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Jesse Williams

Williams in attendance at 7 For All Mankind's celebration of its first NYC boutique in SOHO on August 14, 2008 in New York City.
Born August 5, 1981[1]
Chicago, Illinois
Occupation Actor

Jesse Williams (born on August 5, 1981) is an American actor and model. He is known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC series Grey's Anatomy and as Lena's boyfriend Leo in the film sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. He also stars in the upcoming Joss Whedon horror film The Cabin in the Woods.


Early life

Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois[2] to a Swedish mother and a Black father.[citation needed] Williams graduated from Temple University with degrees in African American Studies and Film & Media Arts. He taught American Studies, African Studies and English at a Philadelphia public high school following a brief modeling career in college.[2][3]


In 2006 Jesse guest starred in an episode of Law & Order portraying the character Kwame. He starred in the Off Broadway hits The American Dream and The Sandbox at Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village in New York City. Both one-act plays were written and directed by legendary playwright Edward Albee.

In 2008, Williams made his theatrical debut in the supporting role of Leo in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, a sequel to the 2004 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. He also starred as Drew Collins ("The Hotness Monster") in a recurring role on the ABC Family series Greek. He appeared in two episodes.

In 2009, he portrayed Keya in the HBO pilot The Washingtonienne which was executive produced by Sarah Jessica Parker. The pilot was not picked up. He also signed on as Eddie Quinlain in the film Brooklyn's Finest which stars Don Cheadle, Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes and Ellen Barkin. The film is set for release on Friday, March 5, 2010. He also starred in a 8 episode stint in the television series Beyond the Break as "Eric Medina".

In 2008 Williams signed on in his first leading role as Holden McCrea in the MGM/United Artists Horror film The Cabin in the Woods. The film will be produced by Joss Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard. The film will be released January 14, 2011 and will be featured in 3-D.

In 2009 it was announced Williams would appear in a multi-episode arc on the Golden Globe Award Winning ABC television series Grey's Anatomy.[4] He portrays a new Mercy West surgeon Dr. Jackson Avery in the series sixth season. He made his debut in the season's first episode which premiered September 24, 2009.

Williams has modeled for Kenneth Cole. He also appears in the limited-edition coffee table book ("About Face") by celebrity photographer John Russo.[5][6] He can be seen as the love interest of R&B singer Rihanna in the music video for her single "Russian Roulette" from her 2009 album Rated R


Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Leo
2010 Brooklyn's Finest Eddie Quinlain March 5, 2010
2011 The Cabin in the Woods Holden McCrea Post-Production
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Law & Order Kwame 1 Episode
2006 Beyond the Break Eric Medina 8 Episodes
2008 Greek Drew Collins 2 Episodes
2009 The Washingtonienne Keya "HBO" Pilot Not Picked Up
2009-Present Grey's Anatomy Dr. Jackson Avery Series Regular


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