Tyler James Williams

Tyler James Williams (born October 9, 1992) is an American actor and rapper best known for playing the title character on the UPN/CW 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. [2]

Tyler James Williams
Williams at the 2012 Hollywood Premiere of Disney Channel's Let It Shine.
Born (1992-10-09) October 9, 1992
Other names
  • Tyler Williams
  • Tyler J. Williams
  • T.J. Williams
  • Actor
  • rapper
Years active1996–present

Early life

Williams was born in Westchester County, New York and grew up in Yonkers, New York.[3] His mother, Angela Williams, is a singer and songwriter, and his father, Le’Roy Williams, is a police sergeant.[3][4] 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 Nick at Nite 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.[5]


Williams began his acting career at age four.[6] 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 September 2005 by playing the title character in the hit series Everybody Hates Chris,[7] which finished in May 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".[8]

In 2012, Williams got the role of Owen in the series Go On.[9] He also played the lead role of Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel Original Movie Let It Shine[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

In 2014, Williams starred in Justin Simien's 2014 independent film Dear White People as Lionel Higgins.[13]

In 2014, Williams was cast as the recurring character Noah on the television series The Walking Dead.[14][15]

In 2016, Williams played Russ "Monty" Montgomery in the Criminal Minds spin-off Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.[16][17]

In 2017, Williams was diagnosed with Crohn's disease after experiencing symptoms for three years. Since his diagnosis, he has undergone treatment, including multiple surgeries.[18]

In 2019, Williams was cast as Jake in the movie The Wedding Year, an American romantic comedy film directed by Robert Luketic and starring Sarah Hyland, Jenna Dewan, Matt Shively and Anna Camp..[19]

In 2020, William played the role of Paul in The Argument (Film)[20]



2005Two for the MoneyGuest at PartyUncredited
2006The Ant BullyBlue Teammate #1Voice
2006Unaccompanied MinorsCharlie Goldfinch
2012Let It Shine (film)Cyrus DeBarge
2013Tyler Perry Presents PeeplesSimon Peeples
2014Dear White PeopleLionel Higgins
2019The Wedding YearJake Riddick
2020The ArgumentPaul
2021The United States vs. Billie HolidayLester 'Prez' Young


2000–2005Sesame StreetHimselfVarious episodes
2000–2004Little BillBobby6 episodes
2003Saturday Night LiveJack 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)
2004Judge MooneyMelvin
2005Law & Order: Special Victims UnitKyle McGovern"Parts" (Season 6, Episode 22)
2005–2009Everybody Hates ChrisChrisLead role (88 episodes)
2009The CleanerKenji Simon"Last American Casualty" (Season 2, Episode 2)
2009True Jackson, VPJustin"Flirting with Fame" (Season 2, Episode 2), "Little Shakespeare" (Season 2, Episode 9)
2010Batman: The Brave and the BoldFirestorm / Jason RuschVoice only
  • "A Bat Divided!" (Season 2, Episode 8)
  • "The Siege of Starro!: Part 1" (Season 2, Episode 13)
  • "Darkseid Descending!" (Season 2, Episode 23)
2010Our ShowTelevision film
2011HouseLandon"Carrot or Stick" (Season 7, Episode 10)
2012Lab RatsFuture Leo"Back from the Future" (Season 1, Episode 11)
2012Let It ShineCyrus DeBarge / TruthTelevision film
2012–2013Go OnOwenSeries regular; 19 episodes
2014Key & PeeleJaleel White"Slap-Ass: In Recovery" (Season 4, Episode 4)
2014–2015The Walking DeadNoah10 episodes (Recurring role; season 5)
2015Criminal MindsRuss "Monty" Montgomery"Beyond Borders" (Season 10, Episode 19)
2015BallersWater boy"Raise Up" (Season 1, Episode 2)
2015Instant MomJamal(Season 3, Episode 12)
2015Comedy Bang! Bang!TemptationEpisode: "Brie Larson Wears a Billowy Long-Sleeve Shirt and White Saddle Shoes" (Season 4, Episode 23)
2016–2017Criminal Minds: Beyond BordersRuss "Monty" MontgomeryMain Role
2018Dear White PeopleCarson RhodesRecurring Role
2019Whiskey CavalierEdgar StandishMain Role
2019A Black Lady Sketch ShowRomeEpisode: "Where Are My Background Singers?"

Awards and nominations

Black Reel Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
2015 Best Breakthrough Performance Dear White People Won

NAACP Image Award

Year Category Nominated work Result
2006 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2007 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Won
2008 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2010 Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2018 Outstanding Independent Motion Picture Detroit Won

Teen Choice Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
2006 Choice Actor: Comedy Everybody Hates Chris Nominated

Young Artist Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
2006 Leading Young Actor (Comedy or Drama) Everybody Hates Chris Nominated
2008 Best Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young Actor Won


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


  1. "Toledo Blade - Google News Archive Search". google.com.
  2. https://mddailyrecord.com/tyler-james-williams-net-worth-girlfriend-wife-kids-height-weight-age-gay-bio-2021-2022-2023
  3. Tyler James Williams filmreference.com
  4. Tyler James Williams Biography. Tvguide.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-18.
  5. "Tyler James Williams Bio". Kidz World. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  6. "Tyler James Williams: star of Everybody Hates Chris". Ebony. January 1, 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2012.  via Questia Online Library (subscription required)
  7. "Everybody Hates Chris". teacher.scholastic.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  8. 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.
  9. https://deadline.com/2015/01/tyler-james-williams-cast-criminal-minds-spinoff-cbs-1201361056/
  10. "Tyler James Williams Reveals His Musical Talents In Disney's 'Let It Shine'". HuffPost. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  11. 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.
  12. jaej (September 6, 2017). "6 Fantastic Facts About Actor and Hip Hop Recording Artist, Tyler Williams". On the Black List. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  13. ""Dear White People" Actor Tyler James Williams Talks To BOSSIP About Race & Sexuality". bossip.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  14. Lesley Goldberg. "'Walking Dead' Adds 'Go On' Alum in New Mystery Role". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. "'Walking Dead's' Latest Fatality: Savage Death Will "Rock" Glenn". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  16. "'Criminal Minds' Episode 10.19 Photos: Meet the FBI's International Unit". www.buddytv.com. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  17. Andreeva, Nellie. "Tyler James Williams Cast In 'Criminal Minds' Spinoff". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  18. Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (1 December 2018). "#myIBD: Tyler James Williams' Story". Facebook. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  19. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_wedding_year
  20. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/the-argument-film-review
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