Williams grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma along with his three siblings. He was interested in acting from a young age though did not intend on pursuing it as a career, instead taking a pre-med course at the University of Tulsa. The prospect of pursuing acting as a career eventually took over and he switched courses, completing a bachelors degree in theatrical studies. During his time here, Williams also performed in a play of Sweeney Todd, and later obtained a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. He currently lives in Texas with his wife and daughter.
Williams has made guest appearances on numerous television shows, including The X-Files, 24, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, The Bernie Mac Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (appearing with Jack Donner), and Criminal Minds. He is probably best known for playing the corrupt prison guard, Captain Brad Bellick, in the FOX drama Prison Break (also starring Rob Knepper, Michelle Forbes, John Billingsley, Leon Russom, Cress Williams, and Jude Ciccolella).