Danny Lebern Glover (born July 22, 1946) is an American actor, film director and political activist, best known for his leading role as Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise. He has also appeared in many other movies, television shows, and theatrical performances. Besides his work as an actor, he strongly supports various humanitarian and political causes.
Glover was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Carrie and James Glover. His parents, postal workers, were active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, working to advance equal rights. Glover's mother, daughter of a midwife, was born in Louisville, Georgia and graduated from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. Like his father, Glover grew up with a love for sports.
Glover suffered from epilepsy in his second decade and as a 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 has not suffered a seizure since the age of 34.
Glover graduated from George Washington High School in San Francisco before attending City College of San Francisco for a year. He then matriculated to the American 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.
Originally, Glover worked in city administration, but always had other interests. In his late 20s, he enrolled in the Black Actors Workshop at the American Conservatory Theater, a regional training program in San Francisco. 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 with actor Ben Guillory in honor of the actor, radical activist, and concert singer Paul Robeson in Los Angeles in 1994.
Glover 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 in other film, including the Michael Jackson video Liberian Girl of 1987. He has also received notice as the husband to Whoopi Goldberg's character Celie in The Color Purple and as Lieutenant James McFee in Witness. 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 played Raymond Chandler's private eye detective Philip Marlowe, Glover played the role 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 2004, he appeared in the low-budget horror film Saw as Detective David Tapp. 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 Africa, vanadium mines. Her experience inspired passage of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002.
In 2009, Glover performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.
Glover also 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.
Glover spoke at a March for Immigrants Rights in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2007. While attending San Francisco State University, 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 later sat 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.
In 2004, Glover was arrested in the US outside the Sudan Embassy in Washington during a protest over Sudan's humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Glover's long history of union activism includes support for the United Farm Workers, UNITE HERE, and numerous service unions. In March 2010, Danny Glover supported 375 Union workers in Ohio by calling upon all actors at the 2010 Academy Awards to boycott Hugo Boss suits due to Hugo Boss' announcement to close a manufacturing plant in Ohio after a proposed pay decrease from $13 to $8.30 an hour was rejected by the Workers United Union.
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 has a well-publicized friendship with Chavez, who has reportedly approved $18,000,000 to finance Glover's directorial debut in a film about Toussaint Louverture, leader of a slave uprising in Haiti 1791.
Glover was an early supporter of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries until Edwards' withdrawal, although some news reports indicated that he had endorsed Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who he had endorsed in 2004. After Edwards dropped out, Glover then endorsed Barack Obama.
Glover was an outspoken critic of George W. Bush, calling him a known racist and stating: "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 in 2008 led him to use his voice in an automated phone call to generate support for the measure before the election.
On April 6, 2009, Glover was given a chieftancy title in Imo State, Nigeria. Glover was given the title "Enyioma of Nkwerre", which means "A Good Friend" in the language of the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria. On September 2, 2009, Glover 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. He 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 on February 2, 2008 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London.
On January 13, 2010, Glover compared the scale and devastation of the 2010 Haiti earthquake to the predicament other island nations may face as a result of the failed Copenhagen summit the previous year. Glover said "...the threat of what happens to Haiti is a threat that can happen anywhere in the Caribbean to these island nations... they're all in peril because of global warming... because of climate change... when we did what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens..." In the same statement, he called for a new form of international partnership with Haiti and other Caribbean nations and praised Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba, for already accepting this partnership.
On April 16, 2010, Glover was arrested in Maryland during a protest by SEIU workers for Sodexo's unfair and illegal treatment of workers. He was given a citation and later released. The Associated Press reports "Glover and others stepped past yellow police tape and were asked to step back three times at Sodexo headquarters. When they refused, Starks says officers arrested them."
Danny Glover has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war before the war began in March 2003. In February 2003, he was one of the featured speakers at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco where other notable speakers included names such as author Alice Walker, singer Joan Baez, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. Glover was a signatory to the April 2003 anti-war letter "To the Conscience of the World" that criticized the unilateral American invasion of Iraq that led to "massive loss of civilian" and "devastation of one of the cultural patrimonies of humanity". During an anti-war demonstration in Downtown Oakland in March 2003, Danny Glover praised the community leaders for their anti-war efforts saying that "They're on the front lines because they are trying to make a better America... The world has come together and said 'no' to this war – and we must stand with them."
