Barry Shabaka Henley

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Barry Shabaka Henley
Born Barry Joseph Henley
(1954-09-15) September 15, 1954 (age 63)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1988-present

Barry Shabaka Henley (born Barry Joseph Henley; September 15, 1954) is an American character actor. Henley has appeared as a regular in a number of television series, has numerous film credits, and is a fixture in films by director Michael Mann,[1] having worked with the director five times. His stage name, Shabaka, is taken from a Pharaoh from Egypt's 25th dynasty, who ruled from 721-707 BC.

Life and career[edit]

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Henley came somewhat late to acting, with his first appearance at the age of 37 in the unsold television pilot Clippers.

Henley played Herbert Muhammad in Ali, where he appeared with Jamie Foxx. In Collateral, where he appeared again with Foxx, he portrayed a sensitive jazz musician living on borrowed time. In Miami Vice, Henley played superior officer, Lt. Martin Castillo, once again with film co-star Foxx. He played Buddy in the 1998 film How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Pokerface in the 1999 film Life. In 2004, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's The Terminal, playing the role of an airport security officer. He also made an appearance in the 2016 film Paterson.

Henley appeared in the television series, Robbery Homicide Division and Barbershop. From 2009 to 2010, he played the recurring character of FBI Agent Vreede in the television series FlashForward. In 2010, Shabaka played the character Dr. Olson in the season 3 Lie to Me episode "Veronica". In 2011, Henley appeared as the murderer in Body of Proof episode "Letting Go" and in 2012 he reunited with Michael Mann for the TV series Luck, to play the role of a parole officer. In 2015 he played a police detective in the Breaking Bad spin-off series Better call Saul.

As a stage actor, Henley's honors include the Drama Desk, Obie, and Olivier Awards. He was also a member of the West Coast Black Repertory Theatre and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.


  1. ^ Rybin, Steven (2007-08-30). The Cinema of Michael Mann. Lexington Books. pp. 169–. ISBN 9780739120439. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 

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