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Blair Underwood Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (17)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Tacoma, Washington, USA
Birth NameBlair Erwin Underwood
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A true multi-hyphenate, Blair Underwood is enjoying success in film, television and theatre, as an actor, director and producer. Underwood recently returned to Broadway starring opposite David Alan Grier in the Pulitzer Prize winning drama "A Solider's Play" for director Kenny Leon and the Roundabout Theatre Company. He also co-stars in Justin Simien's "Bad Hair" which will premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Also this year, Underwood stars opposite Octavia Spencer & Tiffany Haddish in Netflix's highly anticipated limited series "Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker" (March 20).

Underwood recently appeared in the Netflix Emmy-Award winning limited series "When They See Us." He also had a recurring role on the Netflix comedy series, "Dear White People" and can be seen in Clark Johnson's "Juanita," opposite Alfre Woodard, also for Netflix. He spent two years as a series regular on the ABC drama series "Quantico," while also recurring on another hit ABC drama "MARVEL AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. " He also had a co-starring role in "The After Party," from writer/director Ian Edelman, which Netflix released late in 2018.

Past television credits include series regular roles on "Dirty Sexy Money," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," "In Treatment," "The Event" and "L.A. Law". Film credits include "Deep Impact," "Set It Off," "Rules of Engagement," "Just Cause," "Madea's Family Reunion" and Steven Soderbergh's "Full Frontal." Underwood co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the Lifetime telefilm & theatre production of "A Trip to Bountiful," based on the Tony Award-winning play.

In 2012 he made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," for which he earned a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination. He also starred in "Paradise Blue" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and "Othello" at the Old Globe Theatre.

Underwood also has several projects in the development pipeline as a director, including "Viral," a feature based on a Joe McClean script. In 2010 he made his feature film directing debut with "The Bridge to Nowhere," which starred Ving Rhames, Danny Masterson, Bijou Phillips and Alex Breckenridge.

Underwood is an Emmy Award-winner (as producer of the philanthropy-centered NBC Saturday morning series "Give"), a two-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and has been nominated for 17 NAACP Image Awards (seven wins). He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word as co-narrator of Al Gore's audiobook, An Inconvenient Truth. A newly minted member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is also active in several philanthropic endeavors.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Wallman PR

Family (2)

Spouse Desiree DaCosta (17 September 1994 - present)  (divorced)  (3 children)
Children Ellis, Blake

Trivia (17)

He appeared in the music video and sang in the choir on the song "Voices That Care."
Son, Paris, born 1997 and daughter, Brielle, born 1998.
His father was a U.S. Army Colonel
Son Blake Ellis (with wife 'Désirée DaCosta') was born weighing 7 lbs 2 oz. [June 2001]
Attended Carnegie Mellon University.
Is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
Voted one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2000 and one of TV Guide's most influential faces of the 90s.
His support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association won him the 1993 Humanitarian Award, presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of MDA. He is also co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), founded in 1989, which supports a democratic South Africa with equal rights and opportunities for all citizens.
Attended same high school, Petersburg High School (Petersburg, VA) in the early 80s, as R&B crooner Trey Songz (early 2000s).
Began career as a performer at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA.
His mother was in interior design.
Has an older brother and two younger sisters.
On the show Who Do You Think You Are? (2010) he found out that his great-great grandfather thought he was the second coming of Jesus, and was shot four times. He also discovered that a great-great-great grandfather was born a free African-American in the early 1800s, and owned two slaves (that the historian helping him thought were the parents of the free black man). Blair also took a DNA test to see where his ancestors were from, and found out that he is 74% African and 26% European (mostly French). Researchers found a genetic tenth cousin of Blair's who lives in Cameroon, and Blair and his father went to Cameroon to meet him and his family.
Almost starred as Steven Freeman in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), but dropped out at the last minute due to personal reasons. John D. LeMay ultimately played the role.
Was considered for the role of Nino Brown in New Jack City (1991) but turned down the role & Wesley Snipes, was cast instead.
Is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.
Underwood received a 2020 Tony Award nomination in the category Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for the revival of "A Soldier's Play" by Charles Fuller.

Personal Quotes (1)

It's so easy to sell your soul or sell out or cop out, and what it really comes down to is choices. If you have some kind of game plan, or at least a faith in your ability, it doesn't matter if this town validates you or not because you're already validated by your gifts. I just try to stay focused on what I have to offer.

See also

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