Jesse Wesley Williams, a former high school teacher, and activist who became an actor and director on August 5, 1981, was born in New York City. He’s most recognized for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and his activism for the marginalized, as evidenced by his internationally resonant acceptance speech for the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award.
He also portrays real-life civil rights pioneer Rev. James Lawson in Lee Daniels’ smash 2013 film The Butler. Holden in The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Officer Eddie Quinlan in Brooklyn’s Finest (2009), Leo in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008), and Isaac “Ike” Singer in Jacob’s Ladder are some of his previous performances (2019).
Johanna Chase, a renowned potter, and Reginald Williams raised Williams in Chicago. His mother is a Swedish American, while his father is a Georgian. His two younger brothers are both visual artists who work in the profession.
In 1998, Williams received his diploma from Providence’s Moses Brown School. His father began teaching history in northern Maine after graduating from high school, and his mother continued to work in the pottery industry.
Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and a master’s degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University. He taught American Studies, African Studies, and English for six years in the Philadelphia public school system, following in his parents’ footsteps.
Life in General
Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee dated for five years before marrying on September 1, 2012. Sadie Williams (b. December 2013) and Maceo Williams are the couple’s children (b. October 2015). In April of 2017, the couple decided to divorce.
Start of A Career
Jesse Williams was Reginald Williams’s and Johanna’s sole child when he was born in 1981. He is of mixed race because his father is African-American and his mother is Swedish.
Williams has two younger brothers, both of whom are brilliant artists. In 1998, he obtained his high school graduation from Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island. Following Williams’ high school graduation, his father began teaching history in northern Maine.
Williams had previously played Drew Collins in two episodes of ABC Family’s “Greek,” but in 2009 he landed his biggest role to date as Jackson Avery on “Grey’s Anatomy.” He was cast as a regular after the show’s seventh season aired.
In 2008, Williams made her feature film debut with “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.” The next year, he starred alongside Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, and Richard Gere in the crime drama “Brooklyn’s Finest.”
Williams was cast in his first major role after playing Holden McCrea in the horror-comedy “The Cabin in the Woods” in 2012. In the historical drama “The Butler,” Cuba Gooding Jr. played civil rights pioneer James Lawson, with Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Jane Fonda, Robin Williams, Vanessa Redgrave, John Cusack, and others.
Williams has also appeared in the crime thriller “Money” in addition to “Snake & Mongoose.” In 2017, he appeared in the film “Band-Aid.” Williams’ most successful films in 2019 were “Random Acts of Violence” and “Jacob’s Ladder,” as well as his role as Headmaster Banton in “Selah and the Spades.”
Jesse Williams Is a Gay Man.
Is Jesse Williams gay? In Richard Greenberg, he plays the character of Gay. Remove Me.
Take Me Out, a 2002 play by Richard Greenberg about the repercussions of a top baseball player coming out as homosexual, debuted on Broadway tonight in a triple-play revival.
Take Me Out could be a revelation even for those who saw the original Broadway production over 20 years ago, thanks to an exceptional cast led by Jesse Williams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Patrick J. Adams. The aspect of the sports star, a then-novel concept that has become, if not commonplace, at least unusual over time, is one of my earliest memories of the work.
What strikes me now about Greenberg’s beautifully crafted story is the various dominoes that fall after it comes out, particularly how hate speech, in all its vile ignorance and cruelty, can seep into the most unlikely places, mud clinging to people you’d never expect to be vulnerable, and forcing heroes to do unheroic things. When racism and hatred attack, no one is spared, Greenberg seemed to be telling us.
For those who didn’t read the sports pages when the twenty-first century was still in its infancy, here’s a little background. Billy Bean, a former professional baseball player, recently came out as homosexual after retiring from the sport, remarking in an interview that only a player with the celebrity of Derek Jeter could do so while still playing. Meanwhile, an Atlanta Braves player called John Rocker made news when he used racist and homophobic words to characterize New York City.