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Dennis Haysbert

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Dennis Haysbert
Haysbert in 2015
Dennis Dexter Haysbert

(1954-06-02) June 2, 1954 (age 70)
Years active1978–present
Elena Simms
(m. 1980; div. 1984)
Lynn Griffith
(m. 1989; div. 2001)

Dennis Dexter Haysbert (born June 2, 1954) is an American actor. He is known for his roles as baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the Major League film trilogy, Secret Service agent Tim Collin in the political thriller film Absolute Power, Sergeant Major Jonas Blane on the CBS military action drama series The Unit, God on the Netflix show Lucifer, and President David Palmer on the first five seasons of 24. He has also appeared in the films Love Field, Heat, Waiting to Exhale, and Far from Heaven, as well as the science fiction series Incorporated.

Early life[edit]

Haysbert was born in San Mateo, California, the son of Gladys (née Minor), a homemaker and house cleaner, and Charles Whitney Haysbert Sr., a deputy sheriff and airline security guard.[1][2] He is the eighth of nine children, having two sisters and six brothers. His parents were from Louisiana.[3] Haysbert was raised Baptist.[3]

Haysbert graduated from San Mateo High School in 1972.[4] After high school, being 6 ft 5 in height, he was offered athletic scholarships but instead chose to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.



Haysbert has been acting in film and television since 1978, starting with a guest role in The White Shadow. His television guest starring roles include Lou Grant, Growing Pains, Laverne & Shirley, The A-Team, Night Court, Dallas, The Incredible Hulk, Magnum, P.I., Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Duckman and Brooklyn 99. In 1993, he had a featured role in Return to Lonesome Dove as outlaw Cherokee Jack Jackson. In 1999, Haysbert starred with Eric Close in Now and Again, which was cancelled after one season.

In 2001, Haysbert rose to prominence when he was cast in 24 as U.S. Senator David Palmer, who served as the first black U.S. President (in the context of the show) during the second and third seasons. He also returned as a guest star in the last six episodes of season 4 and the first episode of season 5. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and for a Golden Satellite Award in 2002 for this role. Haysbert stated in an interview for the show that the three men he admires most—Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Colin Powell—collectively embody his idea of what a President should be.[5] Haysbert believes that his playing of David Palmer on 24 helped Barack Obama—whom Haysbert supported—to win the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.[6][7]

Haysbert was the first actor to portray DC Comics character Kilowog, a member of the Green Lantern Corps, in a medium outside of comics. He provided the voice of Kilowog on various episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. On March 4, 2006, Haysbert guest-starred on the Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Natalie Portman as the host of a live-action/animated TV Funhouse cartoon called "Belated Black History Moment." In his role, Haysbert paid homage to fictional short-lived Saturday morning cartoons featuring black characters, such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo in Outer Space. He also portrayed Nelson Mandela in Goodbye Bafana (also released under the name The Color of Freedom). Haysbert portrayed the lead character Sergeant Major Jonas Blane in the CBS military action-drama The Unit. He hosted and narrated the Military History Channel presentation of Secrets of Pearl Harbor, which documented his scuba dives with a film team on World War II-era Japanese and American warships in the Pacific Theater. In March 2013, Haysbert narrated the documentary The World According to Dick Cheney on the Showtime television channel. On May 19, 2014, Haysbert also featured in the fifth episode of the fourth season of The Boondocks as Reverend Sturdy Harris. In 2015, Haysbert played Detective John Almond in Backstrom.

Since September 6, 2015, Haysbert's has been the opening voice introducing NBC's Meet The Press.

In November 2016, Haysbert began his co-starring role in Incorporated. Set in a dystopian future run by corporations, Haysbert plays Julian, a ruthless security head working for one of the larger corporations. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are co-executive producers on the series, which was shot in British Columbia, Canada, and airs on Showcase in Canada and Syfy in the U.S.

He was also cast to play God for the second half of the fifth season of Lucifer.

On August 20, 2021, A&E announced that Haysbert would host a revival of American Justice, replacing long time narrator Bill Kurtis.[8]


Haysbert in 1998

In 1989, Haysbert made his first major role as Pedro Cerrano, a voodoo-practicing Cuban refugee baseball player, in Major League. Haysbert followed that up with a role in 1990's Navy SEALs, which also starred Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn, before moving on to another baseball film, Mr. Baseball with Tom Selleck. In 1991, he also starred in K-9000, where he played a police officer named Nick Sanrio. In 1992, he co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in Love Field, a film about a series of events occurring contemporaneously with the assassination and funeral of President John F. Kennedy.[9] In 1994, Haysbert reprised his role as Cerrano in Major League II. This was followed by minor appearances in Waiting to Exhale, Heat, and Absolute Power. In 1998, Haysbert made another appearance as Cerrano in Major League: Back to the Minors. In 1999, Haysbert played a police detective in three films: The Minus Man, The Thirteenth Floor, and Random Hearts. In 2000, Haysbert played the role of Zeke McCall in Love & Basketball.

