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Danny Lebern Glover (born July 22, 1946) is an Americanmarker actor, film director, and political activist. Glover is best known for his role as Mr. Albert Johnson in The Color Purple and as Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise.

Early life and education

Glover was born in San Francisco, Californiamarker, the son of Carrie (née Hunley) and James Glover. His parents, postal workers, were active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), working to advance equal rights. Glover grew up with a love for sports like his father. Glover's mother, daughter of a midwife, was born in Louisville, Georgiamarker and graduated from Paine College in Augusta, Georgiamarker.

Glover suffered from epilepsy as a teenager and young adult. According to his own account, he "developed a way of concentrating so that seizures wouldn't happen." Using this technique, which he describes as "a type of self-hypnosis", Glover says he hasn't suffered a seizure since the age of 35.

He graduated from George Washington High School in San Francisco before attending American Universitymarker in Washington, DCmarker. He later returned to the Bay area and matriculated to the San Francisco State Collegemarker (now University), where he graduated with a B.A. in economics in 1968. While in college, he met his future wife Asake Bomani, whom he married in 1975. Their only child and daughter, Mandisa, was born on January 5, 1976. They later divorced.


Glover originally worked in city administration but always had other interests. In his late thirties, he enrolled in the Black Actors Workshop at the American Conservatory Theatermarker, a regional training program in San Franciscomarker. Glover also trained with Jean Shelton at the Shelton Actors Lab in San Francisco. In an interview on Inside the Actor's Studio, Glover credited Jean Shelton for much of his development as an actor. Deciding that he wanted to be an actor, Glover resigned from his city administration job and soon began his career as a stage actor. Glover then moved to Los Angeles for more opportunities in acting, where he would later go on to co-found the Robey Theatre Company in honor of the late actor, activist, and operatic singer Paul Robeson with actor Ben Guillory in Los Angeles in 1994.

He has had a variety of film, stage, and television roles, and is best known for playing Los Angeles police Sgt. Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon series of action films. He made many cameos. Appearing in Top Gun, the Michael Jackson video Liberian Girl of 1987 and (reprising) his Detective Tapp role from the Saw franchise. Some believe this was a subtle hint to Det. Murtaugh-in that the fifth "Saw" movie had a police officer aptly named "Rigg". He has also received notice as the husband to Whoopi Goldberg's character Celie in The Color Purple. In 1994 he made his directorial debut with the Showtime channel short film Override. Also in 1994, Glover and actor Ben Guillory formed the Robey Theatre Company in Los Angeles, focusing on theatre by and about Black people.

Glover earned top billing for the first time in Predator 2, the sequel to the sci-fi action film Predator. That same year he starred in Charles Burnett's To Sleep with Anger, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.

In common with Humphrey Bogart, Elliott Gould and Robert Mitchum, who have portrayed Raymond Chandler's private eye detective Philip Marlowe. He played him in the episode 'Red Wind' of the Showtime network's 1995 series Fallen Angels.

In addition, Glover has been a voice actor in many children's movies. Glover was featured in the popular 2001 film Royal Tenenbaums, also starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

In 2005, Glover and Joslyn Barnes announced plans to make No FEAR, a movie about Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's experience. Coleman-Adebayo won a 2000 jury trial against the US Environmental Protection Agency . The jury found the EPA guilty of violating the civil rights of Coleman-Adebayo on the basis of race, sex, color and a hostile work environment, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Coleman-Adebayo was terminated shortly after she revealed the environmental and human disaster taking place in the Brits, South Africamarker, vanadium mines. Her experience inspired passage of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act).

Glover played President Wilson, the President of the United States in 2012, a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and released in theaters November 13, 2009.

