Eamonn Walker

Active - 1990 - 2011  |   Born - Jun 12, 1962 in London, England  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Nathan Southern

Born in London to Grenadian parentage, distinguished actor Eamonn Walker acquired a deep-seated interest in drama at the age of 9, when he witnessed Sidney Poitier acting; the experience helped the young man perceive drama as a powerful tool to change individual lives. Walker began his professional life in repertory theater by touring across United Kingdom and tackling roles in smaller regional productions, then formally honed his craft in South London's Albany Empire. Thereafter, Walker unveiled an ability to seamlessly segue between portrayals of African Americans, West Indians, and Africans. He first bowed in front of the camera in the early '90s, but came into his own around the tail end of that decade as the deeply conflicted Muslim/black nationalist Kareem Said on all six seasons of HBO's harrowing prison drama Oz (1997-2003). That marked a watershed assignment that opened up the floodgates to many others, including a small contribution to M. Night Shyamalan's sci-fi thriller Unbreakable (2000), a turn as Baptiste Senior in director Andrew Niccol's political thriller Lord of War (2005), and an uncanny portrayal of blues legend Howlin' Wolf in the period ensembler Cadillac Records (2008). In 2006, Walker drew from his theatrical roots -- and made more than a few headlines -- with a Broadway performance opposite Denzel Washington in Julius Caesar.

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  • His father was from Grenada; his mother was from Trinidad; he was raised in North London.
  • Was inspired to pursue a career in the arts at age 9 after seeing Sidney Poitier in 1967's In the Heat of the Night.
  • Studied social work at the University of North London, but switched concentration to dance, and later joined London's Explosive Dance Theatre Company; a leg operation forced him to give up dancing for acting.
  • Made professional acting debut in 1983's Labelled With Love, a musical based on the songs of British pop band Squeeze.
  • Introduced to U.S. television audiences as Kareem Said in the gritty HBO prison drama Oz.
  • Played John Othello in an updated 2002 version of Shakespeare's Othello that aired as an episode of Masterpiece Theatre.
  • Debuted on Broadway as Marc Antony in the 2005 production of Julius Caesar opposite Denzel Washington.
  • Portrayed blues singer Howlin' Wolf in 2008's Cadillac Records, about the music produced at Chess Records.