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Billy Dee Williams Says Marlon Brando Once Hit on Him and He Declined: ‘I Prefer Women’ (Exclusive)

The 'Star Wars' alum is opening up like never before ahead of new memoir 'What Have We Here,' out Feb. 13

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty; Herbert Dorfman/Corbis/Getty</p> Billy Dee Williams and Marlon Brando

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty; Herbert Dorfman/Corbis/Getty

Billy Dee Williams and Marlon Brando

Legendary actor Billy Dee Williams knows what it means to be in demand, onscreen and off.

The Star Wars alum is getting candid in his new memoir What Have We Here?: Portraits of A Life, out Feb. 13. And from being a talented painter to a Hollywood heartthrob, he breaks down the lesser known details of his life in this week's issue of PEOPLE.

"I'm thinking about legacy at this stage, 86 years old going on 87," he says, "so I figured maybe I need to talk about a few things that might interest a few people. I've had a lot of very interesting experiences throughout the years."

<p>Albert L. Ortega</p> Billy Dee Williams

Albert L. Ortega

Billy Dee Williams

He has indeed, including one instance which he writes about in the book, when Marlon Brando propositioned him while the two stood in the library of Brando's home where the Hollywood titan was hosting a star-studded party.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Actor Billy Dee Williams Reveals Cover of 'Riveting, Inspiring' New Memoir (Exclusive)

"I've been getting hit on all my life," says Williams, who credits his romantic lead roles in films like 1972's Lady Sings the Blues and 1975's Mahogany for his famous lover boy persona. "Gay, straight, whatever, somebody's always hitting on me."

In terms of Brando, Williams says he declined the late movie star's romantic offer. As for why, "I prefer women," says Williams.

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Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando

That said, the star is no ordinary Hollywood alpha male. In 2019 he sparked speculation around his gender identity and sexuality after revealing that he sees himself as “feminine as well as masculine” in an Esquire interview.

"I've spent a lot of my life around gay people," says Williams. "[The late celebrated Black writer] James Baldwin, who was gay, was my dearest friend."

<p>Courtesy of Knopf/Photograph Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC/Jacket Design by Jenny Carrow</p> What Have We Here? by Billy Dee Williams

Courtesy of Knopf/Photograph Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC/Jacket Design by Jenny Carrow

What Have We Here? by Billy Dee Williams

But when it comes to romance, as he says he told Brando, "I'm not into guys." Still, he adds, "I had no qualms with that kind of stuff. Whatever you are, that’s who you are. I’m more interested in meeting interesting people.”

For more on the life and many loves of Billy Dee Williams, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, out Friday.

What Have We Here?: Portraits of A Life is available Feb. 13.

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Read the original article on People.