William Lucking, 'Sons of Anarchy' Actor, Dead at 80

William Lucking
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Lucking played old-school biker Piney Winston on the FX drama for four seasons.

William Lucking, known for his role on Sons of Anarchy, has died. He was 80. Lucking died Oct. 18 at his home in Las Vegas, his wife announced in an obituary shared to Facebook by his friend and actor, Stephen Macht.

"Although William often played toughs and strongmen, in his actual life he was an elegant man with a brilliant intellect who loved to argue about politics and current affairs, discuss philosophy and physics, and assert fine-pointed opinions about art and poetry. He was a giant of a man with the soul of a poet," his wife wrote.

Born in Michigan in 1941, Lucking and family moved to California in the early 1950s. He went on to graduate from UCLA with a degree in literature before completing his studies in theater arts at the Pasadena Playhouse, kickstarting his storied career in film in television.

Lucking made his onscreen debut on a 1968 episode of Ironside before going on to play a "roughneck" in 1976's Oklahoma Crude alongside Faye Dunaway and George C. Scott. Other notable roles include that of the original Colonel on NBC’s The A-Team in the 1980s, a green Bajoran on Star Trek Deep Space 9 in the '90s and most recently as Piney Winston, an aging biker, on FX's acclaimed series, Sons of Anarchy.

Lucking also appeared in The River WildErin BrockovichMission: ImpossibleThe Partridge FamilyGunsmokeThe WaltonsHart to HartLou GrantNewhartColumboMurder, She WroteNYPD BlueThe X-Files and The West Wing.

Lucking is survived by his wife of 25 years -- a former costume designer -- his two daughters, Marjet and Juliana, and his two granddaughters, Quinlan and Lilian.

Macht, who called Lucking a "lion," recalled the first time he met the accomplished actor in Hawaii, on the set of the 1977 NBC series Big Hawaii.

"I asked him, 'Why did you become an actor!?' Bill’s answer, 'Some a**hole clapped!' Bill transcended all the trappings of the 'biz' and reached a rare, splendid, powerful art of acting and will forever live in my memory."

Several of Lucking's Sons of Anarchy co-stars took to social media to mourn the actor's death, including Kristen Renton, Theo Rossi and Kim F. Coates.

Renton took to Twitter to repost the news, calling it an "honor" to work with Lucking on the FX series.

"RIP sir….. it was such an honor to work with you on ⁦@SonsofAnarchy. You had a presence unlike any other. You will truly be missed. Broken heart," Renton wrote.

While Rossi said, he was "fortunate to listen and learn from this "knowledgeable steadfast oak of a human."

"WE were all on a boat. It was in the AM and it was chaos. BUT it didn’t matter, because like many times before, I was fortunate to listen and learn from this knowledgeable steadfast oak of a Human. One of one, none before and none to come. Give ‘em hell BILL! #WilliamLucking," he tweeted.

"Never ever gonna forget this guy. Billy broke the mold of pretty much everything he did and accomplished," Coates shared. "The times we all had on set are legendary… just like Piney…Miss you brother. RIP. Tig x."

In the obituary, the family requested that friends and fans alike "toast his memory and celebrate his legacy."