Glynn Turman

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Glynn Turman
Glynn Turman headshot.jpg
Turman in 2007
Glynn Russell Turman

(1947-01-31) January 31, 1947 (age 76)
New York City, U.S.
  • Actor
  • director
  • writer
Years active1959–present
Known forLeroy "Preach" Jackson – Cooley High
Colonel Bradford Taylor – A Different World
Clarence RoyceThe Wire
Ula M. Walker
(m. 1965; div. 1971)

(m. 1978; div. 1984)

Jo-Ann Allen
(m. 1992)

Glynn Russell Turman (born January 31, 1947) is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. Turman is known for his roles as Lew Miles on the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place (1968–1969), high school student Leroy "Preach" Jackson in the 1975 coming-of-age film Cooley High, math professor and retired Army colonel Bradford Taylor on the NBC sitcom A Different World (1988–1993), and Baltimore mayor Clarence Royce on the HBO drama series The Wire. He received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role on the HBO drama series In Treatment.

Turman also portrayed Jeremiah Kaan on the Showtime series House of Lies, Doctor Senator in the fourth season of the FX black comedy crime drama series Fargo, and starred in the 2020 Netflix film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Early life[edit]

Turman was born in New York City. According to a DNA analysis, Turman shares maternal ancestry with the Edo people of Nigeria.[1] Turman studied at High School of Performing Arts located in the Manhattan section of New York City, graduating in 1965.[2]


Turman had his first prominent acting role at the age of 12 as Travis Younger in the original Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic play, A Raisin in the Sun, opposite Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett Jr., Lonne Elder III, John Fiedler and Diana Sands. After graduating high school, he apprenticed in regional and repertory companies throughout the US, including Tyrone Guthrie's Repertory Theatre, in which he performed in late 1960s productions of Good Boys, Harper's Ferry, The Visit, and The House of Atreus. He made his Los Angeles stage debut in William Hanley’s Slow Dance on the Killing Ground. A 1974 performance in The Wine Sellers earned him a Los Angeles Critics Award nomination and a Dramalogue Award. The play was also produced on Broadway as What The Wine Sellers Buy.

Turman won his first NAACP Image Award for his work in the play Eyes of the American. He received his second NAACP Image award for directing Deadwood Dick at the Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

On television, he has directed episodes of The Parent 'Hood, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, A Different World, and The Wayans Bros.

Turman on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun. L-R: Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Glynn Turman, Sidney Poitier, and John Fiedler.

Turman began his film career in the 1970s with blaxploitation flicks including Five on the Black Hand Side (1973), Thomasine & Bushrod (1974) and Together Brothers (1974), then progressed to roles in Cooley High (1975), plus The River Niger (1976), J. D.'s Revenge (1976) and A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich (1978). TV movies included Carter's Army, the prestigious Centennial, Attica, and Minstrel Man, for which he won his third NAACP Image Award.

Turman appeared in TV movies Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in 1994, Buffalo Soldiers, and Freedom Song. More notable films include Penitentiary II (1982), Gremlins (1984), Deep Cover (1992), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Men of Honor (2000), Sahara (2005), Kings of the Evening (2007), Burlesque (2010) and Super 8 (2011). In 2004, he joined the HBO series The Wire portraying the recurring role of Mayor Clarence Royce, becoming a full-time regular in 2006. His portrayal of Mayor Royce earned him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2007.[3]

Since The Wire, Turman guest-starred as a patient in the Scrubs episode "My Last Words". Turman's other television appearances include Hawaii Five-O (as Harley Dartson, 1973, "Tricks Are Not Treats"), the Twilight Zone segment "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (co-starring Danny Kaye with a script by Harlan Ellison), Matlock, Millennium, and the sitcom All of Us. In 2008, he won a Primetime Emmy award for his guest appearance on the HBO series In Treatment. He appeared in the ABC series Detroit 1-8-7. He has performed and produced a one-man show, Movin' Man, about his life.

Turman auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars. In a 2007 interview, Turman recalled: "That was in George Lucas' book. Apparently George Lucas had me in mind for the role, and then thought that there might be too much controversy between a white Princess Leia and a black Han Solo – because those were the times – and he didn't want to get into that. At the time, I had no idea. I just went to the audition, did it and got out of there."[4] In 2012, he began appearing in House of Lies on Showtime as the father of the characters played by Don Cheadle and Larenz Tate. In 2016, he appeared in the Oprah Winfrey Network TV show Queen Sugar in which he played the father, Ernest Bordelon.

