Jesse Wesley Williams (born August 5, 1981) is an American actor, model, and activist, best known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series Grey’s Anatomy. He also appeared in the 2013 film The Butler as civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson. His other roles have included Holden in The Cabin in the Woods (2012); Officer Eddie Quinlan in Brooklyn’s Finest (2009); and Leo in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008).
Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Johanna Chase, a professional potter, and Reginald Williams. Williams has stated that his mother is Swedish and his father is African American, with some Seminole descent, from Georgia. He has two younger brothers who specialize in visual arts. Williams graduated from Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1998. After high school, his parents each began teaching in the public school system, while his mother maintained her work in pottery.
Williams graduated from Temple University with a double major in African American Studies and Film and Media Arts. Following in the footsteps of his parents, he taught high school in the Philadelphia public school system for six years, where he used his degree earned at Temple to teach American Studies, African Studies, and English.
Photo: Huffington Post0