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May 2001
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Power, Passion and Principle

Danny Glover

Real Name: Danny Lebern Glover
Born: July 22, 1947
Place of Birth: San Francisco, California
Sign: Cancer
Height: 6' 4"
Spouse/Dating: Wife: Asake Bomani (married 1975, former jazz singer, art gallery owner, met at San Francisco State University, owns art gallery in San Francisco)
Family: Father: James Glover (postal worker, union organizer, active in NAACP); Mother: Carrie Glover (postal worker; union organizer, active in NAACP; deceased); Siblings: Has four younger siblings; Daughter: Mandisa (born 1976, film production assistant, name means "Sweet" in Swahili)
Education: San Francisco State University in San Francisco, CA (majored in economics); Black Actors' Workshop at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, CA.

Awards Include:
>1999: Nominated - Black Film Award Best Actor for: Beloved
>1999: Nominated - Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Duo - Action/Adventure for: Lethal Weapon 4
>1999: Won - Image Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture for: Beloved
>1998: Nominated - Image Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Drama Special for: Buffalo Soldiers
>1998: Nominated - Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for: Rainmaker, The
>1996: Won - Cable Ace Award Actor in a Dramatic Special/Series for: America's Dream
>1996: Nominated - Emmy Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for: "Fallen Angels"
>1996: Nominated - Image Award Outstanding Performance in an Animated/Live-Action/Dramatic Youth or Children's Series/Special for: "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child"
>1996: - Star on the Walk of Fame -
>1994: Won - Crystal Award
>1993: Won - MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Duo for: Lethal Weapon 3
>1991: Won - Independent Spirit Award Best Male Lead for: To Sleep with Anger
>1989: Nominated - Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for: "Lonesome Dove"

Film/Acting Credits Include:
>2001: Royal Tenenbaums, The .... Henry Sherman
>2001: 3 A.M. (executive producer) .... Hershey
>2000: Boesman and Lena .... Boesman
>2000: Bàttu
>2000: Freedom Song (TV) .... Will Walker
>2000: "Courage" TV Series (executive producer)
>2000: Freedom Song (TV) (executive producer)
>1999: Monster, The .... Henry Johnson
>1999: Our Friend, Martin (voice) .... Train Conductor
>1999: Wings Against the Wind
>1999: Scared Straight! 20 Years Later (TV) .... Narrator
>1998: Prince of Egypt, The (voice) .... Jethro
>1998: Beloved .... Paul D
>1998: Antz (voice) .... Barbatus
>1998: "Hollywood Squares" TV Series .... Himself
>1998: How Stella Got Her Groove Back
>1998: Lethal Weapon 4 .... Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh
>1997: Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? The Life & Music of Robert Johnson (voice) .... Narrator
>1997: Buffalo Soldiers (TV) (executive producer) .... Sergeant Wyatt
>1997: Rainmaker, The (uncredited) .... Judge Tyrone Kipler
>1997: Switchback .... Bob Goodall
>1997: Wild America (uncredited) .... Mountain Man
>1997: Gone Fishin' .... Gus Green
>1996: America's Dream (executive producer) .... Silas
>1996: Deadly Voyage (TV) (executive producer)
>1995: Salute to Steven Spielberg, A (TV) .... Himself
>1995: Operation Dumbo Drop .... Captain Sam Cahill
>1994: Kidnapped
>1994: Maverick (uncredited) .... Bank Robber
>1994: Angels in the Outfield .... George Knox
>1994: Override (TV - Director)
>1993: Bopha! .... Micah Mangena
>1993: Saint of Fort Washington, The .... Jerry
>1993: "Queen" (mini) TV Series .... Alec Haley
>1992: Talking Eggs, The .... Narrator
>1992: Lethal Weapon 3 .... Roger Murtaugh
>1991: Grand Canyon .... Simon
>1991: Lonesome Dove: The Making of an Epic (TV) .... Himself
>1991: Mel Gibson's Video Diary 2: Lethal Weapon 3 (TV) .... Himself
>1991: Pure Luck .... Raymond Campanella
>1991: Rage in Harlem, A .... Easy Money
>1990: Flight of the Intruder .... Commander Frank 'Dooke' Camparelli
>1990: Predator 2 .... Lieutenant Mike Harrigan
>1990: To Sleep with Anger (executive producer) .... Harry Mention
>1989: Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) .... Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh
>1989: Dead Man Out (TV) .... Alex
>1989: "Lonesome Dove" (mini) TV Series .... Joshua Deets
>1989: Raisin in the Sun, A (TV) .... Walter Lee
>1988: Bat*21 .... Captain Bartholomew Clark
>1987: Place at the Table (TV)
>1987: Shelley Duvall Presents: American Tall Tales and Legends: John Henry (TV) .... John Henry
>1987: Mandela (TV) .... Nelson Mandela
>1987: Lethal Weapon .... Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh
>1985: And the Children Shall Lead (TV)
>1985: Silverado .... Malachi "Mal" Johnson
>1985: Color Purple, The (1985) .... Albert
>1985: Witness.... McFee
>1984: Iceman .... Loomis
>1984: Places in the Heart .... Moze
>1983: Memorial Day (TV) .... Willie Monroe
>1983: "Chiefs" (mini) TV Series .... Marshall Peters

