Bokeem Woodbine

Bokeem Woodbine is an American film and television actor. He was born in Harlem, New York, to an actress mother. He attended the Dalton School in New York before transferring to the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in the city. He was an Instrumental Music Major, and the lead singer for the band, Mazard.

With the encouragement of his actress mother, Woodbine entered show biz at age 19 as a stand-in and extra in Ernest R. Dickerson’s directorial debut, the hip-hop classic Juice in 1992, starring Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. In the following year, he made his TV acting debut in the CBS Schoolbreak Special entitled “Love Off Limits”. His appearance was noticed by casting director Jaki Brown-Karman who later recommended him to Forest Whitaker for the latter’s directorial effort, Strapped in 1993, in which he co-starred with Michael Biehn.

After playing a small part in Spike Lee’s semi-biographical film Crooklyn in 1994, Woodbine landed a featured role in Doug McHenry’s romantic drama film Jason’s Lyric as the title role’s bad brother Joshua, who obviously bound for a violent end, dealing drugs for short-term cash and joining a gang plotting a bank robbery. In the following year, he secured breakthrough screen roles in writer/director Mario Van Peebles’ semi-historic film about the origins of The Black Panther Party of Self-Defense, Panther, portraying a Panther member named Tyrone, and in the Hughes Brothers’ fact-based action/thriller film Dead Presidents, as Cleon, a religious yet deadly staff sergeant.

Woodbine subsequently co-starred with Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields in writer/director Matthew Bright’s dark comedy-thriller film Freeway in 1996, a modern riff on the Little Red Riding Hood story, and was cast alongside Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris for Michael Bay’s blockbuster action movie The Rock, as Gunnery Sergeant Crisp. That same year, he also appeared in the Tupac Shakur’s music video “I Ain’t Mad Atcha”. He has appeared in many other music videos including TLC’s video “Waterfalls”, Wu-Tang Clan “Gravel Pit”, “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)”, “Careful (Click, Click)” and in RZA’s “Chi Kung”, Busta Rhymes video “Light Yo Ass On Fire”, Eazy-E video, “Just Tah Let U Know”, and Jadakiss video “Time’s Up”.

Most recently Woodbine has completed his upcoming film, The Fifth Commandment, an action/adventure by director Jesse V. Johnson, and The Poker House, a drama directed by Lori Petty. He is currently filming writer/director Jake Torem’s Letting Go and writer/director/actor Sticky Fingaz’s Caught on Tape, along with Vivica A. Fox and Cedric the Entertainer. His 2010 films are Exodus of Charlie Wright, with Aidan Quinn and Andy Garcia, Little Murder, with Josh Lucas and Terrence Howard, Letting Go, and the supernatural thriller Devil. He has also appeared as an officer on Southland in 2011.

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