Teruko Nakagami: Life Of Billy Dee Williams’ Wife In 2023

By Alyssa Kingsbury

Teruko Nakagami, renowned as the wife of American actor and painter Billy Dee Williams, has been an integral part of his life for over five decades. Best known for his portrayal of Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars franchise, Williams and Nakagami tied the knot in 1972, marking the beginning of a enduring love story. However, Williams is not Nakagami’s first husband, raising the question: who is her ex-husband? As of 2023, the couple continues to navigate the journey of marriage, showcasing a harmonious bond that defies the test of time.


Billy Dee Williams

American actor and painter Billy Dee Williams (born William December Williams Jr. in 1943) is married to Teruko Nakagami. Her spouse, who starred in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019), is a household name because to his portrayal as Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars films.

In the year 2023, Teruko will have been married to a Star Wars actor for half a millennium. The pair hitched the wedding in 1972 and as of today, they are living their marriage contentedly. Teruko has married twice; her first husband died, and Billy is her second. Who exactly is her ex-husband then? More importantly, where is Teruko Nakagami now? 

Have A Look On Teruko Nakagami

In the early years of Teruko Nakagami, she was born in Chicago on April 6, 1937, under the name Irene. Her Japanese roots add a layer of complexity to her heritage, and unraveling the Nakagami family history provides insights into her background. Teruko’s father, Kenichi Nakagami, had a notable professional background as a former IBM executive. Meanwhile, her mother, Yoshiko Nakagami, underwent a fascinating transition from being a PanAm stewardess to pursuing a career as a fashion model.

Teruko’s family dynamics include her sister Michiko, creating a familial backdrop that likely played a role in shaping her early experiences and perspectives. The diverse blend of Japanese heritage and American upbringing laid the foundation for Teruko Nakagami’s unique journey.

Before she met Billy Dee Williams, Teruko Nakagami had an interesting life.

Teruko Nakagami

During her earlier years, Teruko Nakagami had the opportunity to undergo an international school experience in both Tokyo and Beijing. These experiences likely contributed to the richness of her cultural perspective and provided her with a diverse and global outlook.

As Teruko reached the age of 17, another significant milestone awaited her – a move to Chicago for college. This marked her coming of age, a time of transition and self-discovery as she navigated the challenges and opportunities that a new chapter in her education and life presented. The move to Chicago set the stage for the subsequent events in Teruko Nakagami’s fascinating journey.

Marital Life Of Teruko Nakagami

Originally named Irene, Teruko was born in Chicago to Japanese parents. She had been married before to the renowned saxophonist and musician Wayne Shorter, making her second marriage to Billy.

After being married in 1972, Billy and Teruko welcomed a girl into their blended family, Hanako, who was the daughter of Billy’s first wife, Audrey Sellers, and Wayne and Teruko.

Teruko and Billy, despite Billy’s popularity, brought up their kids in a “unpretentious” house in the Hollywood Hills. 

Billy Dee Williams’s wife of over twenty years, Teruko Nakagami, was the only one who could “calm [him] down.” Years after their divorce, the exes were seen out and about together, proving there was no bad blood between them.

Billy Dee Williams, who had been married twice before, said “I do” for a third time to his ex-wife Teruko Nakagami in the ’70s. Despite being Billy Dee Williams’ wife and being once married to Wayne Shorter, nothing is known about Teruko Nakagami.

However, her second ex-husband gushed about what a “fantastic” wife she was, praising her for her strong ideals, morality, and honour that she absorbed from Japanese society.

Interesting as that may be, Billy Dee isn’t Teruko Nakagami’s first marriage. The legendary jazz musician Great Wayne Shorter is her husband.

Nakagami spent the most of his boyhood in an American internment camp for Japanese people.

In 1993, Teruko and Williams ended their marriage.Her spouse Williams also has a kid from prior marriage.

Teruko Nakagami and Billy Dee Williams Separation And Re-Union

Billy Dee Williams

Teruko Nakagami and Billy Dee Williams experienced a significant turn in their marital journey in 1993 when they initially filed for divorce after approximately nine years of marriage. Despite the challenges, their union had been characterized by happiness in its early years. Teruko, subsequently, ventured into the world of film, making notable appearances in several movies and television shows.

One standout moment in her acting career was her portrayal of “Daimyo” in the Star Wars spinoff film, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” released in 2016. This particular role remains her most notable performance to date, adding a significant chapter to her artistic contributions.

In 1992, Teruko took a step toward ending her marriage with Billy Dee Williams by filing for divorce. However, in a surprising twist, the couple chose to reconcile and decided to continue their marital journey. 

According to Teruko’s representative, despite the legal filing, they mutually agreed to remain married, demonstrating a resilience and commitment to their relationship that transcended the legal complexities. This period of reconciliation marked a unique chapter in Teruko Nakagami and Billy Dee Williams’ enduring connection, revealing a depth of understanding and a determination to navigate the complexities of married life.

How Many Children Do Teruko Nakagami Have?

Teruko Nakagami’s journey into motherhood is marked by the joy of having two children. Alongside her husband Billy Dee Williams, they welcomed their daughter, Hanako Williams, in April 1973. As of 2023, Hanako is now 50 years old and has crafted a life for herself as the general manager at an art gallery in Beverly Hills. Married to Liam Toohey, Hanako is not only a dedicated professional but also a mother of two beautiful children.

Adding to the family dynamic, Teruko has a daughter named Miyako Shorter from her first marriage to musician Wayne Shorter. Miyako was born in 1962, and her presence adds another layer to the intricate tapestry of Teruko’s family history.

Furthermore, Teruko is also the mother of Corey Dee Williams, her husband Billy’s son from his initial marriage. Corey wears many hats professionally, serving as an author, fitness lifestyle coach, and the producer of Funky.

Is Teruko Nakagami A Grandmother?

In case of grandmotherhood, Teruko Nakagami cherishes the role of a grandmother to two grandchildren. From Hanako’s marriage to Liam Toohey, Teruko has a granddaughter named Lucie Katsumi and a grandson named Finnegan Ichiro. Both of these grandchildren have now grown up, adding a sense of fulfillment to Teruko’s family narrative.

What does Teruko Nakagami do for a living?

Teruko is best known as Billy’s wife, hence information about her professional life has been kept under wraps. However, her husband, the actor Billy De Williams, is a household name.

The New Yorker, who began his acting career on Broadway in 1945, made his debut on April 6, 1937. Nakagami’s husband made his screen debut over a decade later, in 1959’s The Last Angry Man.

After that, he appeared in a wide variety of films and television shows, including Brian’s Song, Lady Sings the Blues, Mahogany, Titan Maximum, and many more. He has other artistic talents than acting. 

What Is The Net Worth Teruko Nakagami


Teruko Nakagami’s net worth is estimated to be approximately $600,000. In contrast, her renowned husband, Billy Dee Williams, boasts a more substantial fortune, with an estimated net worth of $9 million. This considerable wealth has been accumulated over the course of Billy Dee Williams’ successful career in the entertainment industry.