In 2017, Turman was cast as Nate Lahey Sr. in 10 episodes in seasons 4 and 5 of the ABC drama How to Get Away With Murder. His character is the imprisoned father of Nate Lahey (Billy Brown), a former police officer, detective and lover to series star Annalise Keating (Viola Davis). In 2018, Turman appeared on the legal drama Suits as Vic.

Turman recently appeared in the ABC limited series Women of the Movement in 2021, playing Mose Wright, Emmett Till's great-uncle.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Turman has been married three times and has four children. Turman was married to Ula M. Walker from 1965 until 1971. Together, Turman and Walker had three children. Turman married singer Aretha Franklin on April 11, 1978, at her father's (C. L. Franklin) New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Turman and Franklin separated in 1982 and divorced in 1984. Turman married Jo-Ann Allen in 1992. Turman and Allen have one daughter.



Year Title Role Notes
1971 Honky Sailor
1972 A.W.O.L. Mohammed G.
1973 Five on the Black Hand Side Gideon Brooks
1974 Thomasine & Bushrod Jomo J. Anderson
The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (voice)
Together Brothers Dr. Johnson
1975 Cooley High Preach
1976 The River Niger Jeff Williams
J. D.'s Revenge Isaac
1977 The Serpent's Egg Monroe
1978 A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Nigeria
1982 Penitentiary II Charles Johnson
1984 Gremlins Roy Hanson
1986 Out of Bounds Lieutenant Delgado
1992 Deep Cover Russell Stevens Sr.
1994 The Inkwell Spencer Phillips
1996 Subterfuge Stallworth Hubbs
Psalms from the Underground - Short
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Dr. Shakespeare
1999 Light It Up Principal Allan Armstrong
2000 The Visit Parole Board Member Reingold
Men of Honor Chief Floyd
2001 Air Rage Ted Bigelow Video
2004 The Seat Filler Derrick's Dad
2005 Sahara Dr. Frank Hopper
2007 City Teacher Kevin Sawyer
Kings of the Evening Clarence Brown
2009 Preaching to the Pastor Bishop Hightower
2010 Takers Chief Detective Duncan
Burlesque Harold Saint
2011 Bright Beamon Short
Supremacy Frank Walker Short
Super 8 Dr. Woodward
Forcin' the Blues - Short
2012 John Dies at the End Detective Appleton
Who Killed Soul Glow? -
The Obama Effect Slim Sugar
The Pastor's Secrets -
2013 Act Like You Love Me David
2014 Dakota's Summer Isaac Benson
2015 Last Chance Judge Kramer Short
2016 Juney Smith's Black American Film Collection City Teacher 1 Video
Race Harry Davis
2018 Solace Clay
Bumblebee General Whalen
2019 Windows on the World Lou
Justine Papa Don
Sextuplets Leland
2020 The Way Back Doc
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Toledo
2023 80 for Brady TBA Post-production
Rustin A. Philip Randolph Post-production
TBA The Outlaw Johnny Black[citation needed] Bullseye Black Completed


