BLAIR UNDERWOOD

 

 

Smart, confident, eloquent, exceptionally handsome African-American actor Blair Underwood was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1964, the son of an Army man, and, with the family, lived all over the world. Trained in musical theater at Carnegie-Mellon, he moved to New York and got his first break on his second day there by winning a part on the "The Cosby Show." He made his film debut at age 21 in Krush Groove (1985) and appeared in a regular daytime role that same year on "One Life to Live" (1968) before scoring two years later in the charismatic role of attorney Jonathan Rollins in the hit dramatic series "L.A. Law" (1986). He copped a Golden Globe nomination during its lengthy seven-year run. A TV commodity, he appeared ready to fill the bill as a rising small-screen Sidney Poitier. Blair went on to appear in a number of prestigious TV dramas such as Murder in Mississippi (1990) (TV), Heat Wave (1990) (TV) and Mama Flora's Family (1998) (TV), which was based on Alex Haley's final book. He received NAACP Image Awards for both performances. He also top-lined as baseball legend Jackie Robinson in HBO's Soul of the Game (1996) (TV).

Blair's theater credits include "Measure for Measure" with Kevin Kline at the 1993 New York Shakespeare Festival, as well as "El Negro en Peru," "The Game of Love and Chance," and "Love Letters," which he performed with Alfre Woodard in 2002. On film he has yet to break out into top stardom but has shown panache and great flair playing men of integrity in a number of support roles including Gattaca (1997), Deep Impact (1998),The Wishing Tree (1999) and Full Frontal (2002). His flashy, atypical performances as a vicious murderer in Just Cause (1995) and a psychotic stalker in Asunder (1999), however, have also earned him excellent notices.

He drummed up a bit of controversy as director, executive producer, co-writer and star of the 30-minute dramatic film The Second Coming (1992) in which he portrayed Jesus Christ coming back to earth as a man of color. In addition, he produced and starred in the short film _"Sister, I'm Sorry"_ (1994)_. Blair also has five music videos to his directing credit. Married since 1994 and the father of three, he is involved in numerous charitable organizations.

 

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