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Michael Cudlitz

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Michael Cudlitz
Cudlitz at the 2018 Raleigh SuperCon
Born (1964-12-29) December 29, 1964 (age 59)
EducationCalifornia Institute of the Arts (BFA)
Occupation(s)Actor, director
Years active1989–present
SpouseRachel Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz (born December 29, 1964) is an American actor known for portraying John Cooper in the NBC/TNT drama series Southland for which he won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2013, Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randleman in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, and Sergeant Abraham Ford in the AMC horror series The Walking Dead.

Early life[edit]

Cudlitz was born on (1964-12-29)December 29, 1964[1] on Long Island, New York,[2] and raised in Lakewood Township, New Jersey.[3] He is a 1982 graduate of Lakewood High School. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, where he graduated in 1990.[4]


Cudlitz in 2011

While attending California Institute of the Arts, Cudlitz landed the role in Band of Brothers and worked in TV and film production in the art department of various shows.[5] Cudlitz was a construction coordinator on Beverly Hills, 90210.[6]

His first acting role was in the 1989 film Crystal Ball, playing Scottie. Other roles were Tony Miller on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Tad Overton on Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, and in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the second seasons of 24, Lost, FOX series Standoff, and Prison Break. He was also in the movie A River Runs Through It. He guest starred on Over There. He played Bob Destepello in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank. He also played a 30-second role as a bartender in the movie Forces of Nature in 1999.

His breakout role came in 2001 with his portrayal of Sgt. Denver "Bull" Randleman in the World War II miniseries, Band of Brothers.[7][8] Cudlitz starred on the critically acclaimed,[9][10] five-season television drama Southland as patrol officer John Cooper, a 20-year veteran and training officer.[11][12] It was picked up by TNT, who aired the remaining episodes of its first season, bringing it back for a total of five seasons.[13][14] The character struggled with chronic back pain, addiction to pain medication, and ethical issues relating to his partners.[15] Prior to the start of shooting for the show, Cudlitz had a large mole removed from his right upper lip, which had previously been a signature feature of his appearance. The show was cancelled in 2013.[16] Cudlitz won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role in 2013.[17]

In 2009, Cudlitz appeared in the science fiction film Surrogates as Colonel Brendon. In 2013, Cudlitz played opposite Melanie Griffith in the movie, Dark Tourist.[18]

From February 2014 to October 2016, he appeared in the AMC TV show The Walking Dead as Sergeant Abraham Ford, a character from the comic series of the same name. His first appearance was in the tenth episode of Season 4, an episode entitled "Inmates".[19] Cudlitz's character was killed off in the premiere episode of the show's seventh season entitled "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be". Cudlitz quickly became a fan favorite, with fans noting his quirky and comedic sayings combined with his upfront approach.[20][21]

Voice work[edit]

Cudlitz voiced Sgt. Glenn "Hawk" Hawkins in the video game Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. He provided additional voice work for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.


Personal life[edit]

Cudlitz is married to Rachel Cudlitz.[23] They met while students at CalArts.[3]



Year Title Role
1992 A River Runs Through It Chub
1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Tad Overton
The Liars' Club Jimbo
1996 Savage Spillane
Follow the Bitch Ty
D3: The Mighty Ducks Cole
1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Bob Destepello
1998 The Negotiator Palermo
1999 Forces of Nature Bartender
Live Virgin Bob
2000 A Question of Faith James
Lured Innocence Harry Kravitz
2003 Welcome to the Neighborhood George
2006 Running Scared Sal 'Gummy Bear' Franzone
2008 Sex Drive Rick
Tenure Tim
2009 Crossing Over San Pedro ICE Processing Agent
Surrogates Colonel Brendan
Stolen Jonas
2011 Satin Kip Tanner
Inside Out Detective Calgrove
2012 Rogue River Sheriff Boyd; also associate producer
2013 Dark Tourist Jim; also Producer
Pawn Shop Chronicles
Cesar Chavez Sheriff Smith
2017 The Trustee Timothy Waits
2018 Driven Morgan Hetrick
2019 Five Women in the End PJ Weller
2020 Return To Hardwick Self (voice narration)
2023 Beautiful Disaster Jim Maddox

Television (miniseries, TV movies, shorts)[edit]

Year Title Role notes
1989 Crystal Ball Scottie Short
1996 Last Exit to Earth Hardester TV movie
1998 Thirst Andy
1999 Small Change Gary Short
2001 Band of Brothers Sgt. Denver "Bull" Randleman Miniseries
10 episodes
2002 Live from Baghdad Tom Murphy TV movie
2004 Homeland Security Agent Tango 12
2008 Danny Fricke Praeger
2011 Silent Witness Sam Robb