On the foreign policy of Obama administration, Glover said, "I think the Obama administration has followed the same playbook, to a large extent, almost verbatim, as the Bush administration. I don’t see anything different... On the domestic side, look here: What’s so clear is that this country from the outset is projecting the interests of wealth and property. Look at the bailout of Wall Street. Why not the bailout of Main Street? He may be just a different face, and that face may happen to be black—and if it were Hillary Clinton, it would happen to be a woman... But what choices do they have within the structure?"
Glover also supports the cause of Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of the Cuban Five held in a US prison in Victorville, Calif. Glover joined the thesis according with Mr Hernández worked to denounce and prevent acts of terrorism, like hijacking and explosions in touristic sites, organized in the '90s with US government complaisance against Cuba government. The news of their meeting on August 8, 2010 appeared in the Cuban press.
Honors and Awards
In 2010, Glover delivered the Commencement Address and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Utah State University. Also in 2010, Starr King School for the Ministry awarded the Doctorate of Humane Letters in absentia, to Mr. Glover. His call to humanity to see itself as the recipient of a legacy of caring and commitment that began with prior parental and religious communities and that it should carry on for the sake of those who will follow are in alignment with Starr King's values. Mr. Glover was awarded the doctorate specifically for his long history of passionate activism, including support for the United Farm Workers, UNITE HERE, The Algebra Project, The Black AIDS Institute, as well as his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Haiti earthquake victims, literacy and civil rights and his fight against unjust labor practices. Mr. Glover is co-founder and CEO of Louverture Films, dedicated to the development and production of films of historical relevance, social purpose, commercial value and artistic integrity; we honored his commitment to using film to lift up and advance social justice issues, such as his then recently released project "Trouble the Water", a documentary about New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Glover has had a close association with Starr King School through his role as guest lecturer in its course on Non Violent Social Change and lending his support and presence to events sponsored by Starr King's Masters of Arts in Social Change program.
He was also the recipient of a tribute paid by the Deauville American Film Festival in France on September 7, 2011. Glover was awarded the Cuban National Medal of Friendship by the Cuban Council of State on December 29, 2016 in a ceremony in Havana for his solidarity with the Cuban 5 during their time of incarceration in the United States.
|1979||Escape from Alcatraz||Inmate|
|1981||Chu Chu and the Philly Flash||Morgan|
|1982||Out||Jojo / Roland|
|1983||The Face of Rage||Gary|
|Memorial Day||Willie Monroe|
|Places in the Heart||Moze|
|1985||The Stand-In||Apples finnerty|
|And the Children Shall Lead||William|
|The Color Purple||Albert|
|1987||Lethal Weapon||Roger Murtaugh|
|1988||A Place at the Table||Mr. Scott|
|Bat*21||Captain Bartholomew Clark|
|1989||Rabbit Ears: How the Leopard Got His Spots||Narrator|
|Michael Jackson: Liberian Girl||Danny Glover|
|Dead Man Out||Dr. Alex Marsh|
|Lethal Weapon 2||Roger Murtaugh|
|1990||To Sleep with Anger||Harry|
|Predator 2||Lieutenant Mike Harrigan|
|1991||Flight of the Intruder||Cmdr. Frank 'Dooke' Camparelli|
|A Rage in Harlem||Easy Money|
|Pure Luck||Raymond Campanella|
|Hammer: 2 Legit 2 Quit||Danny Glover|
|1992||Lethal Weapon 3||Roger Murtaugh|
