Samm-Art Williams

The numerical odds are stacked against actors when it comes to finding Hollywood success. For every S.A.G. member earning a decent annual salary, there are dozens if not hundreds struggling to pay the bills. Samm-Art Williams seems to have recognized early on that he was on the wrong end of this equation, and decided very proactively to do something about it. After a forgettable career as an actor in the 1970s and early 1980s, he was able to switch to writing, following up a single episode of "Cagney and Lacey" with multiples for "Frank's Place" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." By the time Williams reached the hallowed ground of the Will Smith sitcom, he had also managed to leverage his writing credits into the parallel role of producer on the show. This led to other producer work in the 1990s on "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper," "Martin," and "The Good News." Williams's last bit of acting work was a small role in the 1991 feature drama "A Rage in Harlem."