Born in New York City, Tawfiq discovered his love of the arts while performing the poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou in high school. Tawfiq studied at the Negro Ensemble Company, known for educating actors such as Denzel Washington and Ossie Davis. He also studied with coach Susan Batson.
Prior to pursuing a full acting career, Tawfiq served in the U.S. Marines, deployed during Operation Desert Storm. From 1994 to 1996, Tawfiq worked as a corrections officer in the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. While pursuing his acting career, Tawfiq also served as a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department.
Tawfiq starred in the BET film Gun Hill as Capt. Sanford, commander of a counter-crime task force. On television, Tawfiq has appeared in Lights Out, Law & Order spin-offs Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent, Kings, Golden Boy, 30 Rock, and the 2013 NBC remake of Ironside.
Tawfiq currently plays Dembe in NBC's The Blacklist. Starting with season 3, he has been promoted to series regular.
|2014||Gun Hill||Capt. Sanford|
|2013||Dead Man Down||Jamaican Mike|
|2010||Five Minarets in New York|
|2011||Crazy Beats Strong Every Time||Kofi|
|2010||Say Grace Before Drowning||Chris|
|2013–present||The Blacklist||Dembe Zuma||Recurring Role (Season 1-2)|
Main Cast (Season 3-5)
|2012||30 Rock||2 episodes|
|2010||Law & Order: Criminal Intent|
|2007–2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||2 episodes|
|A Raisin in the Sun||Walter Lee Young|
|Intimate Apparel||George Armstrong|
|A Soldiers Play||Henson|
|Bow Wow Club||Sal|
- "'The Blacklist' star Hisham Tawfiq has gone from the Marines and the FDNY to full-time acting". Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- "New Yorkers dreaming of stardom pick up extra jobs while working towards fame". Retrieved August 2, 2015.
- "Blacklist actor Hisham Tawfiq is retiring from the FDNY after 20 years on the squad". Entertainment Weekly. July 17, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
- Hill, Jack W. (20 January 2011). "THEATER: Rep's Raisin in the Sun stars Little Rock native". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved 29 April 2016.