Actor Ernie Hudson received his training at Wayne State, Yale School of Drama and the University of Minnesota. Following a hitch with the Marines, Hudson appeared in such stage productions as The Great White Hope, The Cage and Daddy Goodness. He made his earlier film appearance in 1976's Leadbelly. Most of us know Hudson best as Winston Zeddmore in the two Ghostbusters films, a role he repeated in Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" music video. His best--and most controversial--screen assignment was the The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992); Hudson played retarded handyman Solomon, virtually the only character in the film who doesn't buy into the "perfect" facade of homicidal baby-sitter Rebecca DeMornay. On TV, Ernie Hudson has been seen as Smythe in Highcliffe Manor (1977), undercover officer "Night Train" Lane in The Last Precinct (1986), and kleptomaniac cop Toby Baker in Broken Badges (1990). He had a memorable supporting part in the 1992 thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and appeared in Heart and Souls as well as the comedy Airheads. In 1994 he was cast in a prominent role in the action film The Crow, and followed that up in 1995 with part in Congo. In 1997 he started work on the HBO drama Oz, playing the warden of the meanest, cruelest inmates imaginable for six seasons. He co-starred with Sandra Bullock in the 2000 comedy Miss Congeniality. He continued to work steadily in projects as diverse as Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror, The Ron Clark Story, and 2010's Smokin' Aces 2: Assassin's Ball.
photo credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
by Hal Erickson biography