Billy Dee Williams is generating a lot of buzz these days, with the announcement that he’s going to reprise his role as Lando Carlissian in the upcoming Star Wars movie. Williams, 81, has been married three times and has three children. He has been married to his third wife, Teruko Nakagami, since 1972. Here’s what you need to know about Teruko Nakagami:
1. Before She Met Williams, She Was Married to Jazz Great Wayne Shorter
Billy Dee Williams and Teruko Nakagami had both already been married when they met each other. Teruko Nakagami’s first husband was jazz legend Wayne Shorter. Shorter and Nakagami had one child together, a daughter named in Miyako who was born in 1961. Wayne Shorter wrote the song “Infant Eyes” in honor of the newborn Miyaki.
Billy Dee Williams and his first wife, Audrey Sellers, had a son named Corey Dee, who was born in 1060.
Teruko and Billy Dee married in 1972. They had a daughter together, Hanako Williams, who was born in 1973. Hanako now works as the manager for an art gallery in Los Angeles. She is married and has one son.
2. Nakagami Was Born in Chicago & Later Spent Time in a Japanese-American Internment Camp
Teruko Nakagami married Wayne Shorter in 1961, just a few days before their baby, Miyaki, was born. Shorter met Nakagami shortly after he toured Japan and, according to at least one biography, fell in love with the country and its customs. Nakagami was a Japanese American who was born in Chicago. She was original named Irene, but changed her name to Teruko after meeting Shorter.
When Nakagami was six, she and her twin sister were shipped off to a Japanese-American internment camp in California. Wayne Shorter later said that Nakagami had told him upbeat stories about her time in the camp, explaining to him that she and the other children had played games to while away the time. Shorter said that Nakagami was “pretty” and “looked like a Japanese Audrey Hepburn.”
3. Nakagami & Williams Filed for Divorce in 1993 but Later Reconciled & Decided to Stay Married
Nakagami and Williams filed for divorce in 1993. At the time, Williams’ spokesman told Jet Magazine that “theirs is an amicable parting, not a messy Hollywood divorce.” But the couple managed to reconcile their difference and, by 1997, they were living together again. Nakagami and Williams married in 1972. The next year their daughter, Hanako, was born. Both Williams and Nakagami have children from previous marriages as well.
4. She Appears on the Cover of Wayne Shorter’s Album ‘Speak No Evil’
Nakagami’s first husband was jazz legend Wayne Shorter. She married Shorter in 1961, and the couple have a daughter together, named Miyaki. (Several of Shorter’s songs, including “Infant Eyes” and “Miyaki,” are dedicated to Miyaki.”) An image of Nakagami appears on the cover of Shorter’s 1966 album “Speak No Evil.” Shorter, reminiscing about meeting Nakagami, said that Nakagami was “pretty” and “looked like a Japanese Audrey Hepburn.”
5. Nakagami & Williams Have Two Grandchildren
Nakagami and Williams have a daughter named Hanako. Hanako Williams is married to a man named Liam Toohey. They have two children: a daughter named Lucie Katsumi, and a son named Finnegan Ichiro. Williams and Nakagami were recently photographed taking their grandson, Finnegan, to
see Star Wars Episode VII.
Williams said both of his grandchildren love to play with Legos and that he keeps a good collection of Legos for them at his house, so that the grandkids can play when they visit. He said the collection includes some of his own figurines.