Delroy Lindo


Actor

About

Birth Place
London, England, GB
Born
November 18, 1952

Biography

After establishing himself as an excellent stage performer, actor Delroy Lindo was noted for his remarkable ability to balance both anger and charm while portraying a variety of onscreen villains in films like "Clockers" (1995) and "Get Shorty" (1995). Audiences first discovered Lindo in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" (1992), at a time when the actor was trying to gain a foothold in Hollywood. ...

Family & Companions

Neshormeh Lindo
Wife
Educator, program director. Works as the educational programs manager at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in NYC's Harlem.

Biography

After establishing himself as an excellent stage performer, actor Delroy Lindo was noted for his remarkable ability to balance both anger and charm while portraying a variety of onscreen villains in films like "Clockers" (1995) and "Get Shorty" (1995). Audiences first discovered Lindo in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" (1992), at a time when the actor was trying to gain a foothold in Hollywood. It was Lee who gave Lindo several opportunities to showcase his range - playing a caring but misguided father in "Crooklyn" (1994) and a charming drug dealer in "Clockers." With the doors opened wide after "Get Shorty," Lindo struggled with another Hollywood trap - being typecast. But instead of portraying strictly amiable bad guys, he broke away with riveting portrayals of historical figures like Satchel Paige in "Soul of the Game" (HBO, 1996), explorer Mattew Henson in "Glory & Honor" (TNT, 1997), and Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in "Strange Justice" (Showtime, 1998). By the time he gave a memorable supporting turn in the multi-award winning "Lackawanna Blues" (HBO, 2005), Lindo was established as a versatile performer who excelled in a wide range of film, television and stage roles. Shifting to television work, Lindo starred in a number of short-lived series, from procedural drama "Kidnapped" (NBC 2006-07) and crime drama "The Chicago Code" (Fox 2011) to science fiction fantasy "Believe" (NBC 2014), before finding success with a supporting role in legal drama "The Good Fight" (CBS All Access 2017- ).

Born on Nov. 18, 1952 in London, England, Lindo was raised by his immigrant Jamaican parents in nearby Lewisham. He had his first acting experience at five years old when he played one of the kings in a production of the Nativity, which Lindo built on later by performing in community theater. After moving to Toronto, Canada, then San Francisco, CA, as a teenager, Lindo took his first steps toward becoming a professional actor when he began training at the Bay Area-based American Conservatory Theatre on scholarship. With a letter of recommendation from ACT in hand, Lindo moved to New York, where he managed to secure an understudy's role in "Spell #7" (1979) by Ntozake Shange, a two-act poetic vignette about what it means to be black in America. He made his off-Broadway debut in the same production for the Public Theatre, which at the time boasted the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington. He soon found himself in Colorado with the Denver Center Theatre Company for a season, after which he returned to New York to perform in a showcase of Lorraine Hansberry's "Les Blancs."

Though Lindo made his feature debut with a small part in "More American Graffiti" (1979), it would be some time before he became a steady presence in films and on television. In the meantime, he continued forging a stage career, working with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre from 1981-82, while winning acclaim and a nomination for a Helen Hayes Award for his portrayal of Walter Lee in Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" (1984), at the Kennedy Center in New York City. After touring for several months as Willie in Athol Fugard's "Master Harold.and the boys," Lindo reprised the role for his Broadway debut in 1984, for which he was previously the understudy for Danny Glover, who had left the production. The actor worked regional theater for a few years before landing the role of the haunted, ascetic Herald Loomis in August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," which he performed in a few different productions before performing on Broadway in 1998. Directed by Lloyd Richards, the Broadway production earned several award nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Lindo at the Tony Awards.

Once Lindo became an accomplished and decorated star of the stage, Hollywood naturally beckoned. After making his official television debut in two episodes of the once-popular "Beauty and the Beast" (CBS, 1987-1990), he had a prominent role as an assistant district attorney in the murder thriller "Perfect Witness" (HBO, 1989). He had one of his first co-starring roles in the futuristic sci-fi drama, "The Blood of Heroes" (1990), which he followed with small parts in "Bright Angel" (1991) and "The Hard Way" (1991), starring Michael J. Fox and James Woods. Lindo first gained notice for his supporting performance in Spike Lee's underappreciated "Malcolm X" (1992), which should have opened the floodgates of offers from other corners, but did not. Instead, Lindo continued to work with Lee, who cast him in his quasi-autobiographical "Crooklyn" (1994). The actor played Woody Carmichael, an idealistic jazz musician and father of an African-American family in 1970s Brooklyn, whom Lindo portrayed as an enormously appealing man undermined by a lack of self-discipline and irresponsibility. He rejoined the director for "Clockers" (1995), a gritty true-life crime story, playing a charismatic, but sociopathic drug kingpin. The film received generally respectful reviews with particularly glowing kudos for Lindo.

