Producer of ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’, actor Samm-Art Williams has passed away

WASHINGTON: Playwright, actor and director Samm-Art Williams, who earned a Tony nomination, has died at the age of 78.

His death was confirmed by his cousin Carol Brown to The Hollywood Reporter.

In a statement, Brown said that while Mr. Williams’ influential contributions to American theater and television will continue, his absence will be deeply felt. Williams rose to fame with his Tony-nominated play “Home,” directed by Douglas Turner Ward and produced on Broadway by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1980. This critically acclaimed production returns to Broadway on June 5, under the direction of Kenny Leon.

Williams received accolades for “Home,” including an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk nomination, an NAACP Image Award and a North Carolina Governor’s Award. His literary repertoire expanded to include works such as “Welcome to Black River,” “Friends” and other plays performed in New York, Los Angeles and beyond. However, Williams was also executive producer of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” starring Will Smith.

Throughout his career, Williams received prestigious awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Playwriting, and several other writing awards. His achievements extended to television, earning him two Emmy nominations as a producer for “Frank’s Place” in 1988 and “Motown Returns to the Apollo” in 1985.