Danny Glover

Active - 1979 - 2022  |   Born - Jul 22, 1947 in San Fernando, California, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Action

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Biography by AllMovie

A distinguished actor of the stage and screen, Danny Glover is known for his work in both Hollywood blockbusters and serious dramatic films. Towering and quietly forceful, Glover lends gravity and complexity to the diverse characters he has portrayed throughout his lengthy career.

A native of San Francisco, where he was born July 22, 1947, Glover attended San Francisco State and received his dramatic training at the American Conservatory Theatre's Black Actors' Workshop. He made his film debut in Escape from Alcatraz (1979). In the early '80s, Glover made his name portraying characters ranging from the sympathetic in Places in the Heart (1984) to the menacing in Witness (1985) and The Color Purple (1984). He reached box-office-gold status with the three Lethal Weapon flicks produced between 1987 and 1992, playing the conservative, family-man partner of "loose cannon" L.A. cop Mel Gibson. Glover carried over his fiddle-and-bow relationship with Gibson into his off-screen life, and also contributed an amusing cameo (complete with his Lethal Weapon catch-phrase "I'm gettin' too old for this!") in Maverick (1994). In 1998, Glover again reprised his role for the blockbuster-proportioned Lethal Weapon 4, and that same year gave a stirring performance in the little-seen Beloved.

In the following years Glover would walk the line between Hollywood heavyweight and serious-minded independent actor with a skill most actors could only dream of, with an affectinate role in Wes Anderson's 2001 comedy drama The Royal Tenenbaums and a surprising turn toward horror in Saw serving well to balance out lesser-seen but equally powerful turns in Boseman and Lena, 3 A.M., and Lars von Trier's Manderlay. The same year that Glover retreated into the woods as a haunted Vietnam veteran in the low-key drama Missing in America, he would turn in a series of guest appearances on the long-running television medical drama E.R. Despite a filmography that seemed populated with an abundance of decidedly serious dramas in the years following the millennial turnover, Glover did cut loose in 2006 when he took a role as Tim Allen's boss in The Shaggy Dog and stepped into the studio to offer vocal performances in the animated kid flicks The Adventures of Brer Rabbit and Barnyard.

On television, Glover played the title role in Mandela (1987), cowpoke Joshua Deets in the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove, legendary railroad man John Henry in a 1988 installment of Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales, and the mercurial leading character in the 1989 "American Playhouse" revival of A Raisin in the Sun. For his role in Freedom Song as a caring father struggling to raise his young son in 1960s-era Mississippi, Glover was nominated for an Emmy award and took home an Image award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special.

Glover played a proprietor of a struggling blues club in John Sayles' musical drama Honeydripper in 2007, and went on to participate in The Garden (2008), a documentary about a produce garden developed in the aftermath of the L.A. riots. He continued to tackle complex social issues as an executive producer for Trouble the Water, a 2008 documentary following the struggles of New Orleans residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and as an associate producer for The Time That Remains (2009), a poignant series of short stories about Palestinians in Israel. Glover also worked as an associate producer for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, an avante-gard fantasy drama that received the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

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  • In the early 1970s, he worked as a researcher in the San Francisco mayor's office.
  • Made his movie debut in 1979's Escape from Alcatraz; breakthrough role came in 1984 with Places in the Heart.
  • Did voice work for 1998's Antz and The Prince of Egypt.
  • Received several NAACP Image Awards, including a 1998 win for lead actor in Beloved.
  • Was given an honorary chieftancy in Nigeria in 2009.
  • Works as an ambassador for UNICEF, and has been honored with several awards for his humanitarian efforts.