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Billy Dee Williams on 'Dancing With the Stars,' being a ladies man

Billy Dee Williams then.JPG

Billy Dee Williams is the biggest name on the new season of "Dancing with the Stars," which premieres Monday. Once dubbed the 'black Clark Gable,' he has appeared opposite Diana Ross in "Lady Sings the Blues," as Lando Cairissian in "The Empire Strikes Back," and Harvey Dent in "Batman." The New York native is also a talented artist whose work is permanently displayed in the Smithsonian. The 76 year-old spoke to FOX411 about putting on his dancing shoes -- his first dance will be the cha cha, by the way -- and what it was like being a matinee idol.

FOX411: Are you sore all over?

Billy Dee Williams: I haven't done this in quite some time, last time I did something like this was in 1966 on Broadway with Leslie Uggams, it was "Hallelujah Baby." I haven't really done this much work (since) but it's interesting. I'm having a lot of fun doing it and hoping for the best.

It's not that easy, I didn't think it was going to be easy. I'm a big fan of the show. I'm always totally amazed at the capability of these people. It's not easy, believe me, especially at my age, I'm going to be 77 in April. It's hard but I'm willing to meet the challenge. It's not about challenging anyone else. I don't care about challenging anyone else, it's just challenging myself to see if I can do it.

FOX411: You're the voice of Lando in one of the biggest movies this year, "The Lego Movie."

Billy Dee: I never really know how big a movie ends up. You just kind of do things and hope for the best. It was something I only did because I really enjoy doing that kind of stuff, this sort of parody of my character in "Star Wars."

FOX411: Your character made us laugh out loud.

Billy Dee: Everybody tells me that. I haven't seen it yet. I never go to the movies. Eventually I'll see it.

FOX411: What's been your favorite movie of yours?

Billy Dee: There's been a lot but certainly "Brian's Song" where I got a nomination for an Emmy.

FOX411: And was the first movie that made it ok for big tough guys to cry.

Billy Dee: That's what I hear from a lot of big tough guys.

FOX411: You were really the first black matinee idol.

Billy Dee: I was the first brown skinned boy to really emerge in that respect, yes. Back in 1960 I did a play called "A Taste of Honey" with Angela Lansbury, I was doing romantic stuff at an early point in my life. I think people somehow perceive me in that way.

FOX411: Why do you think that is?

Billy Dee: Because I'm a cute little boy! And I've got a lot of charm and I'm very well brought up.

FOX411: When do you realize you had a way with the ladies?

Billy Dee: When I was about three years old my parents took me to Orchard Beach. I wandered away from them and they found me surrounded by a lot of girls with cupid lips all over my face. I love women and I have a real appreciation of women due to my mom and sister and grandmother. I think women are somehow very much a part of my being.

FOX411: Is it the greatest thing being a sex symbol?

Billy Dee: Of course!

FOX411: Ever say no to anyone?

Billy Dee: (Laughs) Occasionally. 

FOX411: So 80 percent yes, 20 percent no?

Billy Dee: I have no idea.

FOX411: Because there were too many!

Billy Dee: Possibly.

FOX411: Ever watch your old movies?

Billy Dee: No, I don't like to watch anything I'm in. I cringe when I watch myself. I'm very critical of myself, what I do as an actor. You think, 'Oh, I should have done this, I should have done that,' or you look at yourself and think, 'Oh God I need to lose weight!'

FOX411: Ever think "Star Wars" fans need to get a life?

Billy Dee: Oh no, no. I really enjoy them. They're wonderful people and very creative as a matter of fact. They come to conventions with these incredible outfits and costumes that put together. I find it very interesting and amusing.

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