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Gaius Charles

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Gaius Charles
Charles at the 2023 WonderCon
Born (1983-05-02) May 2, 1983 (age 41)
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (BFA)
Drew University (MA)
Years active2006–present

Gaius Charles (born May 2, 1983[1]) is an American actor known for his portrayal of Brian "Smash" Williams in the television drama, Friday Night Lights. He also played Dr. Shane Ross on the ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy and a recurring role on the NBC historical-drama series Aquarius, as Black Panther leader Bunchy Carter. He also played a role on NCIS's ninth season as Jason King, an arson investigator for the Baltimore Police Department.[2]

Early life[edit]

Charles was born on May 2, 1983, in Manhattan, New York. He was raised in New York City and Teaneck, New Jersey.

Charles graduated from Teaneck High School in 2001.[3] He attended Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama. He also studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia.[4] He earned a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Drew University.


Jeffrey Reiner, Jason Katims, Adrianne Palicki and Gaius Charles accept the Peabody Award for Friday Night Lights, June 2007

In 2017, Charles starred in the first season of NBC's television drama series Taken, based on the Taken film franchise. He has appeared in multiple television series, including Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy, and Aquarius, in which he portrayed Civil Rights Activist and Black Panther Bunchy Carter, and Necessary Roughness.

Charles made guest appearances on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Blindspot, Comedy Central's Drunk History, in which he portrayed Muhammad Ali, NCIS, Pan Am, and Law & Order: SVU. His film credits include the independent features The Stanford Prison Experiment, Toe To Toe, and The Messenger. He's also worked on studio films like Salt and Takers. In addition to film and television, Charles starred in the Labyrinth Theater Company's production of Othello alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz. He received positive reviews for originating the roles of “EZ” in Beau Willimon's play Lower Ninth and “Malcolm” in director Thomas Kail's Broke-ology.


Charles at the premiere of Redbelt at Tribeca Film Festival in 2008


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Toe to Toe Kevin
The Messenger Recruiter Brown
2010 Salt CIA Officer
Takers Max
2015 The Stanford Prison Experiment Paul Vogel
2016 Batman: Bad Blood Luke Fox/Batwing (voice) Video
2021 Land of Dreams David
2022 Alice Joseph


Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Book of Daniel Carver Episode: "Betrayal"
2006-08 Friday Night Lights Brian "Smash" Williams Main cast: Season 1-2, recurring cast: Season 3
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jadon Odami Episode: "Fight"
2011 Pan Am Joe Episode: "Truth or Dare"
2012 NCIS Baltimore Detective Jason King Episode: "Rekindled"
Necessary Roughness Damon Razor Recurring cast: season 2
2012-14 Grey's Anatomy [5] Dr. Shane Ross Recurring cast: Season 9, main cast: Season 10
2015 Six Guys One Car Larry Recurring cast: season 2
Drunk History Muhammad Ali Episode: "Cleveland"
2016 Blindspot Sgt. Charlie Napier Episode: "Scientists Hollow Fortune"
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ruben Mackenzie Episode: "Watchdogs"
2015-16 Aquarius Bunchy Carter Recurring cast
2017 Taken John Main cast: season 1
2019 Drunk History Moses Fleetwood Walker Episode: "Baseball"
2019-20 God Friended Me Rev. Andrew Carver Main cast: season 1, recurring cast: season 2
2020-22 Roswell, New Mexico Roy Bronson Recurring cast: season 2, guest: season 3-4
2022 Queens Tomas Recurring cast
The Wonder Years Mr. Brady Episode: "Black Teacher"
2023–present The Walking Dead: Dead City Perlie Armstrong Main cast


  1. ^ Mike Rose, cleveland com (2024-05-02). "Famous birthdays list for today, May 2, 2024 includes celebrities David Beckham, Ellie Kemper". cleveland. Retrieved 2024-06-02.
  2. ^ "Grey's Anatomy's Gaius Charles Joins NBC's Charles Manson Drama Aquarius". 14 July 2014.
  3. ^ Rohan, Virginia (November 26, 2007). "Teaneck actor got in the zone to land Friday Night Lights role". The Record.
  4. ^ "GAIUS CHARLES as Smash Williams". NBC. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 16, 2012). "'Grey's Anatomy' Admits 'Friday Night Lights' Alum". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2012.

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