Actor Trent Dawson attained widest recognition for his extended portrayal of Henry Coleman on the daytime soap opera As the World Turns but also evinced a deft hand, off-camera, for Elizabethan stage roles. A native of Baton Rouge, LA, Dawson landed an early bit part during his late teens, by virtue of the fact that an A-list Hollywood production -- Herb Ross' tearjerker Steel Magnolias (1989) -- was shot near his hometown. (Dawson turns up uncredited, as a choir member in the film.) The performer attended Boston University for a short time but subsequently took a year-long sabbatical in Europe, and ultimately earned his degree in drama from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In that venue, Dawson became entranced by the works of the great Bard (participating avidly in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival), and indeed spent his immediate post-collegiate years acting in Broadway productions of Love's Labour's Lost, As You Like It, Macbeth, and other Shakespearean plays, as well as innumerable regional productions of contemporary efforts such as Pal Joey and School for Scandal. Dawson signed for his Coleman role on World in the autumn of 1999 and carried the part for many seasons; for his efforts, he earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2006 and 2007. Dawson would appear on other shows over the coming years as well, including The Good Wife and Homeland.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- After college, played Romeo in a regional U.S. tour of Romeo and Juliet.
- Joined As the World Turns in 1999, but didn't get a contract until 2005.
- Made his Broadway debut in April 1998 in The Herbal Bed.
- Awarded a ring by his high school alma mater in 2000 as a mark of his professional success.
- Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross to help rebuild New Orleans homes after Hurricane Katrina.