Honoring The Hammer

In his early years, Fred Williamson played with several NFL/AFL teams. He played with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League in 1960. He went on to play in the American Football League for four seasons for the Oakland Raiders, making the AFL All-Star team in 1961, 1962 and 1963. He then played three seasons for the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. He was named “The Hammer” because of the hits he took and the ones he gave.

After retiring in 1968, he followed in the footsteps of fellow NFL player Jim Brown and went straight to Hollywood. His first major movie role was as Dr. Oliver Jones aka “Spearchucker” in the 1970 movie MASH.

Fred Williamson as Oliver Jones aka “Spearchucker” in the 1970 movie MASH

Fred Williamson as Oliver Jones aka “Spearchucker” in the 1970 movie MASH

Fred Williamson acted alongside Jim Brown in Three the Hard Way (1974), Take a Hard Ride (1975) , One Down, Two to Go (1982) and Original Gangstas (1996).

During the 1970’s Fred played the lead role in Black Caesar (1973) and in the sequel Hell Up in Harlem (1973). In 1974 he starred in Crazy Joe with Peter Boyle and Eli Wallach. In 1975, Fred hit gold with his blockbuster film Boss Nigger.

Fred Williamson also directed and produced Boss Nigger. His second film as a producer was Mean Johnny Barrows (1976). He has since directed over 20 features. Fred was revolutionary for his time. During the 1970’s he moved to Rome, Italy to form his own company, Po’ Boy Productions, where he produced action films like Adios Amigo (1976) and Death Journey (1976). He also starred in and directed these films.

The Legend of Nigger Charley 1972

The Legend of Nigger Charley 1972

"My company is named Po Boy Productions," he says. "I started it during the so-called boom in Black pictures. That boom collapsed in the mid-1970s because the white studio chiefs didn't think it was socially desirable to go to parties in Bel-Air and brag about how their most successful movie that year was 'The Legend of Nigger Charley.'

Fred Williamson
"I Like The Life" by Roger Ebert 

Below is the Museum Of UnCut Funk’s Movie Poster Art Collection featuring films Fred Williamson acted in, directed and produced over the course of his career.

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