FRED WILLIAMSON Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Fred Williamson                                                                           
Born: March 5, 1938 Gary, Indiana                                                               
Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (born March 5, 1938) is an American actor and                 
former professional football player, a star defensive back in the AFL during the               
After playing college football for Northwestern in the late 1950s, he played a                 
year for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL in 1960. He then switched to the new               
American Football League. Williamson played four seasons for the AFL’s Oakland               
Raiders, making the AFL All-Star team in 1961, 1962, and 1963. He also played                   
three seasons for the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, .                                             
During his time with the Chiefs, Williamson became one of football’s first self-promoters,   
coining the nickname “The Hammer” — because he used his forearm to deliver               
karate-style blows to the heads of opposing receivers. Prior to Super Bowl I, he               
garnered national headlines by boasting that he would knock Green Bay Packers                   
starting receivers Carroll Dale and Boyd Dowler out of the game, stating “Two                 
hammers to (Boyd) Dowler, one to (Carroll) Dale should be enough”. His                       
prediction turned out to be ironic, because Williamson himself was knocked out                 
of the game in the fourth quarter, his head meeting the knee of Packer running                 
back Donny Anderson. Williamson finished his eight-season career in 1967 with 36               
interceptions, which he returned for 479 yards and 2 touchdowns, in 104 games.                 
Following his retirement from football, Williamson had a career as an actor,                   
much in the mold of star running back Jim Brown. He also acted alongside Mr.                   
Brown in films such as 1974's Three the Hard Way, 1975's Take a Hard Ride, 1982's               
One Down, Two to Go, 1996's Original Gangstas and 2002's On the Edge, along with               
guest starring with him in a handful of episodes of various television programs.               
Before Jim Brown did it in 1974, Fred posed nude for Playgirl magazine in the                   
October 1973 issue. One of Williamson’s early television roles was a part in The             
Cloud Minders, an 1968 episode of Star Trek, playing Anka. He also played                       
Diahann Carroll’s love interest in the sitcom Julia. In an interview for the DVD             
of Bronx Warriors, Williamson stated that the role in Julia was created for him                 
when he convinced the producers that the Black community was upset that Julia                   
had a different boyfriend every week.                                                           
Two of his early film roles were in well-received films of 1970, M*A*S*H and                   
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon. He also got to play, in 1973, an African-American         
mafioso in Black Caesar and its subsequent sequel, Hell Up in Harlem. After this               
he appeared as an actor in several films, most of which are considered to be of                 
the “blaxploitation” genre.                                                                 
In 1974, he was selected by the ABC television network as a commentator on                     
Monday Night Football to replace Don Meredith, who had left (temporarily, as it                 
turned out) to pursue an acting and broadcasting career at rival network NBC.                   
Williamson was used on a few pre-season broadcasts, but was deemed unsuitable.                 
He was relieved of his duties at the beginning of the regular season, becoming                 
the first MNF personality not to endure for an entire season. He was replaced by               
fellow former player (and fellow Gary native) Alex Karras.                                     
Since then, Williamson has continued his career as an actor and director,                       
recently appearing in the feature film version of the 1970s television series                   
Starsky and Hutch.                                                                             
During the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s, Williamson frequently appeared on                 
television as a spokesman for King Cobra Malt Liquor (“Don’t let the smooth                 
taste fool you.”) did fellow actor/martial artist Martin Kove.