Year Title Role Notes
1961 The Play of the Week - Episode: "Black Monday"
1968 Daktari Usumbu Episode: "Once Upon a Fang"
1968–69 Peyton Place Lew Miles Main cast (season 5)
1969 Julia Jimmy James Episode: "The Undergraduate" & "For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls"
CBS Playhouse Jackson Episode: "Sadbird"
1970–71 Room 222 Vic Episode: "Dreams of Glory" & "Opportunity Room"
1970 Carter's Army Pvt. George Brightman TV movie
1971 In Search of America Bodhi TV movie
Storefront Lawyers - Episode: "Marathon"
Insight Sam Episode: "Bird on the Mast"
1972 The Mod Squad Lonnie Episode: "Kill Gently, Sweet Jessie"
The Doris Day Show Chris Davis Episode: "The Great Talent Raid"
1973 Cannon Jamal Episode: "Deadly Heritage"
Hawaii Five-O Harley Dartson Episode: "Tricks Are Not Treats"
The Rookies Jimmy Webster Episode: "Blood Brother"
1975 Ceremonies in Dark Old Men Theo TV movie
The Blue Knight Edwin Beall Episode: "Pilot"
1976–78 Visions Axis Episode: "The Tapestry/Circles" & "Charlie Smith and the Fritter Tree"
1977 Minstrel Man Harry Brown, Jr. TV movie
The Tony Randall Show William Episode: "New Found Franklin"
1978 ABC Afterschool Special Lenny Johnson Episode: "The Rag Tag Champs"
Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold Preston de Cordiva TV movie
The Paper Chase Raymond Livingston Episode: "Moot Court" [6]
1978–79 Centennial Nate Person Miniseries
1980 Attica Raymond Franklin TV movie
The White Shadow Ron Taylor Episode: "A Few Good Men"
Palmerstown, U.S.A. C.J. Freeman Episode: "The Old Sister"
1981 Thornwell James Thornwell TV movie
1982 The Greatest American Hero Captain Le Clerc Episode: "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"
Cass Malloy Officer Woodrow Freeman Pilot for She's the Sheriff
Fame Ben Pettit Episode: "Class Act"
1983 Manimal Ty Earl Episode: "Manimal"
Lottery! - Episode: "Detroit: The Price of Freedom"
1984 The Love Boat Tyrone Episode: "Ace's Valet/Mother Comes First/Hit or Miss America"
Fantasy Island Joe Wilson Episode: "Bojangles and the Dancer/Deuces Are Wild"
Secrets of a Married Man Jesse TV movie
T. J. Hooker Norman Powell Episode: "Anatomy of a Killing"
Hot Pursuit Mitch Simpson Episode: "Goodbye... I Love You"
This Is the Life - Episode: "Reprise for the Lord"
1985 Riptide Tyrone Diamond Episode: "Prisoner of War"
American Playhouse Joshua Episode: "Charlotte Forten's Mission: Experiment in Freedom"
Detective in the House - Episode: "Whatever Happened To...?"
Hail to the Chief LaRue Hawkes Episode: "Pilot"
The Twilight Zone Billy Kinetta Episode: "Teacher's Aide/Paladin of the Lost Hour"
The Grand Baby - TV movie
Murder, She Wrote Ben Coleman Episode: "Murder to a Jazz Beat"
1986 The Redd Foxx Show Rod Tyler Episode: "High School Blues"
The Magical World of Disney Lloyd Lyman Episode: "Ask Max"
Murder, She Wrote Stan Lassiter Episode: "Deadline for Murder"
1987 Matlock Maj. Dennis Orlando Episode: "The Court-Martial: Part 1 & 2"
CBS Summer Playhouse Roger Donnely Episode: "Doctors Wilde"
J.J. Starbuck Lt. Caspersons Episode: "Pilot"
1989 Murder, She Wrote Earl Browder Episode: "Jack and Bill"
1988–93 A Different World Colonel Bradford Taylor Main cast (season 2-6)
1990 Freddy's Nightmares Dr. Redman Episode: "Life Sentence"
1994 Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Solomon TV movie
Someone Else's Child Judge Roullard TV movie
1996 The Lazarus Man - Episode: "Panorama"
Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault Coach Powell TV movie
Circle of Pain - TV movie
1997 Millennium James Glen Episode: "Wide Open"
Buffalo Soldiers Sgt. Joshua 'Joyu' Judges Ruth TV movie
1999 The Magnificent Seven Achilles Thompson Episode: "Achilles"
2000 Freedom Song T-Bone Lanier TV movie
Strange World Wade Beecher Episode: "Skin"
Touched by an Angel Sheriff Ernie Guthrie Episode: "Finger of God"
2000–02 Resurrection Blvd. Bobby Davis Recurring cast
2001 Fire & Ice Robert Aimes Sr. TV movie
Big Apple Ted Olsen Main cast
JAG Sub Captain Episode: "Mixed Messages"
2003 The Lyon's Den Phil Cherot Episode: "Duty to Save"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Roy Hines Episode: "Pravda"
2004–05 The Bernie Mac Show Carl McCullough Episode: "Family Reunion" & "Who Gives This Bride"
2004–08 The Wire Mayor Clarence V. Royce Recurring cast (season 3), main cast (season 4), guest (season 5)
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Young Episode: "Infected"
All of Us Earl James Recurring cast (season 4)
2008 Murder 101 Sheriff Bob Monroe Episode: "New Age"
Players at the Poker Palace Black Bart Episode: "The Shoot Out"
Night Life - TV movie
Cold Case Al Towert Episode: "Glory Days"
ER Mr. Holmes Episode: "Parental Guidance"
2008–09 In Treatment Alex Prince, Sr. Supporting Cast: Season 1-2
2009 Scrubs George Valentine Episode: "My Last Words"
Southland Captain Episode: "Two Gangs"
FlashForward Senator Noland Episode: "Gimme Some Truth"
2010 Detroit 1-8-7 Reverend Clinton P. Huey Episode: "Shelter"
2010–11 The Defenders Judge Bob Owens Recurring cast
2011 Funny or Die Presents Chief Huckey Episode #2.10
2012 Alcatraz Emmitt Little Episode: "Clarence Montgomery"
NCIS: Los Angeles James Pierce Episode: "Out of the Past"
Revolution Major David Kipling Episode: "Nobody's Fault But Mine"
2012–16 House of Lies Jeremiah Kaan Main cast
2013 Criminal Minds Charles Johnson Episode: "Strange Fruit"
2015 Proof Colonel James Tyler Episode: "St. Luke's"
2016 Queen Sugar Ernest Bordelon Episode: "First Things First" & "Give Us This Day"
2017 Graves - Episode: "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" & "Spark Meet Gasoline"
Brothered Up Frank Williams TV movie
2018 Suits Vic Episode: "Bad Man"
2018–19 How to Get Away with Murder Nate Lahey Sr. Recurring cast (season 4-5)
2019 Better Things Rocket Episode: "Nesting"
Documentary Now! Julius Baxter Episode: "Long Gone"
American Gods Reverend Hutchins Episode: "The Ways of the Dead"
The Red Line Nathan Gordon Recurring cast
Claws Calvin Sims Recurring cast (season 3)
Mr. Mercedes Judge Bernard Raines Recurring cast (season 3)
Power Gabriel Episode: "No One Can Stop Me"
2020 Black-ish Billy Blade Episode: "Earl, Interrupted"
Day by Day Rex Episode: "Two Turtles"
Close Enough (voice) Episode: "Prank War/Cool Moms"
Power Book II: Ghost Gabriel Episode: "Exceeding Expectations"
Fargo Doctor Senator[7] Recurring cast (season 4)
2022 The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Pa (voice) 2 episodes
Women of the Movement Mose Wright Main role
FBI: Most Wanted Terry Daniels Episode: "Greatest Hits"
Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities Sheriff Nate Craven Episode: "The Autopsy"
2024 Percy Jackson and the Olympians Chiron Recurring role, upcoming series
TBA The Big Cigar Walter Newton Upcoming miniseries

