Clarence Williams III, played Linc on The Mod Squad, dead at 81
Clarence Williams III, best known for portraying Linc in The Mod Squad, has died at the age of 81, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The actor’s management team confirmed that Williams died of colon cancer on Friday in Los Angeles.
Recommended by Bill Cosby to producer Aaron Spelling for the role of Lincoln “Linc” Hayes, Williams played the character from 1968 to 1973 in 123 episodes over five seasons. The crime drama, created by Bud Ruskin, followed young adults (played by Williams, Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole) who had come into conflict with the law but later became police officers under the guidance of Captain Adam Greer (played by Tige Andrews). . The show highlighted the counterculture of the era, which often included topical issues such as anti-war protests, drug addiction, and racism, while the troupe visited schools, prisons, and gangs to catch bad guys.
Linc “was a very different role for an African American and a wonderful protagonist that many young people, black and white, and mostly African-American youth, could identify with,” Williams told the Los Angeles Times in a 1995 interview.
Although Williams departed from the role to pursue other opportunities, Williams played the character again in the 1979 television movie The Return of Mod Squad. He then starred in other television series including Hill Street Blues, TJ Hooker, The Cosby Show , Miami Vice, Twin Peaks, Walker Texas Ranger, Burn Notice, Empire, Justified, and more.
His most notable films include Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Reindeer Games, The General’s Daughter, Half Baked and Tales From the Hood.