We’ve learned the sad news today that actor Clarence Williams III, best known to horror fans for his role in Tales from the Hood, has passed away this week at the age of 81.
“Williams died in Los Angeles on Friday of colon cancer,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Clarence Williams III of course played the funeral director Mr. Simms in 1995 horror anthology Tales from the Hood, who memorably served as the host of the four terror tales. In the final moments of the movie, it’s revealed that the three characters at the center of the film are actually dead, and Mr. Simms isn’t quite a funeral director but rather Satan himself.
“Welcome to Hell, motherfuckers!” Mr. Simms screams, with Williams delivering the line like only Williams could have. You can relive those final moments from the 1995 movie below.
Horror fans may also remember Clarence Williams III from Maniac Cop 2, “Twin Peaks,” and the Maniac at Large episode of “Tales from the Crypt.” Outside the horror genre, Williams played Linc Hayes on the TV series “Mod Squad,” also appearing in Purple Rain, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Sugar Hill, Half Baked, Life, The General’s Daughter, Reindeer Games, and The Butler.
The final acting role from Clarence Williams III came in 2018 horror movie American Nightmares, an anthology directed by Tales from the Hood duo Rusty Cundieff and Darin Scott.
THR notes, “[Williams] is survived by his sister Sondra Pugh, daughter Jamey Phillips, niece Suyin Shaw, grandnephews Elliot Shaw and Ese Shaw, and grandniece Azaria Verdin.”