Billy Dee Williams Is Good at This Talent That Most Never Knew He Had
Billy Dee Williams is better known for his role as Lando Calrissian in the “Star Wars” film franchise. However, many of his fans never knew he’s also a talented painter whose works are displayed in some of the most important museums and galleries of the country.
The 82-year-old actor has built a successful and exemplary career in the entertainment industry since he started acting on Broadway in the ‘50s.
As a teenager, Williams attended the High School of Music and Art. Upon graduation, he was awarded the prestigious Hallgarten Award Scholarship to attend the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design, where, to buy paintings and canvas, he started to get acting jobs despite his art teacher’s protests.
Thanks to his innate talent and charming personality on screen, Williams quickly became a distinguished star in Hollywood.
To these days, he has acted in over 100 movies, and some of his most notable roles were in films such as “Lady Sings the Blues,” “Mahogany” with Diana Ross, “Nighthawks,” “Batman,” and the Broadway productions of “Fences” and as Martin Luther King in “I Had a Dream.”
Billy resumed his love for painting in the late ‘80s, but only his most devoted and die-hard fans are aware of his talent on canvas.
His paintings explore different motifs such as music, philosophy, psychology, love, interior landscape and history, and Billy’s go-to technique is usually oil on canvas. However, he has also experimented by adding collage elements and even created three-dimensional paintings incorporating other elements like ceramic, Lucite, and neon light.
Williams has hosted several exhibitions across the country, and some of his works are hanging in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Gallery in Washington DC; the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in New York; the African American Museum in New Orleans, and the Museum of Jazz in Kansas City.
On top of that, Billy’s position as the Honorary Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute means that every year one of his paintings is selected to appear on the cover of their concert program.
Williams recently shared pics of some of his painting on Instagram, adding in the caption that:
“It is…so fulfilling to express myself when painting… The Struggles, The Joys, The Pain of The People. Something tangible to reflect upon.”
Billy is set to reprise his role as Landon in the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”