Tyler James Williams

"Tyler Williams" redirects here. For American soccer player, see Tyler Williams (soccer).
Tyler James Williams

Williams at the 2012 Hollywood Premiere of Disney Channel's Let It Shine.
Born Tyler James Williams
(1992-10-09) October 9, 1992
Westchester County, New York[1] United States
Nationality American
Other names Tyler Williams
Tyler J. Williams
T.J. Williams
Occupation Actor, rapper, martial artist, musician, music video director, film director, graphic designer
Years active 1996-present

Tyler James Williams (born October 9, 1992) is an American actor, hip hop recording artist, martial artist, musician, music video director, film director and graphic designer. He is most recognizable for having played the title character of the Chris Rock-inspired sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, and songwriter Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel movie Let It Shine. He has also had a supporting role as Noah on AMC's The Walking Dead. He now has a role on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Early life

Williams was born in Westchester County, New York and was raised in Yonkers, New York .[2] His mother, Angela Williams, is a singer/songwriter, and his father, Le’Roy Williams, is a police sergeant.[2][3] Williams has two younger brothers; Tyrel Jackson Williams (b. 1997) and Tylen Jacob Williams (b. 2001). His younger brothers are both actors, with Tyrel starring on the Disney XD series, Lab Rats as Leo Dooley and Tylen starring on Instant Mom as Jamal Phillips. Williams had also appeared on Lab Rats, portraying his brother's character's future self.


Williams began his acting career at age four.[4] 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 2005 by playing the title character in the hit series Everybody Hates Chris,[5] which finished in 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".

In 2012, Williams got the role of Owen in the series Go On. He also played the lead role of Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel Original Movie Let It Shine[6] 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. 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.

In 2014 Williams starred in Justin Simien's 2014 independent film Dear White People as Lionel Higgins.[7]

In 2014, Williams was cast as the recurring character Noah on the television series The Walking Dead.[8][9]

Starting in 2016, Williams will be playing Russ "Monty" Montgomery in the Criminal Minds spin-off Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.[10][11]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Two for the Money Guest at Party Uncredited
2006 The Ant Bully Blue Teammate #1 Voice Only
2006 Unaccompanied Minors Charlie Goldfinch
2013 Tyler Perry Presents Peeples Simon Peeples
2014 Dear White People Lionel Higgins


Year Title Role Notes
2000–05 Sesame Street Himself Various episodes
2000–02 Little Bill Bobby 6 episodes
2003 Saturday Night Live Jack 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)
2004 Judge Mooney Melvin
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kyle McGovern "Parts" (Season 6, Episode 22)
2005–09 Everybody Hates Chris Chris Lead role (88 episodes)
2009 The Cleaner Kenji Simon "Last American Casualty" (Season 2, Episode 2)
2009 True Jackson, VP Justin "Flirting with Fame" (Season 2, Episode 2)
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Firestorm / Jason Rusch Voice only
  • "A Bat Divided!" (Season 2, Episode 8)
  • "The Siege of Starro!: Part 1" (Season 2, Episode 13)
  • "Darkseid Descending!" (Season 2, Episode 23)
2010 Our Show Television film
2011 House Landon "Carrot or Stick" (Season 7, Episode 10)
2012 Lab Rats Future Leo "Back from the Future" (Season 1, Episode 11)
2012 Let It Shine Cyrus "Truth" DeBarge Television film
2012–13 Go On Owen Series regular; 19 episodes
2014 Key & Peele Jaleel White "Slap-Ass: In Recovery" (Season 4, Episode 4)
2014–15 The Walking Dead Noah Season 5 (Recurring role; 10 episodes)
2015 Criminal Minds Russ "Monty" Montgomery "Beyond Borders" (Season 10, Episode 19)
2015 Ballers Water boy "Raise Up" (Season 1, Episode 2)
2015 Instant Mom Jamal (Season 3, Episode 12)
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Temptation Episode: "Brie Larson Wears a Billowy Long-Sleeve Shirt and White Saddle Shoes" (Season 4, Episode 23)
2016–present Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Russ "Monty" Montgomery Main Role

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

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 Nominated



  1. "Toledo Blade - Google News Archive Search". google.com.
  2. 1 2 Tyler James Williams filmreference.com
  3. Tyler James Williams Biography. Tvguide.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-18.
  4. "Tyler James Williams: star of Everybody Hates Chris.". Ebony. January 1, 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2012.  via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  5. "Everybody Hates Chris". teacher.scholastic.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  6. "Tyler James Williams Reveals His Musical Talents In Disney's 'Let It Shine'". www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  7. ""Dear White People" Actor Tyler James Williams Talks To BOSSIP About Race & Sexuality". bossip.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  8. Lesley Goldberg. "'Walking Dead' Adds 'Go On' Alum in New Mystery Role". The Hollywood Reporter.
  9. "'Walking Dead's' Latest Fatality: Savage Death Will "Rock" Glenn". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  10. "'Criminal Minds' Episode 10.19 Photos: Meet the FBI's International Unit". www.buddytv.com. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  11. Andreeva, Nellie. "Tyler James Williams Cast In 'Criminal Minds' Spinoff". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
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