Get to Know All about Billy Dee Williams’ Wife, Teruko Nakagami!

Teruko Nakagami came to fame as the third wife of the American actor and novelist Billy Dee Williams. Billy is famous for his role as Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars franchise.

Nakagami and Williams got married in 1972, divorced in 1993, and reconciled in 1997. The duo has one child together and one each from their previous relationships.

Let’s get to know more about Teruko!


Teruko’s Marriage with Billy

Teruko Nakagami walked down the aisle in 1972 after some time of dating. They had first met in New York through friends. But, at that time, both of them were married. They became good friends and talked a lot.

Teruko Nakagami and Billy Dee Williams' old photo.
Teruko and Billy married in 1971.
Source: Instagram (Blasianhaven)

After their divorce from their respective partners, the pair started dating, and soon after, they decided to get married. They stayed together for more than two decades. Unfortunately, in 1993, the pair went separate ways. A spokesman told JET Magazine that their divorce was “an amicable parting, not a messy Hollywood divorce.”

Billy Dee and Teruko Nakagami Williams' old photo.
Billy and Teruko walked separate ways in 1993.
Source: Instagram (Blasianhaven)

When they separated, Billy got into a relationship with another woman. In 1996, he was jailed for allegedly beating his live-in girlfriend. He was arrested at 7.30 pm but was released on a $50 thousand bail at about 3 am. While speaking about the allegations, the LA Police Lt. Ron Sanchez said that the girl had minor injuries including scratches and bruises.

The case was later dropped after his then-girlfriend revealed that there was a mistake on her side. Several months later, Billy and Teruko reconciled and started living as husband and wife. They have been together since then.

A decade before their separation in 1993, Billy had told Ebony Magazine how his life changed for the good after the arrival of his wife.

She’s a woman who really forces me to look at things in a very real way. She’s that kind of person. She makes very heavy demands, but they’re not unreasonable ones, because once you grasp what she’s all about you realize she’s really encouraging you forward, telling you that you’re much more than you think you are.

Billy on his wife being a turning point in his life.

Divorce with First Husband

Teruko Nakagami was first married to her husband, Wayne Shorter, who was famous for being an American jazz saxophonist and composer. They first met in 1961 and married sometime later. The duo separated in 1964.

Meanwhile, her husband, Billy Dee Williams was previously married to Audrey Sellers and Marlene Clark. Billy married Audrey in 1959 and divorced a few years later in 1963 because he was apparently depressed.

When I first got married, both of us were just kids – 19 or 20 years old, but something beautiful came out of that marriage – our son.

Billy tells Ebony Magazine (June 1983) about his first failed marriage.

Williams tied the knot with Clark in Hawaii in 1968 but divorced three years later in 1971.

The second time, I was in my 30s, but that one didn’t work either. Who know why? Perhaps it was because we were two people struggling, and we were kind of crazy and dramatic and didn’t know the right direction to take. Plus, I’m not the easiest person in the world to live with, and I was far more impulsive and less disciplined then than now, so the marriage didn’t last.

Billy tells Ebony Magazine (June 1983) about his failed second marriage.

Two Kids

Teruko Nakagami has two kids. She welcomed her first child, daughter, Miyako Shorter with her first husband, Wayne Shorter in early 1962. She is 59 years old as of 2021. Wayne had sung songs like Infant Eyes and Miyako for his daughter.

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Wayne dedicated Infant Eyes to his daughter, Miyako Shorter.

After her marriage with Billy Dee Williams, Nakagami welcomed her second child, Hanako Williams in 1973. She attended Beverly Hills High School before graduating with a degree in Visual Art and Art History from Brown University. Since January 2000, she has been working as a Gallery Manager at Gagosian in Beverly Hills, California.

A picture of Hanako Williams.
Hanako was born to Teruko and Billy a year into their marriage.
Source: Facebook

Hanako is currently married to her husband, Liam Toohey. They hitched on March 24, 2000. The duo has two kids, Finnegan Ichiro and Lucie Katsumi. Both of them love to play with legos.

Besides Miyako and Hanako, Teruko is also the mother (step-mother) of Billy’s first child, Corey Dee Williams from his first marriage with Audrey Sellers. He was born in 1960.

Corey with Billy and Audrey.
Billy with his son, Corey, and his ex-wife, Audrey.
Source: Facebook

Corey graduated with a degree in Graphics Design from the Los Angeles Pierce College in 1980. He has since worked as a music producer, actor, and fitness trainer. He is the owner and fitness specialist of Key2Fit LLC. Williams is also the music producer and co-founder of 3-Dee Nucleus Project.

Born in Chicago

The Japanese American Teruko Nakagami was born as one of the twin sisters in Chicago. Her original name was Irene but she changed it after she married Wayne Shorter.

When she was six, she and her twin sister were shipped off to a Japanese American internment camp in California. During World War II, Japanese people were forcibly relocated and incarcerated in concentration camps. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the internment after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

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