Hal Williams

Halroy Candis Williams (born December 14, 1938)[1] is an American actor, best known for his recurring role as Police Officer Smith ("Smitty") on Sanford and Son (1972–76) and as the patriarch Lester Jenkins, the husband of Marla Gibbs's character, on the NBC sitcom 227 (1985–90).

Hal Williams
Williams at The Waltons 40th Anniversary, 2012.
Halroy Candis Williams

(1938-12-14) December 14, 1938
Years active1969–present
Renee Himes (m. 19781984)

Gay Anderson (m. 19751976)

Early life

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Williams worked as a postal worker and corrections officer before moving to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.[2]


Williams started in the acting business in 1969. Since then, he has appeared in movies such as Paul Schrader's Hardcore, Howard Zieff's Private Benjamin (he also portrayed the role of Sgt L.C. "Ted" Ross in the television series of the same name), and Clint Eastwood's The Rookie. He was controversially fired from The Jimmy Stewart Show in 1971 at the insistence of its star, James Stewart.[3] In the early to mid-1990s, he starred in many of comic Sinbad's productions, including The Sinbad Show and The Cherokee Kid. He played the grandfather in the Bernie Mac film Guess Who.

Selected credits


Year Production Role Theater(s) Notes
1981 Nevis Mountain Dew Boise McCanles Los Angeles Actors Theatre


Year Title Role Notes
1972Cool BreezeHarry, PolicemanUncredited
1974Herbie Rides Again
1979HardcoreBig Dick Blaque
1980On the NickelPaul
1980Private BenjaminSgt. L.C. Ross
1982The Escape ArtistCop at Mayor's Office
1990The RookiePowell
2005Guess WhoHoward Jones
2011Night ClubResident Playing Cards at Casino Night
2012FlightWhip's DadVoice


Year Title Role Notes
19731980The Waltons Harley Foster
1981–1983Private BenjaminSgt. Ted Ross


  1. https://celebsages.com/hal-williams/
  2. "Small role led Hal Williams to big part on NBC's hit '227'". Frederick News Post. Associated Press. 3 September 1987. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  3. James Stewart: A Biography by Donald Dewey (Turner Publishing, Atlanta, 1996, page 454)
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