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Danny Glover Biography


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Birth Name: Danny Glover
Born: 07/22/1946
Birth Place: San Francisco, California, USA


Born on July 22, 1947 in San Francisco, CA, Glover was raised by his father, James, a postal worker and union organizer, and his mother, Carrie, who also worked at the post office and organized for the union. Both were also active in working for equal rights with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. At five years old, Glover had his own paper route, which taught him the value of hard work - a lesson that remained with him for the rest of his life. By the time he reached George Washington High School, he was engaged in athletics - namely football and track - while also being enamored with acting. But his childhood and adolescence was plagued by dyslexia and later epilepsy - the latter hindering his athletic career, but neither of which derailed him from continuing his education. After graduating high school, he studied mathematics and economics at San Francisco State University, where he followed in his parents' footsteps and became active in the Black Students Union, participating in the 1968 country-wide student strike in protest to the Vietnam War. Also significant was meeting future wife Asake Bomani, with whom he later had his only child, Mandisa, in 1976. The couple eventually divorced in 1999.

Though he had developed an interest in acting, Glover instead decided on a career in public service, working several city government jobs, including as a researcher in the mayor's office and an evaluator for the San Francisco Model Cities program. He quit the latter job to begin studying acting at the Black Actors' Workshop, performing in productions of "Macbeth" and Sam Shepard's "Suicide in B Flat." Making his film debut, Glover played an anonymous inmate in "Escape from Alcatraz" (1979), director Don Siegel's excellent recounting of the famed prison break starring Clint Eastwood as mastermind Frank Morris. Glover first won acclaim on the stage for his work in two Athol Fugard plays; an off-Broadway revival of "The Blood Knot" (1980) and the Broadway premiere of "'Master Harold'...and the boys" (1982). A highly versatile actor, Glover made himself known on the big screen, easily shifting from warm, sympathetic characters, like Moze, the sweet-natured cotton farmer in "Places in the Heart" (1984), to frightening villains, like a corrupt cop in "Witness" (1985) and Mister, the brutally abusive husband of a Southern black woman (Whoopi Goldberg) in "The Color Purple" (1985).

Glover continued his breakout year when he co-starred in Lawrence Kasdan's revisionist Western, "Silverado" (1985), playing a cowboy who loses everything and teams up with three other so-called outlaws (Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn and Kevin Costner) to take on a corrupt rancher (Ray Baker) and a ruthless sheriff (Brian Dennehy). He also proved effective as African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela in the docudrama, "Mandela" (PBS, 1986), which immediately led to him reviving the character again in the cable-made biopic, "Mandela" (HBO, 1987). Glover was paired opposite Alfre Woodard as Winnie Mandela in both projects. But it was his next project that established Glover as a widely recognized action star, albeit for a short time. As the aging Detective Roger Murtaugh in "Lethal Weapon" (1987), Glover exuded a world-weary resignation that stood in sharp contrast to the suicidal psychosis of his new partner, Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). Despite the stark differences between the two detectives, they form a bond as they track down a ruthless drug dealer (Mitchell Ryan) responsible for the murder of Murtaugh's Vietnam buddy (Tom Atkins). The success of "Lethal Weapon" - truly one of the great action yarns from the big budget 1980s - propelled Glover into the realm of international star.

Following the first of three sequels, "Lethal Weapon 2" (1989), which performed exceedingly well at the box office despite lacking its predecessor's originality, Glover returned to the small screen to play Joshua Sheets in the epic miniseries "Lonesome Dove" (CBS, 1989), which earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special. Glover's star power made it possible for noted black independent filmmaker Charles Burnett to get his quirky family drama "To Sleep with Anger" (1990) onto the screen. Glover signed on as executive producer and starred as the Devil, who ingratiates himself upon the home of his old friend (Paul Butler) and his disapproving wife (Mary Alice). His sturdy presence was a comfort to first-time feature director Bill Duke and executive producer and co-star Forest Whitaker in "A Rage in Harlem" (1991), in which he gave a memorable performance as an eccentric uptown numbers runner. Glover reunited with "Silverado" cohorts Kasdan and Kevin Kline for "Grand Canyon" (1991) in a part specifically written for the actor. In this drama about seemingly random events colliding with one another, Glover played a tow-truck driver who rescues an immigration attorney (Kevin Kline) from a gang of inner city hoods, which leads to a rather unexpected friendship between the two men.

Glover was paired once again with Alfre Woodard and put their South African accents to use one more time in "Bopha!" (1993), Morgan Freeman's feature directorial debut, which told the tale of a black South African policeman's political awakening. After playing Alex Haley's ancestor Alec Haley in "Queen" (CBS, 1993) and reviving Det. Roger Murtaugh for "Lethal Weapon 3" (1992), Glover made the rare transition to director, helming the Showtime production, "Override" (1994), a 30-minute short about an unusual tractor trailer driver. Turning back to his bread and butter, he spent the latter half of the 1990s in much more gentle films than he was used to. After playing a baseball manager who comes to believe in heavenly intervention in "Angels in the Outfield" (1994), Glover portrayed a Green Beret who leads a team delivering an elephant to a Vietnamese village in "Operation Dumbo Drop" (1995). While serving as executive producer on the HBO original "Deadly Voyage" (1996), about African stowaways on a freighter who are murdered, and "America's Dream" (HBO, 1996), a trilogy of stories about African- Americans, Glover enjoyed another critical success when he portrayed Phillip Marlowe on an episode of the neo-noir anthology series, "Fallen Angels" (Showtime, 1995-96). The role earned him another Emmy Award nomination, this time for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

