Williams was born in New York City, the son of Loretta Anne (1915–2016); a West Indian-born elevator operator from Montserrat, and William December Williams, Sr. (1910–2008); an African-American caretaker from Texas. He has a twin sister, Loretta, and grew up in Harlem. Williams graduated from The High School of Music & Art (later merged with the High School of Performing Arts to become the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art) in Manhattan; where he was a classmate of Diahann Carroll, who would later play the wife of his character Brady Lloyd on the 1980s prime-time soap opera Dynasty.
Lando Calrissian is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lando shown as an old friend of Han Solo. Prior to the events of the film, Lando made a career as a gambler, con artist, playboy, mining engineer; businessman, and was the original owner of the Millennium Falcon, until losing the ship to Han in a bet. He has become the Baron Administrator of Cloud City on the gas planet Bespin; and in the film, betrays Han to Darth Vader. In Return of the Jedi (1983); he becomes a general in the Rebel Alliance and leads the attack on the second Death Star. Additionally, he is portrayed by Billy Dee Williams autographs in the original trilogy and the forthcoming The Rise of Skywalker (2019); marking one of the longest intervals between portrayals of a character by the same actor in American film history.
Furthermore, Donald Glover portrayed a younger Lando in the standalone Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Lando also appears frequently in the Star Wars expanded universe of novels, comic books and video games, including a series of Legends novels.