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title Result Ref.
2007 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series The Wire Nominated [8]
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series In Treatment Won [9]
San Diego Black Film Festival Best Supporting Actor Kings of the Evening Won [10]
2015 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series House of Lies Nominated [11]
2019 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series How to Get Away with Murder Nominated [9]
2020 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Won [12]
National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Runner-up [13]
2021 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Fargo Nominated [14]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Acting Ensemble Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Nominated [15]
Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Male Nominated [16]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated [17]
Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated [19]


  1. ^ Glynn Turman Ancestry Reveal on YouTube
  2. ^ Notable Alumni, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  3. ^ "2007 Image Award nominees and winners". The Hollywood Reporter. The Nielsen Company. March 1, 2007. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Holan, Curt (2012). "Glynn Turman: Character actor brings star power to Atlanta". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 9, 2020). "'Women Of The Movement': Glynn Turman To Co-Star In ABC Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  6. ^ The Paper Chase, Season 1, Episode 9, "Moot Court" (YouTube)
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (September 3, 2019). "'Fargo': Glynn Turman To Recur In Season 4 Of FX Series". Deadline. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "2007 Image Award nominees and winners". The Hollywood Reporter. March 1, 2007. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Glynn Turman". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  10. ^ "Emmy Award Actor Glynn Turman to Host Caribbean Heritage Salute to Hollywood & the Arts". South Florida Caribbean News. June 25, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  11. ^ Washington, Arlene (June 2, 2015). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  12. ^ Davis, Clayton (December 20, 2020). "Los Angeles Film Critics Winners Full List: Entire 'Small Axe' Series Tops Despite Not Being Submitted for Oscars". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  13. ^ Beresford, Trilby (January 9, 2021). "'Nomadland' Named Best Picture by National Society of Film Critics". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  14. ^ Schneider, Michael (January 18, 2021). "'Ozark,' 'The Crown' and Netflix Lead 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards TV Nominations". Variety. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  15. ^ "Critics Choice Awards 2021: See the full list of winners". CNN. March 8, 2021. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  16. ^ Sharf, Zach (January 26, 2021). "2021 Spirit Awards Nominations List: 'Never Rarely' Dominates with 7 Noms, 'Minari' Strong". IndieWire. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  17. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (February 2, 2021). "NAACP Image Awards Nominations: Netflix Tops List With 'Bridgerton', 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' & 'Da 5 Bloods'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  18. ^ Hipes, Patrick; Ramos, Dino-Ray (March 27, 2021). "NAACP Image Awards Winners: 'Bad Boys For Life' Best Picture, D-Nice Entertainer Of The Year; Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Top Movie Acting Honors – Full List Of Winners". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  19. ^ Sharf, Zach (February 4, 2021). "SAG Award Nominations 2021: 'The Crown' Dominates TV, 'Minari' Scores for Film Alongside 'Ma Rainey'". IndieWire. Retrieved February 4, 2021.

External links[edit]