Continuing to put forth quality projects, Glover was executive producer and star of "Buffalo Soldiers" (TNT, 1997), a gritty drama that told the story of black cavalry troops who battle Native Americans shortly after the Civil War. In the film, he turned in a gem of a performance as an ex-slave-turned-Army sergeant who runs afoul of the famed Texas Rangers. Glover's string of high-quality films came to an end when he was paired with J Pesci in the w fully unfunny comedy, "Gone Fishin'" (1997). After starring with Dennis Quaid in the action thriller "SwitchBack" (1997), he was featured as the judge in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rainmaker" (1997), adapted from John Grisham's bestseller. The following year, Glover lent his distinctive voice to characters in two animated features: "Antz" (1998) and "The Prince of Egypt" (1998). He followed by returning to live action for the highly anticipated, but disappointing adaptation of Toni Morrison's American slave drama, "Beloved" (1998), which had his sensitive ex-slave Paul D. romancing the middle-aged single mother, Sethe (Oprah Winfrey). Taking one last spin as the curmudgeonly Det. Murtaugh, Glover and company went through the motions in what marked the final installment to the exhausted franchise, "Lethal Weapon 4" (1998).

Glover fared better opposite Angela Bassett in the screen adaptation of Fugard's play, "B sman & Lena" (2000) a harrowing tale about a homeless couple who survive the harsh terrain of South Africa's Cape Flats which screened at that year's Cannes Film Festival. Next, he was seen as a corrupt African president in "Battu," shown at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival. Glover was once more the recipient of critical acclaim for his role in "Freedom Song" (TNT, 2000), a stirring drama that gave the actor another opportunity to demonstrate his acting chops in a film that dealt with issues of race and oppression. Glover earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his performance as a tradition-minded father distressed by his son's involvement in a desegregation group in 1961. He next delivered one of his most endearing performances as Anjelica Huston's second husband, Henry Sherman, in Wes Anderson's triumphant ensemble comedy, "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001). After providing the narration for "The Real Eve" (2002), a documentary about the search to trace DNA back to the origins of humanity, Glover reunited with Whoopi Goldberg in the underwhelming "Good Fences" (2003), which cast the pair as a successful black family in the 1970s trying to establish a new life in a posh, mostly white Connecticut enclave.

Though always busy with film and television projects - like the Queen Latifah-produced urban comedy "The Cookout" (2004) - Glover did not neglect his dedication to the stage, returning to the theater for the world premiere of Phil Kan Gotanda's "Yohen" in Los Angeles. Glover earned excellent reviews for his portrayal of a retired serviceman whose usually timid Japanese wife of 30 years suddenly forces him to re-examine their relationship. Following a turn as a detective in the surprise horror hit "Saw" (2004), Glover played the venerable, but Uncle Tom-like Wilhelm in Lars Von Trier's second installment to his U, S and A trilogy, "Manderlay" (2006), a part the actor initially refused to play because of the exclusively white perspective in a story about the slavery of African-Americans. He had a supporting role in a disappointing rehashing of "The Shaggy Dog" (2006), starring Tim Allen as a workaholic district attorney transformed into a mangy pooch in order to be taught the value of family. Glover next gave voice to the wise and patient Miles the Mule in "Barnyard: The Original Party Animals" (2006), an aimless and easily forgettable tale about a group of hard-partying farm animals that was beautifully animated despite its witless storyline.

Glover found himself in the midst of serious Oscar buzz with his next film, "Dreamgirls" (2006), a big screen version of the late director Michael Bennett's Broadway musical about the rise and potential fall of a black female singing trio (Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose) in the 1960s and 1970s. Glover played the trio's old-school manager who loses his talent to a younger and more ambitious manager (Jaime Foxx), but reunites with the most talented, but attractive member (Jennifer Hudson) when she is demoted to backup singer. Alas, the buzz surrounding his performance resulted in a snub by the Academy. Glover returned to his activist filmmaking with his next project, taking the role of executive producer as well as making a cameo appearance as a cowboy in the independently financed "Bamako" (2007). In this satirical speculative fantasy, African society - beleaguered by mounting debt accrued from the enormous shift of wealth from third world countries into corporate pockets - brings action against Western financial interests, putting them on trial in a backyard where everyday people, including a bar singer (Aissa Maiga) and her unemployed husband (Tiecoura Traore), go about their business.

Glover returned to more straightforward commercial fare with "Shooter" (2007), playing a colonel who helps set-up a former expert sniper (Mark Wahlberg) in the assassination of the President of the United States. Following a guest turn on the hit comedy "My Name Is Earl" (NBC, 2005-09), he played the desperate proprietor of a 1950s juke joint in the Deep South who struggles to find new business in John Sayles' nostalgic drama, "Honeydripper" (2007). Glover returned to the realm of horror to reprise his detective role for the fourth installment to the long-running series, "Saw V" (2008), which he followed with an under-the-radar turn in the all-star ensemble, "Blindness" (2008). Following roles in "Be Kind Rewind" (2008) and "Gospel Hill" (2008), he returned to the small screen for a six-episode arc on the hit drama "Brothers and Sisters" (ABC, 2006- ). Putting his political activism on full display, he was one of numerous celebrities to participate in a pair of political documentaries: "The People Speak" (History Channel, 2009), a look at American history from a young person's point of view, and "Poliwood" (Showtime, 2009), which focused on the 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions. Glover made headlines in early 2010 for being arrested during one of him many peaceful protests; this one for a labor union demonstration at the Maryland-based headquarters of a food service company. After being charged with trespassing, Glover and his cohorts were released.