Actor Sammy J. Williams, star of the original 1975 A Chorus Line, has died at the age of 69. The news was shared by fellow original A Chorus Line cast member Baayork Lee.
Williams created the role of Paul and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.
Crafted from the true stories of Broadway’s chorus members, Michael Bennett’s seminal work also starred the actors behind these stories. The character of Paul was largely based on the experiences of co-writer Nicholas Dante, while Williams’ story about going to dance class to follow in his sister’s footsteps and realizing “I can do that!” became the storyline for Mike.
Williams’ other Broadway credits include The Happy Time (1968) and Applause (1970).
After A Chorus Line, Williams largely gave up acting but returned years later to stage a solo show about his A Chorus Line experience.
On screen he appeared in God Told Me To (1976), as well as The Day of the Triffids and The Take (2009).