In 2002, Haysbert played the role of gardener Raymond Deagan in Far From Heaven. He won three awards (Satellite Award, Black Reel Award, and Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award) for Best Supporting Actor for that role. In 2005, he had a supporting role in Sam Mendes's film, Jarhead. In 2007, Haysbert returned to the big screen to portray Nelson Mandela in Goodbye Bafana and an FBI agent in Breach. In 2012, he voiced General Hologram in Wreck-It Ralph[10] and served as an official judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival. He replaced the deceased Michael Clark Duncan as Manute in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014).[11] In 2014, Haysbert played the role of Dean Fairbanks in Dear White People and General Lyons Dead Rising: Watchtower.[12]

In December 2018, it was announced that Haysbert was to star in the Netflix psychological thriller Secret Obsession.[13] The film was released on July 18, 2019.[14]


Since 2003, Haysbert has appeared as the official spokesman for the Allstate Insurance Company. His commercials typically end with one of the two Allstate Corporation official slogans, either "Are you in good hands?" or "That's Allstate's stand." However, his commercials have combined the two with "That's Allstate's stand. Are you in good hands?" He has also appeared in Spanish-language commercials with the line "Con Allstate, Estás En Buenas Manos." (With Allstate, you're in good hands.) In his role as spokesman for Allstate, Haysbert officiated the coin toss prior to the 2007 Sugar Bowl between LSU and Notre Dame.[15]

In 2008, Haysbert was featured in national television ads to raise public awareness about lending discrimination. The ads were commissioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.[16] In one of these ads, Haysbert warns consumers about lenders' targeting minorities for inferior loan products.[17]

For the 2006 college football season, Haysbert did voice work for ticket sales promotions for Brigham Young University. He did it as a favor to his younger brother Adam, who played wide receiver at BYU in the early 1980s.[18]

Haysbert also voices the Military Channel's commercials with their official slogan: "The Military Channel. Go Behind the Lines."

Video games[edit]

Haysbert has also done voice work for various video games, such as Irving Lambert in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, the narrator in Call of Duty: Finest Hour and reprising his television role of David Palmer in 24: The Game.


In June 2010, Haysbert joined the cast of David Mamet's Race on Broadway as character Henry Brown, performing alongside actors Eddie Izzard, Richard Thomas and Afton Williamson. The play ran until August 21, 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Haysbert was married to Elena Simms from 1980 to 1984, and Lynn Griffith from 1989 to 2001. They have two children.

Haysbert announced in April 2009 that he was starting a production company.[19] His first project was to be a documentary for HBO about an up-and-coming boxer.[20]

