+  Edited and photographed by Iké Udé, author of Style File. Selected as one of Vanity Fair’s 2009, 2012 and 2015 International Best Dressed Originals.  +

elements of style #36/BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, circa 1970s

Billy Dee Williams is an American actor, artist, singer, and writer. And here he is as urbane and as suave as they come.


…archival imagery in “Elements of Style,” then reading an interview with a stylish contemporary excites and cements the sartorial linkage and sympathy between the ongoing narratives. Both departments serve to inform, paying homage to stylish predecessors and pointing to historical sources of design: they inspire dialogue between now and then and acknowledge influence.



above,the style icon, Billy Dee Williams, graces the cover of GQ magazine, circa 1980s


A suave, matinee idol and Billy Dee Williams was a major influential style icon in the 1970s and 80s. He starred in films such


He made his film debut in 1959 in the Academy Award nominated The Last Angry Man, opposite Paul Muni. Some of his memorable films include the 1972 box office blockbuster, Lady Sings The Blues, which not only was one of the highest grossing film of the year but received five Academy Award nominations. Years later he was paired again with Diana Ross in another successful follow-project, Mahogany.

His most recent Broadway appearance was in August Wilson’s Fences, as a replacement for James Earl Jones in the role of Troy Maxson in 1988.

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