Pierce in January 2007
December 8, 1966 |
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Education||Juilliard School (BFA 1985)|
Wendell Pierce (born December 8, 1966) is an American actor, best known for his work in HBO dramas, including his portrayals of Detective Bunk Moreland in The Wire and trombonist Antoine Batiste in Treme.
Early life and education
Pierce starred in all five seasons of the HBO drama The Wire as Detective Bunk Moreland. He was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the role in 2007.
Pierce also played a crooked policeman on Third Watch named Conrad "Candyman" Jones. Outside of shooting The Wire, Pierce managed to pick up a recurring role as an FBI clinical psychologist in Numb3rs. An interview with him is featured in Spike Lee's 2006 HBO documentary When the Levees Broke, regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His latest role is in HBO's Treme, created by David Simon, creator of The Wire. Pierce plays Antoine Batiste, a trombone player, for which he took lessons in trombone.
In 2013, Pierce appeared in the USA network TV series Suits (TV series), playing the high-profile lawyer Robert Zane. He also provided voice-over work for NFL Network's Top 100 players of 2013.
Pierce appeared in Spike Lee's films Malcolm X (film), Get on the Bus, and Forrest Whitaker's Waiting to Exhale. He also appeared with Whitaker as an undertaker's assistant in the 1991 film "A Rage In Harlem", and had a small role in the 1998 film Bulworth. Pierce also had a part in the 1996 film Sleepers, playing Rizzo's older brother, Little Caesar. In addition, Pierce played Secret Service Agent Richard Gill in the 1995 film Hackers and co-starred with Arye Gross in the film A Matter of Degrees released in 1990. Pierce is also in the 2003 film The Fighting Temptations as Reverend Lewis, and 2006 horror film Stay Alive. He played Slick in the 2007 film Life Support; Slick is the HIV positive husband of the main character Ana (played by Queen Latifah). The film was co-written by Jim McKay, who has directed for The Wire, and was distributed by HBO. In May 2010, Pierce earned the lead role in the independent horror-thriller film Foreclosure and in 2011 appeared in the film Horrible Bosses as Detective Hagan. Pierce also played band manager Wilbur Brassfield in the 2004 Oscar Award winning blockbuster Ray, with Jamie Foxx. He also played a paramedic in Tom Hanks's film The Money Pit (1986). Pierce also played the partner of Nicolas Cage's character (both cops) in It Could Happen to You, a film based on a true story about a cop who gives a waitress half of his New York State lottery ticket when he doesn't have enough money for a tip, and it turns out to be the winning ticket.
Pierce played Estragon in Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot,' a post Hurricane Katrina production done under the radar in various locations as part of a larger project which also consisted of a fund to help local rebuilding and reorganizing efforts, and a series of dinners, lectures, classes, and events that unfolded throughout the city during the fall of 2007. The project was entitled Waiting for Godot in New Orleans.
Pierce is the host of the Peabody Award-winning radio program, Jazz at Lincoln Center, which features live recordings from Jazz at Lincoln Center's House of Swing. Previous hosts of JALC include Ed Bradley and Wynton Marsalis, with whom he attended high school in New Orleans. Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio is produced by Murray Street Productions on behalf of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Grocery store chain
In response to a lack of access to quality fresh food in many post-Katrina New Orleans' neighborhoods, Wendell Pierce along with 2 partners started a chain of grocery stores named Sterling Farms in 2012. The stores will be located in lower income neighborhoods that were underserved both prior to and after Katrina.
- Associated Press (2008). "Actor wants to revive Pontchartrain Park". KATC Channel 3. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2007.
- "Wendell Pierce". All Movie Guide. The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "2007 Image Award nominees and winners". Hollywood Reporter. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05.[dead link]
- Reilly, Dan (June 4 2010). "'Treme' Creator David Simon Crafts a Love Letter to New Orleans' Musical Culture". Spinner. AOL. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- Michael Imperioli Sends Horror into Foreclosure
- "In New Orleans, an Actor Turns Grocer". The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Tran, Vivyan (September 7, 2012). "Celebrities spotted at the Democratic National Convention". Politico.
- Wendell Pierce at the Internet Movie Database
- Wendell Pierce Opens Up About 'Treme,' Jazz and New Orleans – interview with Wendell Pierce