Billy Dee Williams denies ever dating Diana Ross, but he expresses his fondness for kissing her on-screen in an exclusive interview

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Billy Dee Williams is not hesitant to share details about his onscreen relationship with Diana Ross. In anticipation of the release of his memoir, “What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life,” Williams, who is 86 years old, reflects on his strictly on-screen romance with the music icon. In the 1972 film “Lady Sings the Blues,” Ross, who is now 79, portrayed the legendary singer Billie Holiday, while Williams played her third husband, Louis McKay. Williams reveals that their romantic scenes were made uncomfortable by Ross’s real-life relationship with one of the film’s producers, Berry Gordy. When asked about how he and Gordy managed the situation, Williams explains that Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, would often intervene to prevent them from kissing during rehearsals. Williams describes Gordy as whimsical and shares an anecdote about a moment on set when Gordy and a cinematographer were discussing a scene and Gordy assured Williams that he had control over the film. Williams recalls Gordy’s excitement when he saw the chemistry between Williams and Ross during a screen test for the role of Louis McKay. Williams praises Gordy’s ability to judge chemistry, citing his success in discovering talented individuals. Although Williams and Ross had electric chemistry in their roles, he does not elaborate further.

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