Renowned Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Executive Producer Samm-Art Williams Dies at 78 – The UBJ

We are saddened to report that Samm-Art Williams, the Tony-nominated playwright, actor and director, has passed away at the age of 78.

Known for his role as executive producer of NBC’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Williams died Monday at his home in Burgaw, North Carolina.

Samm-Art Williams, Tony Nominated Playwright, Actor and Director, Dies at 78


Samm-Art Williams, the acclaimed playwright, actor and director, has died at the age of 78
Credit: Getty

Williams’ Tony-nominated play “Home” was set to return to Broadway in a few weeks.

Originally produced by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1980 with Douglas Turner Ward at the helm, the play tells the story of a young black farm boy’s journey as he faces love, a biased economic system and moral opposition to the Vietnam War .

“Home” has received multiple awards, including the Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk nomination, the NAACP Image Award and the North Carolina Governor’s Award.

Williams’ illustrious career, which ended with the creation of “Home,” has seen him contribute to a plethora of hit shows.

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Williams found success on television with his writing for episodes of “Cagney and Lacey,” “The New Mike Hammer,” “Miami Vice” and “The Debbie Allen Special.”

Williams’ most notable achievement in television was his three-year tenure as executive producer of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Williams was also nominated for an Emmy for his production work on “Frank’s Place” in 1988 and “Motown Returns to the Apollo” in 1985.

His cousin Carol Brown confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter, highlighting his numerous achievements in the entertainment industry.

“His contributions to American theater and television are immutable, but his absence will leave an unfillable void,” she stated movingly.

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Samm-Art Williams’ death marks the end of an era for American theater and television. His legendary career has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape, with ‘Home’ and ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ testament to his talent and vision. While Williams may no longer be with us, his legacy will continue to inspire and entertain for generations to come. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and appreciated his work. Rest in peace, Samm-Art Williams.