Planned directorial debut

Glover sought to make a film biography of Toussaint L'ouverture for his directorial debut. In May 2006, the film had included cast members Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Roger Guenveur Smith, Mos Def, Isaach De Bankolé, and Richard Bohringer. Production, estimated to cost $30 million, was planned to begin in South Africa, filming from late 2006 into early 2007. In May 2007, President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez contributed $18 million to fund the production of Toussaint for Glover, who is a prominent U.S. supporter of Chávez. The contribution infuriated Venezuelan filmmakers, who said the money could have funded local cinema and that Glover's film was not even about Venezuela. The following June, Venezuelan filmmakers petitioned for Glover to reconsider using the funds provided by their president while the actor was scouting locations outside the Venezuelan capital Caracasmarker. The petition resulted in the local film guilds Anac and Caveprol being outlawed by Venezuela; the country's state-backed film institute Cnac was also instructed to sever ties with the guild (CNAC severed ties with the guild, presumably over the Danny Glover incident, but there's no proof they were 'instructed' to do so). In April 2008, the Venezuelan National Assembly authorized an additional $9,840,505 for Glover's film, which is still in planning.

Personal life and activism

On April 6, 2009, Glover was given a chieftancy title in Imo State, Nigeriamarker. Glover was given the title Enyioma of Nkwerre, which means A Good Friend among the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria.

While attending San Francisco State Universitymarker, Glover was a member of the Black Students Union which, along with the Third World Liberation Front and the American Federation of Teachers, collaborated in a five-month student-led strike to establish a Department of Black Studies. The strike was the longest student walkout in U.S. history. It helped create not only the first Department of Black Studies but also the first School of Ethnic Studies in the U.S.

Hari Dillon, current president of the Vanguard Public Foundation, was a fellow striker at SFSU. Glover now sits on Vanguard's advisory board. Glover is also a board member of The Algebra Project, The Black AIDS Institute, Walden House, and Cheryl Byron's Something Positive Dance Group, among others.

Glover's long history of union activism includes support for the United Farm Workers, UNITE HERE!, and numerous service unions.

In January 2006, Harry Belafonte led a delegation of activists, including Glover and activist/professor Cornel West, in a meeting with President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez.

Glover was an early supporter of John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary until Edwards' withdrawal. Glover then endorsed Barack Obama. Glover was an outspoken critic of George W. Bush, calling him a known racist. "Yes, he's racist. We all knew that. As Texas's governor, Bush led a penitentiary system that executed more people than all the other U.S. states together. And most of the people who died were Afro-Americans or Hispanics."

Glover's support of California Proposition 7 led him to use his voice in an automated phone call to generate support for the measure before the election.

He recently signed an open letter of objection to the inclusion of a series of films intended to showcase Tel Aviv at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Glover has become an active member of Board of Directors of The Jazz Foundation of America. Danny became involved with The Jazz Foundation in 2005, and has been a featured host for their annual benefit A Great Night in Harlem for several years, as well appearing as a celebrity MC at other events for the foundation. In 2006, Britain’s leading African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi appointed Danny Glover as one of its three Patrons, joining Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jocelyn Jee Esien opening the organization’s tenth anniversary celebrations (Sunday 2nd February 2008) at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London.


