Dick Anthony Williams, best known for his role as ‘Pretty Tony’ in the 1973 blaxploitation film, “The Mack,” died in Los Angeles on February 15 at the age of 73.
The Chicago native and legendary thespian was a Tony Award nominated actor who appeared on Broadway in several productions, including The Poison Tree, Ain’t Supposed To Die a Natural Death, Black Picture Show and What the Wine-Sellers Buy, winning the prestigious Drama Desk Award in 1974 for that performance.
Though he experienced wide acclaim for those endeavors, his role as ‘Pretty Tony’ ensured his stamp on Hip-Hop culture. Co-starring Max Julien and Richard Pryor, the film explored the life of pimps and hustlers in Oakland, California, and songs and scenes have been sampled by such artists as Tupac Shakur, Outkast, Jadakiss, Ludacris and Ghostface Killah.
In addition to “The Mack,” Williams also appeared in “Five On The Black Hand Side,” “The Jerk,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Edward Scissorhands,” according to Theater Mania.
Williams, along with Woodie King Jr., founded the famous New Federal Theatre (NFT) in 1970. The theater has been a breeding ground for exceptional Black talent, including Denzel Washington, Phylicia Rashad, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Morgan Freeman.
He is survived by his children, Mona, Jason, and Mikah.