The actor died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday.
Clarence Williams III, best known for his role on The Mod Squad, has died after a battle with colon cancer. He was 81.
Williams’ manager, Peg Donegan, confirmed to PEOPLE that the actor died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday. He is survived by his sister, Sondra Pugh, daughter, Jamey Phillips, niece, Suyin Shaw, grandnephews Elliot Shaw and Ese Shaw and grandniece Azaria Verdin, according to a statement obtained by CNN.
On Twitter, fans and stars alike paid tribute to Williams, including Leslie Jones, who tweeted about the time she got to meet him.
“When I heard Clarence Williams III had passed, I rem [sic] the night I met him at Dan Tanas in the summer of 1997,” wrote the Coming 2 America actress, 53. “I ask [sic] for a pic with my disposal camera. He took the camera and directed every one of these pics! He was one of the nicest people I ever met. And very funny! RIP & TY #ICON.”
Lenny Kravitz shared how he looked up to Williams while growing up. “When I was a kid growing up in NYC, Clarence Williams III was a face on TV that I identified with and that inspired me,” he tweeted. “From the Mod Squad, to Purple Rain and Sugar Hill, he always performed with dynamic energy. Rest in power, king.”
In actor Reggie Watkins’ tweet, he raved about how Williams was “AMAZING IN EVERYTHING” he appeared in, urging his followers to “watch [Clarence] in Sugar Hill, Half Baked, and Purple Rain!”
Williams played Lincoln “Linc” Hayes on the crime drama series The Mod Squad from 1968 to 1973. His other TV credits include appearances on Mystery Woman, American Dragon: Jake Long, Judging Amy, Empire and Everybody Hates Chris. He also landed roles in several movies, including Purple Rain (he played Prince’s father), The Butler and Reindeer Games.