Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

Jesse Williams played Jackson Avery from season six to season seventeen of Grey's Anatomy. His character also appeared in Seattle Grace: Message of Hope and Station 19. Jesse also serves as a director on the show.


Jesse Williams was born first of three children in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island, and from Temple University with a double major in African-American Studies and Film and Media Art. He followed the footsteps of his parents and began teaching in the Philadelphia public school system, mainly teaching American Studies, African Studies, and English.

He began to study acting in 2005 and was one of the 14 chosen, out of 800 applicants, to participate in the New York Actors Showcase. Since then, he has appeared in multiple television series, films, and theatre productions.

He is the youngest member of the board of directors at The Advancement Project, a civil rights think-tank and advocacy group and an executive producer of Question Bridge: Black Males, a multifaced media project, art exhibition, and a student and teacher curriculum website.

He married longtime girlfriend Aryn Drake-Lee in September 2012 and they have two children. In April 2017, it was reported that he filed for a divorce from Aryn.



  • Marked Man (????)
  • Team Joy (????)
  • Secret Headquarters (2022)
  • Random Acts of Violence (2019)
  • Jacob's Ladder (2019)
  • Selah and The Spades (2019)
  • A Magical Holiday (short) (2017)
  • Versus (short) (2017)
  • Band Aid (2017)
  • Money (2016)
  • They Die by Dawn (2013)
  • Snake & Mongoose (2013)
  • Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
  • Rich Girl Problems (short) (2012)
  • The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
  • J.A.W. (short) (2011)
  • Dirty Dancing 3: Capoeira Nights (short) (2010)
  • Washingtonienne (2009)
  • Brooklyn's Finest (2009)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)


  • Olga Dies Dreaming (????)
  • Grey's Anatomy (2009-2021)
  • A Black Lady Sketch Show (2021)
  • Station 19 (2020)
  • Little Fires Everywhere (mini-series) (2020)
  • Power (2019)
  • The Spoils Before Dying (mini-series) (2015)
  • Seattle Grace: Message of Hope (2010)
  • Beyond the Break (2009)
  • Greek (2008)
  • Law & Order (2006)


Directed Episodes[]

Grey's Anatomy[]

Season 14

Season 15

Season 16

Notes and Trivia[]

  • He modeled for Kenneth Cole.
  • He loves donuts, bacon, and tacos.
  • You can also see him in Rihanna's music video for Russian Roulette from her album Rated R.
  • He used to be a high school teacher before he got into acting.
  • He's a big collector of vinyl.
  • He has written articles for CNN and The Huffington Post.
  • He was a guest on CNN Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room.
  • He remains close friends with Sarah Drew.
  • Jesse and his then-wife, Aryn, started their own emoji app together called Ebroji.
  • Before getting on the show, he had seen a couple of episodes as his girlfriend (later wife) watched it.
  • His favorite episodes to shoot were Unbreak My Heart and Sanctuary/Death and All His Friends.
  • He has mentioned that Alex Karev is his favorite character.
  • According to Jake Borelli, he's the biggest prankster amongst the cast.
  • He auditioned for the role of Jackson on his birthday.

External Links[]