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Tyler James Williams (born October 9, 1992) is an American actor and rapper. He is most recognizable for having played the title character of the Chris Rock-inspired sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, songwriter Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel movie Let It Shine, and Noah on AMC's The Walking Dead. He also had a supporting role on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Tyler James Williams
Tyler James Williams 2012.jpg
Williams at the 2012 Hollywood Premiere of Disney Channel's Let It Shine.
Born (1992-10-09) October 9, 1992 (age 26)
Other namesTyler Williams
Tyler J. Williams
T.J. Williams
OccupationActor, rapper, songwriter
Years active1996–present


Early lifeEdit

Williams was born in Westchester County, New York and grew up in Yonkers, New York.[2] His mother, Angela Williams, is a singer and songwriter, and his father, Le’Roy Williams, is a police sergeant.[2][3] Williams has two younger brothers; Tyrel Jackson Williams (b. 1997) and Tylen Jacob Williams (b. 2001). His younger brothers are both actors; Tyrel starred on the Disney XD series, Lab Rats as Leo Dooley and Tylen starred on the Nickelodeon sitcom Instant Mom as James Phillips. Williams had also appeared on Lab Rats, portraying his brother's character's future self and Instant Mom as his younger brother's family cousin Jamal.[4]


Williams began his acting career at age four.[5] He later starred in Little Bill as the voice of Bobby, briefly replacing Devon Malik Beckford in 2000, and played himself (or an eponymous character, "Tyler") on the children's show Sesame Street from 2000 to 2005. He rose to fame in 2005 by playing the main character in the hit series Everybody Hates Chris,[6] which finished in 2009. He won a Young Artist Award in 2007 for his work on the show. He has also been a guest star in Two for the Money, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the show Hi-Jinks. In late 2009, Williams appeared in the second season of True Jackson, VP as True's love interest Justin "Lil' Shakespeare" Weber in the two-part episode "Flirting with Fame".[7]

In 2012, Williams got the role of Owen in the series Go On. He also played the lead role of Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel Original Movie Let It Shine[8] alongside Coco Jones, Trevor Jackson, and Brandon Mychal Smith. Williams was also featured on nine songs on the film's soundtrack, showing off his rapping skills. The movie premiered on June 15, 2012, and his songs "Don't Run Away", "Me and You", "Guardian Angel", "Let It Shine", and "Moment of Truth" all received airplay on Radio Disney.[9] The videos were also played frequently on the Disney Channel. Williams also guest starred in the Disney XD series, Lab Rats as a future version of the character his little brother Tyrel Jackson Williams played.[10]

In 2014 Williams starred in Justin Simien's 2014 independent film Dear White People as Lionel Higgins.[11]

In 2014, Williams was cast as the recurring character Noah on the television series The Walking Dead.[12][13]

In 2016, Williams played Russ "Monty" Montgomery in the Criminal Minds spin-off Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.[14][15]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Two for the Money Guest at Party Uncredited
2006 The Ant Bully Blue Teammate #1 Voice
2006 Unaccompanied Minors Charlie Goldfinch
2013 Tyler Perry Presents Peeples Simon Peeples
2014 Dear White People Lionel Higgins
2017 Detroit Leon
TBA The Wedding Year Jake Riddick Post-production
TBA The Argument Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2000–05 Sesame Street Himself Various episodes
2000–02 Little Bill Bobby 6 episodes
2003 Saturday Night Live Jack Black's adopted son / Young Boy / Entari Shakunte
  • "Heather Graham/Marc Anthony" (Season 25, Episode 2)
  • "John Goodman/Neil Young" (Season 25, Episode 18)
  • "Jack Black/John Mayer" (Season 29, Episode 1)
2004 Judge Mooney Melvin
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kyle McGovern "Parts" (Season 6, Episode 22)
2005–09 Everybody Hates Chris Chris Lead role (88 episodes)
2009 The Cleaner Kenji Simon "Last American Casualty" (Season 2, Episode 2)
2009 True Jackson, VP Justin "Flirting with Fame" (Season 2, Episode 2)
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Firestorm / Jason Rusch Voice only
  • "A Bat Divided!" (Season 2, Episode 8)
  • "The Siege of Starro!: Part 1" (Season 2, Episode 13)
  • "Darkseid Descending!" (Season 2, Episode 23)
2010 Our Show Television film
2011 House Landon "Carrot or Stick" (Season 7, Episode 10)
2012 Lab Rats Future Leo "Back from the Future" (Season 1, Episode 11)
2012 Let It Shine Cyrus DeBarge / Truth Television film
2012–13 Go On Owen Series regular; 19 episodes
2014 Key & Peele Jaleel White "Slap-Ass: In Recovery" (Season 4, Episode 4)
2014–15, 2016 The Walking Dead Noah Season 5 (Recurring role; 10 episodes), Season 7 (Archive footage; 1 episode)
2015 Criminal Minds Russ "Monty" Montgomery "Beyond Borders" (Season 10, Episode 19)
2015 Ballers Water boy "Raise Up" (Season 1, Episode 2)
2015 Instant Mom Jamal (Season 3, Episode 12)
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Temptation Episode: "Brie Larson Wears a Billowy Long-Sleeve Shirt and White Saddle Shoes" (Season 4, Episode 23)
2016–2017 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Russ "Monty" Montgomery Main Role
2018 Dear White People Carson Rhodes Recurring Role
2019 Whiskey Cavalier Edgar Standish Main Role
2019 A Black Lady Sketch Show Rome Episode: "Where Are My Background Singers?"

Awards and nominationsEdit


  • Let It Shine Soundtrack (2012)
  • Me, My Brother, And A Mic (2015)


  1. ^ "Toledo Blade - Google News Archive Search".
  2. ^ a b Tyler James Williams
  3. ^ Tyler James Williams Biography. Retrieved on 2012-06-18.
  4. ^ "Tyler James Williams Bio". Kidz World. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Tyler James Williams: star of Everybody Hates Chris". Ebony. January 1, 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2012. – via Questia Online Library (subscription required)
  6. ^ "Everybody Hates Chris". Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  7. ^ J-14 Magazine (May 6, 2013). "Natasha Bedingfield and Tyler James Williams Guest Star in New True Jackson, VP Movie!". J-14. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  8. ^ "Tyler James Williams Reveals His Musical Talents In Disney's 'Let It Shine'". Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  9. ^ Walt Disney Records (May 22, 2012). "Walt Disney Records' Let It Shine Soundtrack Boasts Songs By Coco Jones, Tyler James Williams And Other Stars From The Disney Channel Original Movie". PR News Wire. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  10. ^ jaej (September 6, 2017). "6 Fantastic Facts About Actor and Hip Hop Recording Artist, Tyler Williams". On the Black List. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  11. ^ ""Dear White People" Actor Tyler James Williams Talks To BOSSIP About Race & Sexuality". Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  12. ^ Lesley Goldberg. "'Walking Dead' Adds 'Go On' Alum in New Mystery Role". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. ^ "'Walking Dead's' Latest Fatality: Savage Death Will "Rock" Glenn". Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  14. ^ "'Criminal Minds' Episode 10.19 Photos: Meet the FBI's International Unit". Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Tyler James Williams Cast In 'Criminal Minds' Spinoff". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-01-30.

External linksEdit