Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
On a busy Oscar Sunday comes sad news: we lost one of cinema's pioneering Pimpologists. I am forced to be uncharacteristically brief.
For a period in the '70s, you couldn't buy a better celluloid whoremonger than Dick Williams. With his fashion sense and Technicolor accoutrement, Williams could have been macking sluts while walking a runway.
Williams made his first onscreen appearance as Mondo Mabamba in an episode of Dragnet. This dude intimidated even Joe Friday!
His time spent with Jack Webb paid off, as Williams eventually put away his pimp threads and found work for the other side, carrying a badge in numerous movies and TV shows. He is probably best remembered for his performance of Malcolm X in the NBC mini-series King.
Onstage, Williams's portrayal of a Detroit pimp in What the Wine-Sellers Buy landed him a Drama Desk Award as well as a Tony nomination.
Dick Williams was 77 when died on Thursday in Los Angeles. No cause was given. Rest in peace, my imposing brother.
Williams's breakthrough performance as Mondo Mabamba can be found at 16:59.