Award-winning playwright, actor, director and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air executive producer Samm-Art Williams has died.

Williams died Monday at the age of 78. He is reported as having “passed away peacefully” in Burgaw, North Carolina. He was preceded in death by his immediate family; he is survived by five cousins.

His family released a statement, which reads as follows:

The family of multi award winning playwright, actor, director, and executive producer of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Samm-Art Williams passed away peacefully, 6:30 this morning, May 13 2024. He was 78 years old. His Tony Nominated play, “Home” directed by Douglas Turner Ward and produced on Broadway by the renowned Negro Ensemble Company in 1980 will return to Broadway, at the Todd Haimes Theatre, June 5th 2024 under the direction of Tony Award winner Kenny Leon.

Mr. Williams’ contributions to American theater and television will live on but he will be greatly missed.

According to Williams’ cousin Carol Brown, Williams was born Jan. 20, 1946 in Philadelphia, PA to Samuel Williams and Valdosia Williams. His mother taught high school English and drama, paving the path for Williams’ career in the arts. He attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD.

According to the Roundabout Theatre Company, Williams became known for plays Home, Welcome To Black River, Friends and several other plays produced around the country, including New York and Los Angeles. Home earned Williams a Tony nomination for Best Broadway Play; the play also won an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk nomination, an NAACP Image Award and the North Carolina Governor’s Award.

Williams also wrote for the screen, including PBS’ Solomon Northup’s Odyssey, Showtime’s John Henry, CBS’ Badges, and episodes of The New Mike Hammer, Miami Vice, Cagney and Lacey and others. His screen acting credits include The Women of Brewster Place, Search for Tomorrow and Race to the Pole, among other television productions. His film acting credits include, but are not limited to, Blood Simple and Huckleberry Finn. His television production career included iconic sitcoms such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, Good News, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and others.

Apart from his awards for his plays, Williams also earned the Guggenheim Fellowship and The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Playwriting, well as other accolades.

A revival of Home, directed by Kenny Leon, will start Broadway performances at the Roundabout Theatre Company this Friday.