Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Billy Dee Williams Claims Marlon Brando Once Hit on Him: ‘I Prefer Women’

Billy Dee Williams Claims Marlon Brando Once Hit on Him: ‘I Prefer Women’

Billy Dee Williams is one actor who has attracted attention throughout his life and, in one case, caught Marlon Brando‘s eye. Williams shares a lot of interesting stories about his life and career in his new book, What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life. It will be available for purchase starting February 13.

So, the story goes that the Star Wars and Brian’s Song star happened to have been a guest at Brando’s home. There was a party going on at the time. Billy Dee Williams found himself in Marlon Brando’s library when the legendary Hollywood star allegedly propositioned Williams.

Williams declined Brando’s offer, simply saying, “I prefer women.” Williams, who also made a name for himself in 1970s movies Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany, isn’t judging, though. He’s aware that his movie roles enhance his appeal. “I’ve been getting hit on all my life,” Williams said. “Gay, straight, whatever, somebody’s always hitting on me.”

Billy Dee Williams Once Spoke Out on His Sexuality

While Billy Dee Williams hasn’t dampened down his loverboy image, he did cause some people to start asking questions. During a 2019 interview for Esquire, he said that he sees himself “feminine as well as masculine.” There were observers of this comment who began questioning Williams’ sexuality. In turn, Williams offered up this additional comment.

“I’ve spent a lot of my life around gay people,” Williams said. “[The late celebrated Black writer] James Baldwin, who was gay, was my dearest friend.”

With all of his life experiences, Williams turned his attention toward putting some things down into writing. “I’m thinking about legacy at this stage, 86 years old going on 87,” Williams told People, “so I figured maybe I need to talk about a few things that might interest a few people. I’ve had a lot of very interesting experiences throughout the years.”

For those still looking at hot-button topics to pin on Billy Dee Williams, he’s not interested in that kind of stuff. “I had no qualms with that kind of stuff,” he said. “Whatever you are, that’s who you are. I’m more interested in meeting interesting people.”

He has been married three times and is the father of two children. Williams did admit, though, that he’s not always been faithful to his wives. In talking about fulfilling his role as husband, what type of person was he? “A philanderer! I’ve been philandering my whole life,” he said.

Williams Drew Attention Playing Opposite Diana Ross

His acting career has been filled with iconic roles. Playing opposite Diana Ross in the Billie Holiday biopic of Lady Sings the Blues brought him attention.

Yet his role as Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 marked his big break. Williams became the first African-American to have a starring role in a Star Wars franchise movie. He has gone on to not only appear in more movies as Calrissian but provide voiceover work for dramatic presentations.

One of his biggest loves is painting. After drifting away from it for a bit, the painting bug bit Williams again in the mid-1980s. It happened around the same time he returned home to New York City. At that time, Billy Dee Williams took over a stage role from James Earl Jones in a play.

His paintings have been in high demand, bringing Williams as much as $50,000 for one painting at one point. Williams has kept busy with sporadic appearances on television shows over the years. Despite being 86 years old, Billy Dee Williams will still make an occasional appearance at fan conventions. Those are usually tied to the science-fiction world, one that welcomes him in thanks to Lando.