Fred Wiliamson: Gridiron to Silver Screen

Football players wanting to break into the movie business is nothing new. The movie business has long been an alluring prospect for many of its players for quite a while. One of the most successful football players to make the switch, in terms of longevity, was former Kansas City Chiefs DB Fred Williamson. Following the lead Cleveland Browns star RB and future co-star Jim Brown, Williamson would retire from football and pursue a film career.

As a football player, Williamson gained a reputation around pre-merger AFL for his rough hard hitting play. Enhancing his rough and tumble play with a swagger and the ability to advertise himself, Williamson would make a smooth transition into film in 1968, following his retirement from the game. He would stick mainly to TV, appearing in the guest star role on several different programs.

Three years after his arrival in Hollywood, Fred Williamson would get his first his first shot at a film lead in the 1972 Blaxploitation film Nigger Charley. The genre and formula of the film would prove the formula for success for the actor. As the 1970s turned into the 1980s, Williamson would take a larger role in his films. Not only occupying the producer’s chair, he would also take to directing as well.

“Although his most recent efforts as director and producer have mainly beenĀ direct-to-video, Williamson remains an active film maker.”