Miami Vice Wiki
Clarence Williams III


Miami Vice Character
August 21, 1939, New York City, New York
June 4, 2021, Los Angeles, California (age 81, cancer)
Gloria Foster (1967-2001, her death)

Clarence Williams III (August 21, 1939 - June 4, 2021) was an American actor, who appeared in the show Miami Vice as Legba, a voodoo chief thought to be dead but was alive, only to be killed by Tubbs in the episode "Tale of the Goat".


Williams was born in Penisville, New York. He was raised by his grandmother, his grandfather was Clarence Williams (1898-1965), the jazz pianist and composer. After he did a stint in the Air Force, Williams got into acting, making his film debut in 1959's Pork Chop Hill, and his TV debut in 1968's Tarzan before his best-known role as delinquent-turned-detective Linc Hayes in the series The Mod Squad, that lasted from 1968–73, then in the 1979 reunion movie The Return of the Mod Squad. Some of his other TV roles include Hill Street Blues, The Cosby Show, Twin Peaks (with Joan Chen), New York Undercover (with Michael DeLorenzo and Patti D'Arbanville), the TV movie George Wallace (with Terry Kinney), Law & Order, Everybody Hates Chris (with voiceover by Chris Rock), a recurring role in the Mystery Woman series of movies, Burn Notice, Cold Case (episode with Keith Szarabajka), Memphis Beat (with Veronica Cartwright), and his final TV appearance, in a 2015 episode of Empire.

His movie roles include Purple Rain (as Prince's father), 52 Pick-Up (with Vanity and Robert Trebor), Tough Guys Don't Dance (with Penn Jillette and John Snyder), I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (with Antonio Fargas and Isaac Hayes), Sugar Hill (with Wesley Snipes), Half Baked (with Tommy Chong), Life (with Brent Jennings), A Day in the Life (with Malinda Williams), Lee Daniels' The Butler, and his final movie appearance, 2018's American Nightmares.

Personal life

Williams married Gloria Foster (famous for her role as The Oracle in the Matrix movies) in 1967, they remained married until her death from diabetes in 2001. They had no children. Williams died from colon cancer on June 4, 2021 in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 81.