Fred Williamson





3/5/1938 , Gary, Indiana

Birth Name




Fred Williamson is a former American football player who has also enjoyed success in acting and architecture. Williamson played defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. In the 1960s Williamson acquired his nickname, The Hammer. He grew famous for his brutal defense tactics, which included using karate chops on opposing players' heads. After retiring from football in 1968, Williamson dabbled in acting. Casting directors recognized his formidable talent; Williamson soon had an agent and appeared in many films, including "Take the Hard Ride" (1982) and "Original Gangstas" (1996). He also acted on television, including a guest role on "Star Trek." In the mid-1970's, Williamson appeared in many "blaxploitation" films, including "Hell Up in Harlem," "Crazy Joe" and "Bucktown." In 1973, he accepted an invitation to pose nude for Playgirl Magazine; those photographs were published in the October issue for that year. More recently, Williamson has worked as a director and producer. Most of his films are not screened in theaters but are released directly to DVD.