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Only a small handful of those who have studied acting at Fullerton College have gone on to successful careers on stage and in television and films—but Cress Williams is a bonafide TV star, having brought a stable, reliable presence to countless TV series and movies over the past two decades.
Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Williams spent most of his school years in Orange County, enrolling at Fullerton College in 1988. He studied acting, appeared in many of the Theatre Arts Department’s productions—including Red Noses, Extremities, Hair, Curse of the Starving Class, and the lead in Othello—and won the first Bronwyn Dodson Scholarship. He earned a theater degree at UCLA.
Williams is best known for his many television roles stretching back over the past 20 years, including detective Ed Williams in Close to Home, Inspector Antwon Babcock in the final season of Nash Bridges, D’Shawn Hardell in seasons four and five of Beverly Hills, 90210, music promoter Terrence “Scooter” Williams in Living Single, football hero and town mayor Lavon Hayes in Hart of Dixie, hit man Wyatt Mathewson in Prison Break, and Ornette Howard in Friday Night Lights. He has guest-starred on many broadcast and cable TV series (Cold Case, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, House, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NYPD Blue and The West Wing) and has appeared in such TV movies as Couples, Home Invasion, If Not for You and Masquerade, and in the theatrical films Ball Don’t Lie, Fallen, and Pursuit of Happiness.
Television Actor, Friday Night Lights; Beverly Hills, 90210; Prison Break; Close to Home; Hart of Dixie
Film Actor, Masquerade; Fallen; Ball Don’t Lie
B.F.A., Theater, University of California, Los Angeles
Recipient, first Bronwyn Dodson Scholarship