Thanks to his collaborations with Spike Lee, Lindo gained the notice he deserved and started landing roles in other high-profile projects. He was excellent as a smarmy drug dealer with cinematic pretensions in "Get Shorty" (1995), butting heads in several funny and memorable scenes with John Travolta, with whom he worked again on the John Woo-directed thriller "Broken Arrow" (1996). Building a reputation for playing memorable villains, Lindo was in danger of becoming typecast. In "Feeling Minnesota," which cast him as a gangland boss, he failed to break any new ground. Though playing an upbeat FBI agent in Ron Howard's "Ransom" (1996), he still found himself in the antagonist's role. But Danny Boyle's "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997) offered a change of pace, giving him the chance to play an angel partnered with a fellow spirit (Holly Hunger), who are tasked with trying to make two people (Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz) fall in love. Back on television, he delivered an outstanding portrayal of baseball legend Satchel Paige in "Soul of the Game" (HBO, 1996), presenting the famed pitcher as a man of considerable business savvy who carefully calculated his down-home country boy image for public consumption.

In "Glory & Honor" (TNT, 1997), he brought soul and dignity to polar explorer Matthew Henson, whose contributions to Robert Peary's nine attempts on the North Pole were largely unmentioned by history. He next gave another riveting historical portrayal in "Strange Justice" (Showtime, 1998), a political drama that allowed the actor to emotionally capture then-nominated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a self-righteous creature of ambition. He also created and executive produced both the Independent Film Channel's "Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee" (1999) and "Conversations with Charles Burnett" (Showtime, 2000), which he directed. As the conflicted foreman of "The Cider House Rules" (1999), Lindo offered arguably the most multi-layered performance of his film career, delineating a man who, on the surface seems good, but really harbors a dark and disturbing secret. He made the segue to action films, playing yet another gangland boss in "Romeo Must Die" (2000), which he followed with an antagonistic detective matching wits with master car thief (Nicolas Cage) in the remake of "Gone in 60 Seconds" (2000).

In 2001, Lindo starred in several diverse film roles. After playing a space traveling cop navigating wormholes in pursuit of a murderer (Jet Li) in the martial arts sci-fi action flick, "The One," he appeared alongside the likes of Robert Redford, James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo in the ham-handed military prison drama "The Last Castle." He next appeared in David Mamet's "Heist" (2001), another in a line of crime dramas from the former playwright depicting backstabbing thieves spouting clipped dialogue laden with sharp profanity. Lindo returned to television, playing a mentally challenged man who meets a kindred soul (Kirstie Alley) at an institution and starts a family with her over the objections of the Social Security department in the sappy made-for-television movie, "Profoundly Normal" (CBS, 2003). After playing the creator of a ship sent to detonate a nuclear weapon inside the Earth's core in the dreadful sci-fi actioner, "The Core" (2003), Lindo had a small role in the big budget adventure, "Sahara" (2005), which starred Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn and Penelope Cruz.

Lindo switched over to the small screen, appearing in "The Exonerated" (Court TV, 2005), which was adapted from a play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen about six wrongly accused people whose death row sentences are overturned through the hard work of dedicated lawyers. Lindo next gave a standout performance in the award-winning cable movie, "Lackawanna Blues" (HBO, 2005), playing Mr. Luscious, a one-armed man with a strange past who, along with an assorted cast of characters, lives in a boarding house run by a strong and dignified woman (S. Epatha Merkerson). After a small role as a bail bondsman in "Domino" (2005), a true-to-life tale about a former fashion model-turned-bounty hunter (Keira Knightley), Lindo was cast in his first television series, the short-lived "Kidnapped" (NBC, 2006). He played a soon-to-be retired FBI agent brought in by an independent investigator (Jeremy Sisto) to help solve a kidnapping involving the teenaged son of a wealthy family (Dana Delany and Timothy Hutton). Back on the big screen, he starred in and executive produced "This Christmas" (2007), a heart-felt drama about an estranged family reuniting for the holidays, which he followed by voicing Beta in yet another excellent animated film from Pixar, "Up" (2009). In 2011, he appeared on creator Shawn Ryan's latest cop series, "The Chicago Code" (Fox, 2011) in which he portrayed a crooked alderman.

After appearing in Antonio Banderas thriller "The Big Bang" (2011), Lindo co-starred in "Believe" (NBC 2014), a science fiction fantasy co-created by Alfonso CuarĂ³n, and prime time soap "Blood and Oil" (ABC 2015), though neither series lasted beyond their initial season. A supporting role in Michel Almereyda's Shakespeare adaptation "Cymbeline" (2015) was followed by a return to TV in legal drama "The Good Fight" (CBS All Access 2017- ).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Malicious (2018)
Battlecreek (2016)
Cymbeline (2015)
Point Break (2015)
Do You Believe? (2015)
The Big Bang (2011)
Up (2009)
Bury Me Standing (2008)
Salute (2008)
One Bad Cat: The Reverend Albert Wagner Story (2008)
This Christmas (2007)
Lackawanna Blues (2005)
Domino (2005)
Sahara (2005)
Profoundly Normal (2003)
The Core (2003)
Heist (2001)
The Last Castle (2001)
THE ONE (2001)
Romeo Must Die (2000)
Isaak O'Day
Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
The Cider House Rules (1999)
The Book of Stars (1999)
The Professor
Strange Justice (1999)
Glory and Honor (1998)
Matthew Henson
A Life Less Ordinary (1997)
First Time Felon (1997)
Broken Arrow (1996)
Ransom (1996)
Soul of the Game (1996)
Feeling Minnesota (1996)
Clockers (1995)
Get Shorty (1995)
Crooklyn (1994)
Mr. Jones (1993)
Bound by Honor (1993)
Malcolm X (1992)
The Hard Way (1991)
Bright Angel (1990)
Mountains of the Moon (1990)
Mabruki
The Blood of Heroes (1990)
Mbulu
Perfect Witness (1989)
More American Graffiti (1979)

