True, Jesse Williams has been in several movies but the one that got him a warm place in the hearts of film lovers is ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Being cast as Dr. Jackson Avery on the TV series was one of his career-defining moments, especially for his works on television.
The TV series Beyond the Break where he played Eric Medina is another act that put the spotlight on him. Asides from movies and TV shows, Jesse Williams has also done a lot in the theater. Additionally, he modeled for a while during his college days and appeared in music videos but didn’t take that part of his life seriously. However, his life as an activist is very important to him. He is currently serving as the youngest member of the board of directors of a civil rights group known as The Advancement Project.
Who Is Jesse Williams?
Professionally, the American hunk is an actor, director, producer, and activist rolled in one. But before he was all that, Jesse Williams had a normal life like most kids following his birth in Chicago, Illinois, on August 5, 1981.
For his high school education, Williams studied at Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island. He then proceeded to Temple University from where he grabbed a double major in African American Studies as well as Film and Media Arts. Looking at him now, who would have imagined Jesse was once a teacher? Well, he was and did it for six years in the Philadelphia public school system where he handled American Studies, African Studies, as well as English.
Jesse Williams Acting Career
His interest in the arts drove him to enroll in an acting class in 2005 and as a result, he started getting roles from films to TV series and theatre as well. His talent has been felt in the entertainment industry since his debut and his fans seem to be hooked and would do anything to have him on the screen including starting up a campaign. One of such cases happened in 2012 when fans tried to get film executives to award Jesse Williams the role of Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
His television career boasts of shows like Law & Order where he appeared in one episode in 2006. He also has two episodes of the ABC Family series Greek to his credit and eight episodes, playing Officer Eric Medina on Beyond the Break.
His biggest TV record thus far could be attributed to the part he played in Grey’s Anatomy, starting from October 2009. The next year, he became a regular on the popular show.
His first role in a film came in 2008 in the sequel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The same year, he got his debut lead role in the film The Cabin in the Woods, released in 2012. In 2010, he starred in Brooklyn’s Finest alongside Hollywood bigwigs like Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes, and many more.
One of his behind-the-camera roles was as executive producer of the documentary film Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement. He also launched a production company known as farWord Inc. in 2012.
Both parents of the handsome actor are strangers to the limelight. His mother, Johanna Chase, is a Swedish professional potter, while his father, Reginald Williams is an African American with a touch of Seminole ancestry. Johanna and Reginald raised Jesse and his two siblings – younger brothers, who are doing really well in visual arts.
His parents influenced his earlier interest in teaching as they taught in the public school system though it didn’t stop his mother from doing her pottery.
Kids, His Wife – Aryn Drake-Lee, And Divorce
Aryn Drake-Lee is a successful real estate broker but it was her marriage to Jesse Williams that brought her under the spotlight. After dating for a while, they sealed their love in holy matrimony in September 2012. Two lovely children, Sadie and Maceo are the products of that marriage which later hit the rocks.
Jesse filed for divorce after almost five years of living together as husband and wife. He soon started dating actress Minka Kelly but they weren’t meant to be either and went their separate ways in January 2018. Sports reporter Taylor Rooks seems to be the woman in Jesse’s life at the moment and their love started blooming in May 2018.