Jesse Williams (born August 5, 1981) is an American actor and model. He is known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC series Grey's Anatomy and as Lena's boyfriend Leo in the film sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. He also stars in the upcoming Joss Whedon horror film The Cabin in the Woods.
Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois to a Swedish mother and an African American father. Williams graduated from Temple University with degrees in African American Studies and Film & Media Arts. He taught American Studies, African Studies and English at a Philadelphia public high school following a brief modeling career in college. He played town sports in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Williams is currently engaged to his girlfriend Aryn, a real estate agent. He relocated to Los Angeles with his fiance, having previously lived in Brooklyn.
In 2006, Jesse guest starred in an episode of Law & Order portraying the character Kwame. He starred in the Off Broadway hits The American Dream and The Sandbox at Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village in New York City. Both one-act plays were written and directed by legendary playwright Edward Albee.