Year Film Role Notes
1979 Escape from Alcatraz Inmate
1981 Chu Chu and the Philly Flash Morgan
1982 Deadly Drifter Jojo/Roland Alternative title: Out
1984 Iceman Loomis
Places in the Heart Moze
1985 Witness Det. Lt. James McFee
Silverado Malachi 'Mal' Johnson
The Color Purple Albert
1986 Top Gun Dr. Duncan "Flash" Gordon
1987 Lethal Weapon Sergeant Roger Murtaugh
1988 Bat*21 Capt. Bartholomew Clark
1989 Lethal Weapon 2 Sergeant Roger Murtaugh
1990 To Sleep with Anger Harry Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Predator 2 Lt. Mike Harrigan
1991 Flight of the Intruder Cmdr. Frank 'Dooke' Camparelli
A Rage in Harlem Easy Money
Grand Canyon Simon
Pure Luck Raymond Campanella
1992 Lethal Weapon 3 Roger Murtaugh
1993 The Saint of Fort Washington Jerry/Narrator
Bopha! Micah Mangena
1994 Maverick Bank Robber Uncredited
Angels in the Outfield George Knox
Director, TV Short
1995 Operation Dumbo Drop Capt. Sam Cahill
1997 The Rainmaker Judge Tyrone Kipler Uncredited
Gone Fishin' Gus Green
Switchback Bob Goodall
1998 Lethal Weapon 4 Roger Murtaugh
The Prince of Egypt Jethro Voice only (speaking)
Beloved Paul D. Garner
Antz Barbatus Voice
1999 Our Friend, Martin Train Conductor Voice
2000 Boesman and Lena Boesman
2001 3 A.M. Charles "Hershey" Riley
The Royal Tenenbaums Henry Sherman
2002 Just a Dream
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Children/Youth/Family Special
2004 The Cookout Judge Crowley
Saw Detective David Tapp
2005 Manderlay Wilhelm
Missing in America Jake Neeley
2006 Bamako Cow-boy
Barnyard Miles the Mule Voice
The Shaggy Dog Ken Hollister
Dreamgirls Marty Madison
2007 Shooter Colonel Isaac Johnson
Poor Boy's Game George Nominated - Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Battle for Terra President Chen Voice
Honeydripper Tyrone Purvis
2008 Be Kind Rewind Mr. Fletcher
Gospel Hill John Malcolm
Blindness Old man with the black eye patch/Narrator
The Garden Himself
Saw V Detective David Tapp Cameo
Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare Walter Tortoise Voice
2009 Night Train Miles
Down for Life Mr. Shannon
The Harimaya Bridge Joseph Holder
2012 President Wilson
2010 Stride James 'Honeybear' Powell Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1979 B. J. and the Bear Matt Thomas, TV Reporter 1 episode, uncredited
Lou Grant Leroy 1 episode
Paris 1 episode
1980 Palmerstown, U.S.A. Harley Unknown episodes
1981 Keeping On Lester Television movie
The Greatest American Hero Vice officer 1 episode
Hill Street Blues Jesse John Hudson 4 episodes
Gimme a Break! Bill 1 episode
1983 The Face of Rage Gary Television movie
Chiefs Marshall Peters Miniseries
Memorial Day Willie Monroe Television movie
1985 And the Children Shall Lead William Television movie
1986 Tall Tales & Legends John Henry 1 episode
1987 Place at the Table Television movie
Mandela Nelson Mandela Television movie
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
1989 A Raisin in the Sun Walter Lee Younger Television movie
Lonesome Dove Joshua Deets Miniseries
Nominated -
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
Dead Man Out Dr. Alex Marsh Television movie
Alternative title: Dead Man Walking
Saturday Night Live Roger Murtaugh 1 episode
1991 Captain Planet and the Planeteers Professor Apollo (Voice) 1 episode
1992 The Talking Eggs Narrator Television movie
1993 Alex Haley's Queen Alec Haley Miniseries
1995 Fallen Angels Phillip Marlowe 1 episode
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor - Drama Series
1996 America's Dream Silas Television movie (segment "Long Black Song")
1997 Buffalo Soldiers Sgt. Washington Wyatt Television movie
2000 Freedom Song Will Walker Television movie
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

2003 Good Fences Tom Spader Television movie
Biography Narrator 1 episode
The Law and Mr. Lee Henry Lee Television movie
2004 Legend of Earthsea Ogion Miniseries
2005 The Exonerated David Television movie
ER Charlie Pratt Sr. 4 episodes
2006 Take 3 Col. Weldon Television movie
2007-2008 Brothers & Sisters Isaac Marshall 6 episodes
2009 My Name Is Earl Thomas 1 episode
Year Title Role
1983 Master Harold...and the Boys Willy


Year Award Category Film
1989 CableACE Award Actor in a Movie or Miniseries Mandela
1996 Dramatic or Theatrical Special America's Dream (Shared with David Knoller, Carolyn McDonald, Ron Stacker Thompson, and Ashley Tyler)
Actor in a Dramatic Special or Series America's Dream
1989 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture Lethal Weapon
1990 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie Mandela
1995 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series Queen
1999 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture Beloved
2001 Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Freedom Song
1991 Independent Spirit Award Best Male Lead To Sleep With Anger
2002 Jamerican International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
2008 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Festival President's Award
2003 Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
1993 MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Duo Lethal Weapon 3 (Shared with Mel Gibson)
1993 San Francisco International Film Festival Piper-Heidsieck Award
1994 Women in Film Crystal Awards Humanitarian Award


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