During the 2010 California elections, Haysbert supported Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer by appearing with her at campaign events and recording radio commercials.[21][22]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 Scoring Lt. Harrigan
1985 A Summer to Remember Sheriff Pierce
1989 Major League Pedro Cerrano
1990 Navy Seals Chief Special Warfare Operator Billy Graham
1992 Mr. Baseball Max "Hammer" Dubois
Love Field Paul Cater
1993 Suture Clay Arlington
Alex Haley's Queen Davis
1994 Major League II Pedro Cerrano
1995 Heat Donald Breedan
Waiting to Exhale Kenneth Dawkins
1996 Amanda Seven/Sir Jordan
1997 Absolute Power Tim Collin
1998 How to Make the Cruelest Month Manhattan Parks
Major League: Back to the Minors Pedro Cerrano
Standoff Ty 'Bama' Jones
1999 The Minus Man Graves
The Thirteenth Floor Detective Larry McBain
Random Hearts Detective George Beaufort
2000 What's Cooking? Ronald Williams
Love & Basketball Zeke McCall
2002 Ticker FBI Agent Segment from the BMW short film series The Hire
Far from Heaven Raymond Deagan Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
2003 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas Kale Voice[23]
2005 Jarhead Major Lincoln
2007 Goodbye Bafana Nelson Mandela
Breach Dean Plesac
2011 The Details Lincoln
Kung Fu Panda 2 Master Storming Ox Voice[23]
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters Master Storming Ox Voice[23]
2012 LUV Mr. Fish
Wreck-It Ralph General Hologram Voice[23]
2013 Welcome to the Jungle Mr. Crawford
The Black Moses Sir. Lynden O. Pindling
2014 Mr. Peabody & Sherman Judge Voice[23]
Think Like a Man Too Uncle Eddie
Life of a King Searcy
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Manute
Men, Women & Children Secretluvur
Sniper: Legacy Colonel Gabriel Stone Direct-to-video
Dear White People The Dean
2015 Experimenter Ossie Davis
Dead Rising: Watchtower General Lyons Digital film
Ted 2 Fertility Doctor
2016 Jarhead 3: The Siege Major Lincoln Direct-to-video
Dead Rising: Endgame General Lyons Digital film
Sniper: Ghost Shooter Colonel Gabriel Stone Direct-to-video
2017 Fist Fight Superintendent Johnson
The Dark Tower Steven Deschain
Naked Reginald Swope
Kodachrome Larry
2019 Breakthrough Dr. Garrett
Secret Obsession Detective Frank Page
Playing with Fire Commander Richards
2022 No Exit Ed Streaming film
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Zipper Streaming film; voice[23]
Sniper: Rogue Mission Colonel Gabriel Stone Direct-to-video[24]
2023 Flamin' Hot Clarence C. Baker Streaming film
Sniper: G.R.I.T. – Global Response & Intelligence Team Colonel Gabriel Stone Direct-to-video
TBA Silent Retreat TBA
Lost & Found in Cleveland TBA Post-production
Summer Camp Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Lou Grant Victor Episode: "Schools"
1979 The White Shadow Basketball Player Episode: "Wanna Bet?"
Laverne & Shirley Navy Shore Patrolman Episode: "What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor?"
1980 Quincy M.E. Fred Episode: "New Blood"
The Incredible Hulk Guard Episode: "Nine Hours"
Galactica 1980 Colonial Warrior Episode: "Space Croppers" (Miscredited as "The Creature")
1980–81 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Various 5 episodes
1981 Quincy M.E. Driver Episode: "Headhunter"
Grambling's White Tiger James "Shack" Harris Television film
1981–82 Code Red Stuff Wade 8 episodes
1983 The A-Team Psych Ward Staff Episode: "One More Time"
1984 Dallas Dr. Forbes Episode: "Killer at Large"
Riptide Odell Episode: "Father's Day"
Gimme a Break! Rev. Winfield Episode: "Baby of the Family"
1984–85 Off the Rack Cletus Maxwell 7 episodes
1985 Magnum P.I. Lieutenant Jameson, USN Episode: "Blood and Honor"
What's Happening Now!! Policeman Episode: "I'll Be Homeless for Christmas"
Growing Pains Police Officer Episode: "Weekend Fantasy"
1986 The Fall Guy Jeremy Wolf Episode: "Trial by Fire"
227 Sgt. Banks Episode: "Redecorating Blues"
Scarecrow and Mrs. King Kimambo Episode: "Billy's Lost Weekend"
The Young and the Restless Ron Clark 8 episodes
1987 Growing Pains Officer Wright Episode: "Gone But Not Forgotten"
Knots Landing Police Officer Episode: "The Unraveling"
Easy Street Chip Episode: "The Country Club"
Valerie Dr. Ervin Episode: "Oedipus Wrecks"
Our House Unknown Episode: "Sounds from a Silent Clock: Part 2"
The Facts of Life Sgt. Evans Episode: "Before the Fall"
1988 Growing Pains Frank Episode: "State of the Union"
Out of This World Rev. Williams Episode: "a.k.a. Dad"
Crime Story Franklin Himes 2 episodes
1988–89 Just the Ten of Us Coach Duane Johnson 9 episodes
1989 Night Court James Morgan Episode: "Pen Pal"
The Robert Guillaume Show Mr. Peterson Episode: "Guaranteed Not to Shrink"
1991 K-9000 Nick Sanrio Television film
1993 Alex Haley's Queen Davis Television film
Return to Lonesome Dove Jack Jackson 3 episodes
American Playhouse Rev. Oliver Crawford Episode: "Hallelujah"
1998 The New Batman Adventures Barkley James Voice, episode: "Mean Seasons"[23]
1998–99 Superman: The Animated Series Agent #1/Doctor #1 Voice, 2 episodes[23]
1999 Godzilla: The Series General Ekwensi Voice, episode: "Monster Wars Part 1"
1999–2000 Now and Again Dr. Theodore Morris 22 episodes
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
2001 Soul Food Rick Grant 2 episodes
The Outer Limits Joshua Finch Episode: "Rule of Law"
2001–06 24 David Palmer 81 episodes
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Television Series
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2003, 2004)
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003, 2005)
2001–03 Static Shock Chief Barnsdale Voice, 4 episodes[23]
2001–04 Justice League Kilowog Voice, 4 episodes[23]
2006–09 The Unit Sergeant Major Jonas Blane 69 episodes
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2007–2009)
2013 Newsreaders Det. Fenster Landau Episode: "CCSI: Boston"
Axe Cop Frog Voice, episode: "Super Axe"
2013–14 Trophy Wife Russ Bradley Morrison 2 episodes
2014 The Boondocks Sturdy Harris Voice, episode: "Freedom Ride or Die"
How Murray Saved Christmas Narrator Television special
2015 Blue Bloods Deputy Chief Donald Kent Episode: "New Rules"[25]
Backstrom Detective Almond 13 episodes
2016 The Grinder Special Agent Episode: "Delusions of Grinder"
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Bob Annderson 2 episodes
Undercover[26] Rudy Jones 5 episodes
2016–17 Incorporated Julian Recurring
2017 Shots Fired Mr. Terry Episode: "Hour Two: Betrayal of Trust"; uncredited
2018 Reverie Charlie Ventana Recurring
2019–21 Puppy Dog Pals Crash Voice; 2 episodes
2019 Surveillance Barry Wilkinson Television film
2020 Home Movie: The Princess Bride Prince Humperdinck Episode: "Chapter Eight: Ultimate Suffering"[27]
2020–2021 Lucifer God 5 episodes
2021 Masters of the Universe: Revelation King Grayskull Voice[23]
2021–present American Justice Narrator 23 episodes
2023 Paul T. Goldman Agent Portman 2 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Irving Lambert[23]
Call of Duty: Finest Hour Narrator
2006 24: The Game David Palmer[23]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Race Henry Brown


