A distinguished actor of the stage and screen, Danny Glover is known for his work in both Hollywood blockbusters and serious dramatic films. Towering and quietly forceful, Glover lends gravity and complexity to the diverse characters he has portrayed throughout his lengthy career.
A native of San Francisco, where he was born July 22, 1947, Glover attended San Francisco State and received his dramatic training at the American Conservatory Theatre’s Black Actors’ Workshop. He made his film debut in Escape from Alcatraz (1979). In the early ’80s, Glover made his name portraying characters ranging from the sympathetic in Places in the Heart (1984) to the menacing in Witness (1985) and The Color Purple (1984). He reached box-office-gold status with the three Lethal Weapon flicks produced between 1987 and 1992, playing the conservative, family-man partner of “loose cannon” L.A. cop Mel Gibson. Glover carried over his fiddle-and-bow relationship with Gibson into his off-screen life, and also contributed an amusing cameo (complete with his Lethal Weapon catch-phrase “I’m gettin’ too old for this!”) in Maverick (1994). In 1998, Glover again reprised his role for the blockbuster-proportioned Lethal Weapon 4, and that same year gave a stirring performance in the little-seen Beloved.
In the following years Glover would walk the line between Hollywood heavyweight and serious-minded independent actor with a skill most actors could only dream of, with an affectinate role in Wes Anderson’s 2001 comedy drama The Royal Tenenbaums and a surprising turn toward horror in Saw servnig well to balance out lesser-seen but equally powerful turns in Boseman and Lena, 3 A.M., and Lars von Trier’s Manderlay. The same year that Glover retreated into the woods as a haunted Vietnam veteran in the low-key rama Missing in America, he would turn in a series of guest appearances on the long-running television medical drama E.R. Despite a filmography that seemed populated with an abundance of decidedly serious dramas in the years following the millennial turnover, Glover did cut loose in 2006 when he took a role as Tim Allen’s boss in The Shaggy Dog and stepped into the studio to offer vocal performances in the animated kid flicks The Adventures of Brer Rabbit and Barnyard.
On television, Glover played the title role in Mandela (1987), cowpoke Joshua Deets in the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove, legendary railroad man John Henry in a 1988 installment of Shelley Duvall’s Tall Tales, and the mercurial leading character in the 1989 “American Playhouse” revival of A Raisin in the Sun. For his role in Freedom Song as a caring father struggling to raise his young son in 1960s-era Mississippi, Glover was nominated for an Emmy award and took home an Image award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special.