Billy Dee Williams - who turns 79 today - will always be remembered for three things: portraying Lando Calrissian in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, getting snubbed for the role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Batman Forever (1995), and serving as the longstanding (and often parodied) pitchman for Colt 45 malt liquor, which we'll call a cost-effective brand of beer.
There were once rumors that Williams wanted to be a pitchman for marijuana as well. In 2007, the advertising news website Adweek ran a blog noting that Williams allegedly responded to criticism over his Colt 45 commercials by saying, "I drink, you drink. Hell, if marijuana was legal, I'd appear in a commercial for it."
But Williams later denied that rumor in a February 2015 interview with the Latino culture magazine Vida de Oro: Williams denied the claim. "That's simply not true I would not do a commercial for marijuana. As for Colt 45, I am very proud of my endorsement of the product and it still, 'Works every time,'" Williams said, repeating the slogan that his endorsement made famous.
However, much like Harvey Dent, Williams is "two-faced" on the issue. He has, in fact, pitched marijuana...sort of. Williams parodied himself and his work as a pitchman in Bump N Run Productions' sketch series called "The Most Interesting Black Man in the World." In these Dos Equis spoofs, marijuana plays a key role in defining Williams's suave, sharply-dressed yet acerbic character.
Here's a sampling.
banner image: Flickr/Steve Cranston