(cont. next column) >

Danny Glover

>1983: Face of Rage, The (TV) .... Gary
>1982: Out
>1981: Chu Chu and the Philly Flash .... Morgan
>1981: Oscar Micheaux, Film Pioneer .... Oscar Micheaux
>1979: Escape from Alcatraz .... Inmate


   The eldest child of social activists, and a energetic worker for social change, himself, Danny Glover is as much a real man of conscience as he is an actor portraying such characters.
   Born in San Francisco in 1947, Glover spent the first year of his life living with his grandparents in rural Georgia, but then moved back to San Francisco where he grew up in the city's well known Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
   His parents were both postal workers and active union organizers within the postal service as well as being active members of the NAACP.
   The family lived in a government housing project until Glover was 10, and whenever there was an equal rights or integration event going on somewhere in the country, his parents would crowd the family around the television to keep up with what was going on. Television had a lasting impact on the young Glover.
   "Both my education and social awareness were helped by TV," he explains about his early days in the Glover family household. "But the influence was towards social activism, not acting." He explains that he really had no reference in his life to be an actor/artist until he was in college.
   During his early school years, Danny was unusually tall for his age and suffered with dyslexia. The combination made him an extremely shy young man, but he kept himself busy with community service programs and as tight end on the high school football team.
   At age 16, however, the big tight end began experiencing epileptic seizures, which ended any athletic aspirations. Recalling his high school days, he says, "I don't think there was anything notable you could find about me in any of my school year books."
   After high school, Danny enrolled at San Francisco State University in 1965. He majored in economics, was a member of the Central Committee of the Black Student Union, and also worked with the Black Panthers community tutoring program as well as the party's newspaper.
   In addition to his already heavy workload, he also found time to coordinate the education programs at three reading centers in the community. He says it was, "The most incredible time of my life. The idea that students had a responsibility for community."
   It was during this time that Danny also met fellow classmate Asake Bomani. He wanted to go out with her but he was so shy all he could do was meet her outside her English class each day and say, "Hi, how ya doin'?" But one day he finally worked up the courage to ask her out, and to his great relief and surprise she said, yes. It was a nervous start to what would become a lifelong relationship. The two were eventually married in 1975.
   Danny first tried his hand at acting while in college. A playwright came to the school and said, "I need some of you so-called revolutionary brothers to come act in my plays." So Danny and a few friends accepted the offer and performed in a few political plays. The friends also started an improv acting group. On Tuesday nights they would go to "Minnie's Can Do" club and perform improv skits just for the fun of it. He recalls those times with a smile. "It was something I did to relax," he says.
   Danny graduated in 1971 and went to work for the city of San Francisco in the Berkeley City Planning Department. After six months, he transferred his civil service to the Model Cities Program for San Francisco.
   When asked what he would like to do today if he wasn't an actor, Danny says he'd like to return to his profession as an economist., or, if not economics, he says he'd like to be a teacher.
   After years of dabbling in acting, in 1975 Danny finally decided it was time to really learn something about the craft. At age 28, he joined classes at the Black Actors Workshop at the American Conservatory Theater.
   While there he read Uta Hagen's book, "Respect for Acting." It was a book that changed the way he approached his craft, and the improvement in his acting would, eventually, change his life. He credits Hagen as one of the important creative influences in his life.
   He was soon cast in numerous local productions and could see that, just maybe, he could make it in the business. He convinced Asake to move the family to Los Angeles to be closer to more acting opportunities. Soon after their arrival, he began landing roles in various stage productions that included Sam Shepard's "Suicide in B Flat," Shakespeare's "Macbeth," and South African playwright/activist Athol Fugard's "The Island," and Fugart's "Bloodknot," a lead role he would revive off-Broadway in 1980 for the playwright.
   Danny was back in Los Angeles in 1982, working for Bill Bushnell at the LA Actor's Theater. In addition to acting, Bushnell hired him at $5.00 an hour to hang sheet rock, work on sets, and do electrical and other handyman jobs around the theater to help make ends meet.
   Danny recalls he was standing in the theater with a paint roller in hand when someone told him there was a phone call for him. It turned out to be Athol Fugart. The playwright asked Danny if he would be interested in joining the cast of his "Master Harold and the Boys," Fugart's first play scheduled to premiere on Broadway.
   Danny recalls, "I hit the ceiling. There was this amazing yell, and I had paint all over me."
   The Broadway run of "Master Harold" was a critical and box office success and went on to run in repertoire production. In the audience one night was a man named Robert Benton. Benton was in the throes of trying to cast a picture and had had little success in finding just the right person for one of the leads. After seeing Danny's performance, he turned to a friend and said, "I found my Moze."

