Clarence Williams III of TV’s ‘The Mod Squad’ Dies at 81

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Williams, at R, with Cole and Lipton

Clarence Williams III, the actor best known for his portrayal of Lincoln “Linc” Hayes, one of three undercover cops in TV’s The Mod Squad, died Friday, June 4, 2021, in Los Angeles. News of his passing of colon cancer at age 81 was revealed today (June 6).

The series debuted on ABC in 1968 when Williams, then 29 years-old, teamed with his co-stars Michael Cole and Peggy Lipton, herself just 22 at the time. The counterculture program dealt with a lot of issues that were still new to television, such as abortion and the anti-war movement.

The Mod Squad ran for five seasons, peaking in 1970-71 as network television’s #11 top-rated show.

Cole turned 80 on July 3, 2020. Lipton passed at the age of 72 in 2019.

More than a decade later, Williams starred as Prince’s father in the 1984 feature film, Purple Rain.

Williams was born in New York City on August 21, 1939. He received a Tony nomination in 1965 for Best Featured Actor in Slow Dance on the Killing Ground. His dozens of credits include the films Tales From the Hood, Reindeer Games, and Keenen Ivory Wayon’s parody film I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, a recurring role on TV’s Twin Peaks, as well as guest roles on Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice and Law & Order.

Watch Williams in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka

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  1. Picker76
    #1 Picker76 6 June, 2021, 20:02

    Linc…you were “Solid”!

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  2. RecordSteve
    #2 RecordSteve 8 June, 2021, 00:29

    He was ‘solid’ on those murder mystery movies too=will miss you bro….

    Reply this comment

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