Actor Clarence Williams III has died

(Photo: Billboard)

Actor Clarence Williams III has died. He was 81 years-old. Williams died Friday at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with colon cancer, his manager Allan Mindel said.

He was best known for his role as the cool undercover cop Linc Hayes on the counterculture series “The Mod Squad” and Prince’s father in “Purple Rain,” has died.

Soon after his death was announced, tributes poured in from those who have worked with the Williams, and his fans.

“Tales from the Hood” director Rusty Cundieff tweeted that his sadness over Williams’ passing, “cannot be overstated. His artistry and sheer coolness was extraordinary. I will forever be in his debt for his brilliant performance in Tales From the Hood. Loved working with him! Blessed travels good sir!

Lenny Kravitz tweeted, “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. From the Mod Squad, to Purple Rain and Sugar Hill, he always performed with dynamic energy. Rest in power, king.”