  1. ^ "Dennis Haysbert Biography". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on April 17, 2008.
  2. ^ "Deaths: Haysbert, Charles Whitney". The Advocate. Baton Rouge, LA. November 24, 1991. Archived from the original on October 4, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2012 – via NewsLibrary.
  3. ^ a b Avery, Laura (2008). Newsmakers: The People Behind Today's Headlines. Detroit, MI: Thomson Gale. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-78768-091-6. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "San Mateo High School Alumni". San Mateo High School. Archived from the original on February 5, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  5. ^ '24' Exposed (Part 1) featurette. '24' season 2 bonus DVD.
  6. ^ Claustro, Lisa (January 22, 2008). "Haysbert Says '24' Role Paved the Way for Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama". BuddyTV.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  7. ^ "Haysbert: '24' role may have helped Obama". CNN. July 2, 2008. Archived from the original on October 31, 2008.
  8. ^ Priola, Victoria (August 20, 2021). "'American Justice' Season 30 Premieres on A&E: How to Watch, Stream for Free, Channel, Trailer". MassLive.com. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  9. ^ "Dennis Haysbert". Noted Guys. Archived from the original on October 6, 2009.
  10. ^ Miska, Brad (March 27, 2015). "Watch the "Dead Rising: Watchtower" Movie Right Here, Right NOW!". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (December 5, 2012). "Dennis Haysbert Replaces Michael Clarke Duncan in 'Sin City 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  12. ^ "Dead Rising: Watchtower". Dread Central. December 5, 2012. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  13. ^ "Brenda Song, Mike Vogel & Dennis Haysbert Star in Netflix's Secret Obsession". Broadway World. December 11, 2018. Archived from the original on July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  14. ^ Nolfi, Joey (July 8, 2019). "Brenda Song battles creepy stalker in Secret Obsession trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Allstate ads to remain in Haysbert's 'good hands' for three more years". World News. December 21, 2011. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  16. ^ "HUD Fair Lending Public Service Announcement To Showcase In Movie Theatres Across The Nation". HUD Archives. July 18, 2008. Archived from the original on November 7, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  17. ^ Video on YouTube
  18. ^ Taylor, Scott (September 15, 2006). "BYU connection yields strong voice". Deseret News. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  19. ^ Radsch, Courtney C. (April 14, 2009). "'24' prez rejects torture, urges tolerance". Al Arabiya. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  20. ^ Radsch, Courtney C. (April 14, 2009). "[TRANSCRIPT] Dennis Haysbert's interview with AlArabiya.net". Al Arabiya. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  21. ^ Retrieved from http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_16416407?nclick_check=1 [dead link].
  22. ^ Video on YouTube
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Dennis Haysbert (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved December 1, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  24. ^ Blu-ray. "Sniper: Rogue Mission Blu-ray". Blu-ray. Blu-ray. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  25. ^ "New Rules". IMDb.com. April 24, 2015. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  26. ^ "Undercover: Episode 1: Credits". BBC One. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  27. ^ Breznican, Anthony (June 26, 2020). "Watch the Celebrity-Filled Fan-Film Version of The Princess Bride". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.

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