|1993||The Talking Eggs||Narrator|
|The Saint of Fort Washington||Jerry / Narrator|
|Angels in the Outfield||George Knox|
|1995||Operation Dumbo Drop||Capt. Sam Cahill|
|Harriet the Spy||Cop|
|1997||Gone Fishin'||Gus Green|
|Wild America||Bigfoot the Mountain Man|
|The Rainmaker||Judge Tyrone Kipler|
|Buffalo Soldiers||Sgt. Washington Wyatt|
|1998||Lethal Weapon 4||Roger Murtaugh|
|The Prince of Egypt||Jethro|
|1999||The Monster||Henry Johnson|
|Our Friend, Martin||Train Conductor|
|2000||Freedom Song||Will Walker|
|Boesman and Lena||Boesman|
|The Royal Tenenbaums||Henry Sherman|
|2003||Good Fences||Tom Spader|
|The Law and Mr. Lee||Henry Lee|
|2004||Saw||Detective David Tapp|
|The Cookout||Judge Crowley|
|2005||The Exonerated||David Keaton|
|Missing in America||Jake Neeley|
|2006||The Shaggy Dog||Ken Hollister|
|The Adventures of Brer Rabbit||Brer Turtle|
|Barnyard||Miles the Mule|
|2007||Poor Boy's Game||George|
|Shooter||Colonel Isaac Johnson|
|Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation||Priest - friend of Sam Nujoma|
|2008||Be Kind Rewind||Mr. Fletcher|
|Blindness||Man with Black Eye Patch|
|Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare||Walter Tortoise|
|Gospel Hill||John Malcolm|
|The Harimaya Bridge||Joseph Holder|
|2012||President Thomas Wilson|
|Down for Life||Mr. Shannon|
|2010||Death at a Funeral||Uncle Russell|
|För kärleken||Franzis Namazi|
|I'm Still Here||Danny Glover|
|Alpha and Omega||Winston|
|Legendary||Harry 'Red' Newman|
|De mayor quiero ser soldado||School Director|
|Five Minarets in New York||Marcus|
|2011||Son of Morning||Gabriel Peters|
|Age of the Dragons||Ahab|
|Playing Doctor||Dr. Arnett|
|Donovan's Echo||Donovan Matheson|
|Heart of Blackness||Vaudreuil|
|Sins Expiation||Father Leonard|
|Hannah's Law||Isom Dart|
|The Children's Republic||Dubem|
|2013||The Bouquet||Reverend John|
|Chasing Shakespeare||William Ward|
|Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight||Thurgood Marshall|
|Shuffleton's Barbershop||Charlie Shuffleton|
|Tula: The Revolt||Shinishi|
|2014||Tokarev||Det. Peter St. John|
|Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses||Bernie Pope|
|Ninja Immovable Heart||Ex Director Matthew Reynolds|
|2047: Sights of Death||Sponge|
|Beyond the Lights||Captain Nicol|
|Gus - Petit oiseau, grand voyage||Darius|
|Day of the Mummy||Carl|
|Bad Asses on the Bayou||Bernie Pope|
|Ninja Interlude||Matthew Reynolds|
|About Scout||Red Freston|
|Waffle Street||Edward Collins|
|Andròn: The Black Labyrinth||Chancellor Gordon|
|93 Days||Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri|
|Back in the Day||Eddie 'Rocks' Travor|
|Against the Wall|
|Monster Trucks||Mr. Weathers|
|2017||The Good Catholic||Victor|
|Tour de Pharmacy||Slim Robinson|
|Ulysses: A Dark Odyssey||Mr. Ocean|
|The Ninja He Will Rise||Director Matthew Reynolds|
|Long Day Journey|
|Buckout Road||Dr. Powell|
|1979||B.J. and the Bear||MacThomas|
|The Greatest American Hero||Vice Officer|
|Hill Street Blues||Jesse John Hudson|
|Gimme a Break!||Bill|
|1983-1989||American Playhouse||Walter Lee Younger / Lester|
|1986||Tall Tales & Legends||John Henry|
|1989||Lonesome Dove||Joshua Deets|
|Saturday Night Live||Roger Murtaugh|
|1991||Captain Planet and the Planeteers||Professor Apollo|
|1993||The Untold West||Narrator|
|1995||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||King|
|Fallen Angels||Philip Marlowe|
|ER||Charlie Pratt Sr.|
|2006||Take 3||Col. Weldon|
|2007-2008||Back at the Barnyard||Miles the Mule|
|2008||Brothers & Sisters||Isaac Marshall|
|2009||My Name Is Earl||Thomas|
|Nite Tales: The Series||Jeremiah|
|American Dad!||Minstrel Krampus|
|2016||Criminal Minds||Hank Morgan|
|Mozart in the Jungle||Mayor|
|2017||Cold Case Files||Narrator|
|Cold Case Files||Narrator|
|1991||Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby||Narrator|
- at the