Born in Fayetteville, GA, actor Gary Anthony Williams attended Clayton State College. A classically trained actor, Williams honed his craft via involvement with the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, then performed in various theatrical locales including Agatha’s Dinner Theatre, The Shakespeare Tavern, and the Alliance Theatre. Williams moved into television in the late 1990s, with a guest spot on the series drama In the Heat of the Night and a small role in the Schwarzenegger thriller End of Days (1999).
Dick Anthony appeared in several programs including CSI, Joan of Arcadia, and NYPD Blue, appearing in recurring roles on shows such as Malcolm in the Middle, and tackling a small supporting part in the farce Undercover Brother (2002). He signed for two permanent series roles in subsequent years: that of in the racially themed animated sitcom The Boondocks, and that of Clarence Bell, a shy lawyer who develops a drag queen alter ego, Clarice, to contend with difficult situations, on the offbeat David E. Kelley series drama Boston Legal.
His film credits include Uptight, The Lost Man, Slaughter’s Big Rip Off, Five On The Black Hand Side, Dog Day Afternoon, The Jerk, Tap, Mo’ Better Blues and Edward Scissorhands among others. He also played “pretty Tony” in the 1973 blaxploitation film The Mack starring alongside Max Julien and Richard Pryor. The mini-series King along with Our Family Honor and American Playhouse are included in his long list of television credits.
The posters above are in the collection of The Museum of UnCut Funk
Known for his Broadway performance in productions like The Poison Tree, he received a Tony nomination in 1974 for his role in What the Wine-Sellers Buy and in 1975 for Black Picture Show.
Williams also co-founded, along with Woodie King Jr., the famous New Federal Theatre. The theatre was instrumental in showcasing a multitude of black playwrights and actors/actresses including Amiri Baraka, Ntozake Shange, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Samuel Jackson and more.
Dick Anthony Williams passed away on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at the age of 73.