William Allen Young

William Allen Young (born January 24, 1954) is an American actor and director who has starred in over 100 television, stage, and film projects, including two Academy Award-nominated films, A Soldier's Story and District 9. He is best known for his roles as Frank Mitchell on UPN's Moesha,[1][2] Dr. Rollie Guthrie on the CBS medical drama Code Black,[3][4][5] and as Judge Joseph Ratner on CBS's CSI Miami. His other television credits include ABC's The Day After, General Hospital, CBS's Madame Secretary, JAG, Atlanta Child Murders, and The Women of Brewster Place, among other shows. He is also credited with helping to diversify the ranks of writers, actors, directors and producers in Hollywood through the landmark 2000 TV Network Agreement, which he helped broker while serving as a former co-chair of the African-American Steering Committee of the Directors Guild of America.

William Allen Young
Born (1954-01-24) January 24, 1954 (age 67)
Years active1979–present
Helen Patrice Moore
(m. 1986)

Early life and educationEdit

Young was born in Washington, D.C. but grew up in South Central, Los Angeles, during the Civil Rights Movement. One of seven children, he was inspired by his mother, Mother Joan Walker of California Southwest Jurisdiction, a high-school dropout who worked as a maid before returning to school at night to get her diploma and a nursing license, which led to a career in the medical profession.


His acting career includes starring roles in the Academy Award-nominated film, A Soldier's Story, and in Women of Brewster Place, The Atlanta Child Murders, Simple Justice, Sins, Lock Up, and In the Belly of the Beast, and the award-winning Lifetime series Any Day Now. He guest starred in the 6th-season episode "Home Court Advantage" of Sister, Sister in 1999. Millions of viewers still recognize him as Frank Mitchell, the tough-but-loving father, on the hit TV show, Moesha, or as Chief Judge Ratner on CSI: Miami. Young has received critical praise for his stage performances in New York City and Los Angeles, and he has performed abroad in Africa, Austria, France, Italy, London, Sri Lanka, and Russia. Young appears in the movie District 9, filmed on location in South Africa, and released in August 2009. He starred as Harry Wentz on the Disney Channel Original Series Good Luck Charlie (2010-2014). In 2013, Young reunited with Moesha co-star Brandy Norwood on the season six episode, "The Blueprint" on the television show The Game. In 2013, Young made a guest appearance in Madam Secretary episode The Show Must Go On as United States Deputy Secretary of State Steven Cushing.

He is a USC graduate and former #1 College Speaker in the Nation for two consecutive years, when he led the Trojan Debate Squad to a National Championship. He holds a master's degree in Sociolinguistics, a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric & Debate, and has lectured at major colleges and universities nationwide.

As founder/president of the nonprofit Young Center for Academic and Cultural Enrichment, he has helped transformed lives and create opportunities for countless underserved youth to obtain a college education. Students from over 250 schools have participated in the organization's award-winning programs, and its distinguished alumni have been accepted at more than 80 U.S. colleges and universities to date.

He is the recipient of the Ford Foundation Freedom Unsung Award, NAACP Social Achievement Award, Thomas Kilgore, Jr. Humanitarian Service Award, Hero in Education Award, President's Icon Award; and National Organization of Women at Work Man of the Year Award. He was recently inducted into the African-American Hall of Education and deemed an Ambassador of Goodwill by former President Bill Clinton.

Personal lifeEdit

He has two children.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Day After Billy McCoy
1984 A Soldier's Story Private Henson
1985 Jagged Edge Greg Arnold
1986 Wisdom Agent Williamson
1989 Lock Up Braden
1992 The Waterdance Les
1992 Spies Inc. Rob
1994 Almost Dead Henzes
1994 Drop Squad George Truelove
1996-2001 Moesha Frank Mitchell Main Character
2003 Fear X Agent Lawrence
2004–2006 CSI: Miami Chief Judge Joseph Ratner 3 episodes
2005–2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Duane McWane 4 episodes
2009 District 9 Dirk Michaels
2011 Fatal Consequences Thomas Shaw


  1. ^ "The Cast of Moesha: Where Are They Now?". The Root. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "A 'Moesha' Reboot Is on the Way". Vibe. December 5, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  3. ^ "CBS "Code Black" star, William Allen Young to Host Film Festival". Los Angeles Sentinel. April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (May 24, 2018). "'Code Black' Canceled After Three Seasons at CBS". Deadline. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  5. ^ "Saving Grace: William Allen Young". La Focus Newspaper. October 1, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "William Allen Young - Code Black Cast Member" – via www.cbs.com.

External linksEdit