(cont. next column) >

Danny Glover

   Danny was immediately invited to audition for the role of Moze for "Places in the Heart" alongside Sally Fields. Fields recalled the movie's audition process saying, "The actors were all so good. But Danny broke your heart."
   Unfortunately, the day Danny found out he had landed the role of Moze, his mother passed away. As a tribute to his mother, in the movie's farewell scene, the handkerchief that Danny gives to Fields saying it was his mother's was, in fact, his mother's own.
   "Places in the Heart" was a hit and brought Danny to the attention of other Hollywood directors. He was soon signed to perform in director Peter Weir's "Witness," and Laurence Kasden's sometimes offbeat and entertaining western "Silverado."
   One of the people who went to the theater to see Kasden's "Silverado" was director Steven Spielberg. He loved Danny's performance and soon after, contacted Danny, inviting him to LA to meet Quincy Jones. Spielberg and Jones were working on a new film and Spielberg wanted to see if Jones felt the same way about Danny as he did.
   The meeting was a short one. Jones eyed Danny, listened to him, then turned to Spielberg and confidently said, " Let's do it!"
   Danny says he was surprised. "There wasn't any other discussion," he recalls. "He just said 'Let's do it!'"
   And in "The Color Purple," Danny was everything Spielberg knew he would be. He was magnificent as the abusive, psychologically twisted Mister, delivering a performance that brought him to the attention of still more of Hollywood's major players.
   Two years later, Danny was reading for a new movie called "Lethal Weapon," when director Richard Donner called a halt to the proceedings. He liked Danny's work so much, he decided it was time for a script change.
   "Let's give Dick Donner his due," says Danny. "He had a vision to change the Lethal Weapon script to change Murtaugh to a middle class black man instead of a middle class white guy, which was how the script was originally written."
   One of the movie's executives who watched Glover and Gibson during their initial readings was so impressed with the two men he turned to Donner and demanded, "When do we shoot?"
   Donner's pairing of Glover and Gibson was a stroke of on-screen brilliance and the movie went on to become the number one film of 1987, grossing more than $65 million. It also established Danny as a major American film star.
   Gibson and Glover hit it off as friends from the very beginning and after four "Lethal Weapon" films, they're still close. In addition to their friendship, Gibson also has a deep respect for his friend's social activism. He once commented, "Most people in Hollywood have a token thing they do, but it's mostly about self-aggrandizement and ego. That's not the case with Danny. He's up to his eyeballs in devoting time to community services and just causes. He keeps going whether or not the public knows about it."
   About Gibson, Danny says, "Mel has a generous heart and he's such a generous actor. We had a rapport almost immediately."
   After "Lethal Weapon," Danny stretched out to begin a new career as a producer with the acclaimed film "To Sleep With Anger," in which he also starred. It was a role and movie that many fans tell him is their favorite.
   Between mega-hits Lethal Weapons 3 and 4, Danny found time in 1993 to team with young actor Matt Dillon for the socially significant little film "The Saint of Fort Washington," about two homeless men. To prepare for the role, Danny says he and Dillon dressed in wardrobe costumes and took squeegees to the streets.
   "We were dressed in wardrobe and took squeegees out onto the street near the tunnel," Danny recalls. "Sometimes they recognized us and said "Don't you guys make enough money?' But overall, it was a discouraging experience. On the last day before shooting ended, I was on a plane to Boston and I began to cry uncontrollably over the way people abuse other's vulnerability and humanity."
   Dillon was completely taken with Danny's genuine concern for others. He said, "Danny's the real saint. When he wasn't working he was usually visiting some hospital or giving time to some charity."
   Over the next few years, in addition to acting in several movies, he also worked on several television projects like the critically acclaimed "Lonesome Dove" and began doing voice-over work in films like "Antz" and "The Prince of Egypt," and he continued to keep busy with his social work.
   Danny continues with his social work today, spending at least one month of each year (probably more) going around to colleges and schools promoting Literacy and other projects.
   With respect to Hollywood, he has a perspective that is both pragmatic and hopeful.
   "Racial progress in Hollywood is mostly cosmetic," he said once in an interview in Parade. "Hollywood has always been a conservative place, because it doesn't consider itself art. It's about making money and getting people to buy something."
   In a later interview he added to that thought by saying, "If the racial factor in casting ever went away, then we would embark on really new territory. It would start another dialog. Racism would become a part of our healing – underline the word 'healing'."
   With respect to his career he says, "My sitting here now is the result of people, black people and people of good conscience in particular, fighting a struggle in the real world, changing the real attitude and the real social situation. Art is the love of humanity; a love of the human spirit. Sometimes I get depressed, but I go and sit down with children and read some stories or sit with college students and find out what's happening in their lives. It gives me some sense of balance."
   Danny's advice to actors and everyone in general is a quote from one of his acting coaches and mentors, Jean Shelton. He advises everyone to simply, "Take care of your gift."
   Danny once said when he gets to the gates of Heaven, he hopes God will tell him "Thank you."