bilson, Jaime King, Cress Williams in the lead cast.
Hawthorne(2011): He played the character- Tony Gee in this Drama TV Series , cast included Hannah Hodson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Suleka Mathew
Friday Night Lights(2010): Cress Williams portrayed the character of Ornette Howard in the Sports TV Series starring Kyle Chandler, Zach Gilford, Connie Britton in the lead.
Cold Case(2009): Cress played Jimmy Clarke in the Mystery Crime Drama Series , it features Danny Pino, Kathryn Morris, John Finn in the cast.
Prison Break(2008): He acted as Wyatt in the Crime Drama Series created by Paul Scheuring , cast included Amaury Nolasco, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell
Close to Home(2006): Cress played Ed Williams in the Drama Series with stars- Kimberly Elise, David James Elliott, Jennifer Finnigan in the main roles.
Grey's Anatomy(2006): He portrayed Tucker Jones in this Romantic Drama Series created by Shondaland, Shonda Rhimes, The Mark Gordon Company, Touchstone Television , cast included Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Justin Chambers
Veronica Mars(2005): He portrayed the role of Nathan Woods in the Mystery Crime Drama TV Series created by Rob Thomas with actors- Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring, Kristen Bell in the lead cast.
The West Wing(2005): Cress played Lester in the Drama Series with the cast of Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, Martin Sheen
House(2004): He played Hospital Attorney in this Mystery Drama Series with the cast of Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit(2004): He played the role- Sam Dufoy in the Mystery Crime Drama TV Series with Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Christopher Meloni in the lead cast.
The Lyon's Den(2003): Cress played Eddie in the Drama TV Series starring Perrey Reeves, Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Mitchell in the lead.
Watching Ellie(2003): He played the character of Dexter in this Comedy Series created by NBC Studios, Brad Hall, Hammond's Reef with actors- Steve Carell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Darren Boyd playing the lead characters.
Touched by an Angel(2003): Cress played Riley in the Family Fantasy Drama Series starring Roma Downey, John Dye, Della Reese in the main roles.
Presidio Med(2002): He acted as Richard Clayton in this Drama Series with the cast of Jocelyn Rose, Paul Blackthorne, Dana Delany
The District(2002): He played the character- Dr. Carson in the Comedy Drama Series , cast included Sean Patrick Thomas, Craig T. Nelson, Roger Aaron Brown
Philly(2001): Cress Williams was Calvin Burney in the Drama TV Series created by Alison Cross, Steven Bochco it has Kim Delaney, Rick Hoffman, Tom Everett Scott in the lead cast.
Providence(2001): He played the role of Dr. Sam Magala in the TV Series created by John Masius , it features Mike Farrell, Paula Cale, Melina Kanakaredes in the cast.
Good vs Evil(2000): He portrayed the role- Virgil Grissom in the TV Series starring Richard Brooks, Googy Gress, Clayton Rohner in the lead.
Sports Night(2000): He portrayed the role- Steve Sarris in the Sports Comedy Drama TV Series , the series was created by Aaron Sorkin it stars Peter Krause, Josh Charles, Felicity Huffman in the cast.
Nash Bridges(2000): He played the role- Antwon Babcock in the Crime Drama TV Series created by Carlton Cuse with the cast of Cheech Marin, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Don Johnson
Becker(1999): He acted as Chris Davis in the Comedy Series , the series was created by Dave Hackel with the cast Hattie Winston, Terry Farrell, Ted Danson
Buddy Faro(1998): Cress Williams portrayed the character of Jaleel Jermaine in the Drama TV Series , it has Frank Whaley, Dennis Farina, Allison Smith in the main roles.
ER(1998): Cress played Reggie Moore in the Drama Series with the cast Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
Creature(1998): Cress appeared as Tall Man in the Horror directed by created by MGM Television, Trilogy Entertainment Group, Hallmark Entertainment Distribution LLC starring Kim Cattrall, Craig T. Nelson, Colm Feore in the main roles.
Leaving L.A.(1997): Cress was Dudley Adams in the Drama Series , it features Christopher Meloni, Melina Kanakaredes, Lorraine Toussaint in the cast.
JAG(1996): He played the role of Captain Overton in this Crime Drama TV Series with Catherine Bell, Patrick Labyorteaux, David James Elliott in the lead cast.
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman(1996): Cress played Baron Sunday in the Adventure Comedy Drama Series created by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Deborah Joy LeVine with the cast of Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Lane Smith
The Watcher(1995): He portrayed in the Drama TV Series starring Bobbie Phillips, Sir Mix A Lot, Larry Gamell Jr. in the main roles.
If Not for You(1995): He portrayed the character- Ahmed in the Romantic Comedy Series with Chris Hogan, Hank Azaria, Elizabeth McGovern in the lead cast.
NYPD Blue(1995): He portrayed the role of Silky in the Mystery Drama Series with actors- Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, Jimmy Smits in the lead cast.
Hardball(1994): Cress appeared as Spotlight Davis in the Sports Comedy Series , cast includes Mike Starr, Alexandra Wentworth, Bruce Greenwood
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine(1994): He portrayed the role- Talak'talan in the Drama Series , the series was created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller with stars- Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton, Avery Brooks in the main roles.
Living Single(1993): He played the role of Terrence Williams in the TV Series , it features Erika Alexander, Queen Latifah, Kim Coles in the cast.
Beverly Hills, 90210(1993): He portrayed D'Shawn Hardell in the Series with stars- Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley, Luke Perry in the main roles.
Pants on Fire(1997): He acted in the role of Dream Guy in this Comedy directed by Monique Sorgen created by Monique Sorgen , it has Gary Caplan, Patrick Newall, Ronny Cox in the lead cast.