Birth Name: Richard Williams
Date of Birth: December 1, 1951
In describing his career, this Connecticut born actor says, "It would be a 1968 Pontiac LeMans that had a complete rebuild about 10 years ago. It had a few breakdowns in the beginning before the rebuild, and now it's running just beautifully. All systems are go."
The son of a business executive, Williams came by his name from an ancestor on his mother's side -- signer of the Declaration of Independence, Robert "Treat" Payne. Williams once understudied the John Travolta role in the Broadway production of Grease before finally taking over from Travolta in that role. He gained fame and a Golden Globe award nomination for his lead role in the movie version of the musical Hair (1979), then quickly received another Golden Globe nomination for his work in Prince of the City (1981).
After his stunning performance in Smooth Talk (1985), for which he received an Independent Spirit nomination, it seemed his career was assured, but Williams got sidetracked for a while by substance abuse. "I spent two years not being interested in much more than chasing the ongoing party," he says. "I had some growing up to do." But now that his career's back on track, he says, "I never stopped believing I was a film actor. I just couldn't get anyone else to believe it."
His career swung back into full force in the fall of 2002, when he landed the starring role of Dr. Andy Brown in the small screen series Everwood, about a world famous surgeon who moves to a small Colorado town with his kids after his wife dies. For his work in the show, which lasted four seasons, Williams received two Screen Actors Guild nominations.
Williams has been married to Pam Van Sant since 1988. They have two children.