Producer (Feature Film)

This Christmas (2007)
Executive Producer

Director (Special)

Delroy Lindo in Conversation With Charles Burnett (2000)
Creator
Delroy Lindo in Conversation With Charles Burnett (2000)
Director
Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee (1999)
Creator

Cast (Special)

Aaliyah: The E! True Hollywood Story (2001)
Interviewee
The 2000 Essence Awards (2000)
Presenter
Delroy Lindo in Conversation With Charles Burnett (2000)
Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee (1999)
Interviewer

Producer (Special)

Delroy Lindo in Conversation With Charles Burnett (2000)
Executive Producer
Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee (1999)
Executive Producer

Editing (Special)

Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee (1999)
Editorial Creative

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Pros & Cons (2000)
The Winner (1997)

Life Events

1957

Acted in a Nativity play at the age of five

1979

Made his film-acting debut in "More American Graffiti"

1981

Became a company member at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre

1982

Made his Broadway debut replacing Danny Glover in "Master Harold ... and the boys," directed by Fugard

1983

First played the role of Walter Lee in a New Haven, Connecticut production of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun"

1983

Recreated the role of Walter Lee for the Kennedy Center production of "A Raisin in the Sun," directed by Lloyd Richards

1987

Made his TV acting debut in a recurring role (two appearances) on the cultish CBS-TV romantic fantasy "Beauty and the Beast"

1988

Had his breakthrough Broadway role in August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone"

1992

Had his first major supporting role in film, playing West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X"

1993

Acted the part of ragtime composer Scott Joplin in an off-Broadway production of "The Heliotrope Bouquet"

1994

Lent his voice to Ken Burns' acclaimed PBS documentary "Baseball"

1994

Reteamed with Spike Lee for "Crooklyn," portraying a Brooklyn jazz musician, based on Lee's own father

1995

Made his third film with Lee, portraying a fatherly drug lord in "Clockers"

1995

Co-starred with John Travolta as a thug-turned-movie mogul in "Get Shorty"

1996

Played Satchel Paige in the HBO movie "Soul of the Game"

1996

Portrayed FBI agent Lonnie Hawkins in "Ransom," co-starring Mel Gibson

1996

Put the squeeze on Keanu Reeves as a gangland boss in "Feeling Minesota"; first film with Cameron Diaz

1997

Appeared as tyrannical Sergeant Calhoun in HBO's "First-Time Felon," co-starring Omar Epps and directed by Charles S Dutton

1997

With Holly Hunter, played angels who facilitate Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz's romance in Danny Boyle's "A Life Less Ordinary"

1998

Cast as polar explorer Matthew Henson in the TNT movie "Glory & Honor"

1999

Delivered a multi-layered portrayal of an migrant apple picker harboring a dark secret in the film version of John Irving's "The Cider House Rules"

1999

Executive produced, created and served as interviewer for Independent Film Channel's "Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee"

2000

Created, executive produced, directed and appeared in "Conversations With Charles Burnett" (Showtime)

2000

Played police detective to Nicolas Cage's master car thief in "Gone in 60 Seconds"

2000

Essayed underworld boss Isaak O'Day in "Romeo Must Die"

2002

Co-starred with Jet Li in the feature "The One"

2003

Cast in the sci-fi thriller "The Core"

2005

Starred in the Tony Scott directed "Domino" starring Keira Knightley as Domino Harvey, a model turned bounty hunter and daughter of actor Lawrence Harvey

2005

Cast in the HBO original movie "Lackawanna Blues" based on Ruben Santiago-Hudson autobiographical one man show

2006

Played an FBI agent in the NBC drama "Kidnapped"

2007

Co-starred in the family drama "This Christmas"

2008

Directed August Wilson's play "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

2009

Voiced Muntz's (voiced by Christopher Plummer) talking Rottweiler in the Pixar film, "Up"

2012

Returned to the stage as Delbert Tibbs in "The Exonerated"

2014

Had the recurring role of Dr. Milton Winter on "Believe"

2014

Appeared in stage-to-screen adaptation "Cymbeline"

2015

Appeared in Ericson Core's "Point Break" remake

2017

Played Adrian Boseman on "The Good Fight"

2017

Gave a memorable turn as a judge on "This Is Us"

Family

Damiri
Son
Born 2001.

Companions

Neshormeh Lindo
Wife
Educator, program director. Works as the educational programs manager at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in NYC's Harlem.

Bibliography