Richard Williams
Source: Getty Images

'King Richard' Shines the Light on Tennis Star Father Richard Williams

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Nov. 28 2022, Updated 12:23 p.m. ET

On Nov. 18, Warner Bros. and HBO Max released King Richard—a movie chronicling the life of Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. The driving force behind his daughters’ success in the world of tennis, Williams has a net worth of about $10 million.

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Richard Williams

Father and Tennis Coach of Venus and Serena Williams

Net worth: $10 Million

Richard Williams is the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. Before his daughters were even 10 years old, Williams started coaching them in tennis, although he never played the sport. Throughout their careers, Richard was a mainstay in the stands during his daughters' tennis matches until he fell into poor health after several strokes.

Age: 79

Born: February 14, 1942

Williams took Venus and Serena to public tennis courts in Compton, California, to practice before they were even 10 years old. His goal was to make his girls the best tennis players in the world and he even drafted an 85-page game plan to do so.

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Did Richard Williams play tennis?

Williams didn’t have formal training in tennis, but he did have the passion and faith in his daughters to succeed in the sport.

Serena Williams
Source: Getty Images
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“There would be no Venus and Serena if it wasn't for Richard,” Serena said in an Aug. 17 interview with Refinery29.

Serena and Venus are co-executive producers on the Warner Bros. movie, which features actor Will Smith as Richard. Smith won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role as Richard Williams. The film was also nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures.

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Serena told Refinery29, “My dad was an amazing guy — is an amazing guy, I should say — and I think he was way ahead of his time. He's always thinking on a different level. Even now, he is always thinking five steps above everyone else. And the way he taught tennis with techniques, the way he pushed myself and my sister, it was a great opportunity to tell his story.”

After his girls went professional—Venus in 1994 and Serena in 1995—Williams became their number one fan cheering from the stands. In 1999, when Venus played against Serena and eventually beat her, Williams was in the stands holding a sign that read “Welcome to the Williams show.”

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When Venus won Wimbledon in 2000, Williams shouted “Straight outta Compton!” from the stands and held up a sign that read “It’s Venus’ party and no one was invited.” She would go on to win four more Wimbledon titles.

Serena is considered the greatest athlete of all time with 23 Grand Slam titles under her belt.

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Venus Williams
Source: Venus Williams Facebook

Richard Williams' family life

Richard has been married three times and has numerous children and step-children. He was married to his first wife, Betty Johnson, for about eight years until the couple divorced in 1973.

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In 1980, Williams married Oracene “Brandy” Price and they are the parents of the tennis stars. After his divorce from Price in 2002, Williams raised eyebrows for his relationship with Lakeisha Juanita Graham, a woman who was just one year older than his daughter Venus. The couple married in 2010 and divorced in 2017.

Williams was born on Feb. 24, 1924, in Shiverport, Louisiana. He has four younger siblings and, after high school, moved to Signaw, Michigan, and then to California.

Richard Williams is in poor health after several strokes.

It has been a while since Williams has been in the stands to watch his daughters play. He has been in poor health after he suffered a series of strokes in 2016 and after.

Court documents filed in Williams' divorce from third wife Lakeisha state that he has irreparable brain damage and dementia and is “totally incapacitated to conduct any business,” The Sun reported in February 2020.


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