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Hull High Schwartz Episodes: "Episode #1.2", "Episode #1.6"
1991 21 Jump Street Dennis Richards Episode: "Bad Day at Blackburn"
L.A. Law Passerby Episode: "Do the Spike Thing"
1992 Step by Step Ed Episode: "Home Alone"
Life Goes On Ernie Episode: "The Wall"
1991–1992 Growing Pains Chuck Episodes: "There Must Be a Pony", "The Call of the Wild"
1992–1993 Beverly Hills, 90210 Tony Miller 11 episodes
1993 Against the Grain Bud Hardeman Episodes: "Pilot", "The Buck Stops... There"
1994 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Walton Episode: "A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story"
Picket Fences White Teenager #1 Episode: "Elective Conduct"
The Marshal Gary Lowell Episode: "Kissing Cousins"
1996 ER Injured Firefighter Lang Episode: "The Healers"
Pacific Blue Brett Andrews Episode: "The Enemy Within"
Renegade Patch / Beau Episodes: "High Rollers", "The Dollhouse"
1997 Leaving L.A. Joey Reno Episode: "The Black Widower"
Party of Five Schuyler Episode: "4.2: Past Imperfect"
1998 Touched by an Angel Landau Episode: "God and Country"
NYPD Blue Joshua Episode: "Prostrate Before the Law"
1999 Home Improvement Kyle Episode: "Whitewater"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Bob Episode: "The Zeppo"
Chicago Hope Episode: "And Baby Makes 10"
Good vs Evil The Wiz Episode: "Men Are from Mars, Women Are Evil"
Snoops Michael Keppler Episode: "Constitution"
Love & Money Joe Episodes: "Everybody Doesn't Love Eamon", "Puff the Magic Sister"
2001 Walker, Texas Ranger State Trooper Episode: "Unsafe Speed"
Six Feet Under Dennis, Crossroads Leader Episode: "Crossroads"
The Mind of the Married Man Contractor Episodes: "Just Thinking of You", "When We Were Nice"
Philly Joe Episode: "Live and Leg Die"
2001 & 2009 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Officer William Spencer / Josh Barston 2 episodes: "And Then There Were None" as Officer William Spencer, "The Grave Shift"
2002 The Practice Russell Hampton Episode: "The Test"
Family Law Darren Carson Episode: "Big Brother"
Push, Nevada Episode: "Jim's Domain"
Fastlane Det. Ray Cornwright Episode: "Girls Own Juice"
MDs Elkin Episode: "R.I.P."
2002–2003 24 Rick Phillips 3 episodes: "Day 2: 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.", "Day 2: 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.", "Day 2: 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m."
2004 & 2007 JAG Episodes: "Force Recon" as Sergeant Tesla, "Take It Like a Man" as Cpl. Hal Strange
2004 Nip/Tuck Brody Episode: "Joel Gideon"
2005 Las Vegas Brian Carlton Venturi - the Kidnapper Episode: "When You Got to Go, You Got to Go"
Medical Investigation Lt. Troy Adams Episode: "Mousetrap"
CSI: Miami 'Mac' MacKern 1 episode: "Nothing to Lose"
2004 & 2005 Without a Trace Mark Casey
Freddy Katen
2 episodes: "The Line", "John Michaels"
2005 Line of Fire Jury Member 1 episode: "This Land Is Your Land"
Over There Colonel Ryan 1 episode: "The Prisoner"
The Dead Zone Herb Smith 1 episode: "Babble On"
Prison Break Corrections Officer Robert 'Bob' Hudson 2 episodes: "Riots, Drills and the Devil: Part 1", "Riots, Drills and the Devil: Part 2"
Wanted Dep. Reed 1 episode: "Lips Are Lips"
Sleeper Cell LAPD Detective Walt Moss 1 episode: "Intramural"
2006 Close to Home Dan Johnson 1 episode: "Escape"
CSI: NY Vern Dox 1 episode: "Super Men"
2004 & 2006 Dr. Vegas Glen 2 episodes: "Lust for Life", "For Love or Money"
2006–2007 Standoff Frank Rogers 18 episodes
2007 Bones Lucky 1 episode: "Death in the Saddle"
Criminal Minds Francis Goehring 1 episode: "Identity"
2005 & 2008 Lost Big Mike Walton 2 episodes: "Collision", "The Beginning of the End"
2008 The Cleaner JWB 1 episode: "Pilot"
2007–2008 Life Mark Rawls 3 episodes: "Pilot: Merit Badge", "Fill It Up", "Did You Feel That?"
2009 Knight Rider Lead Gunman 1 episode: "Exit Light, Enter Knight"
Eleventh Hour Ben Finney 1 episode: "Minamata"
Saving Grace Donald Gilmore 1 episode: "The Heart of a Cop"
2009–2013 Southland John Cooper 43 episodes
Winner - Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
2014–2017 & 2018 The Walking Dead Abraham Ford 30 episodes
Recurring: season 4
Main cast: seasons 5–7
Special guest star (episode: "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life", "What Comes After")
Director; 4 episodes (seasons 9–11)
2015 Ballers Dan Balasmo 2 episodes: "Head-On", "Gaslighting"
2018 Young Sheldon NASA director[24] Episode: "Gluons, Guacamole, and the Color Purple"
2018–2019 The Kids Are Alright Mike Cleary Main cast: 23 episodes
2020 The Walking Dead: World Beyond Director; 2 episodes
2021 Invincible Josef / Red Rush Episode: "It's About Time"
Clarice Paul Krendler Main cast
2022 Bosch: Legacy Edge 1 episode: "Always/All Ways"
2023 Superman & Lois Lex Luthor Main role (season 4)
Guest star: 2 episodes (season 3)[25]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2005 Call of Duty 2 Pvt. Braeburn Also provides voice work for NPC U.S. Rangers
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One Sgt. Glenn "Hawk" Hawkins
2007 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Griffin, additional voices
2009 Red Faction Guerrilla Saul Marius
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Additional Voices
2011 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Griffin, additional voices

Art department[edit]


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019". United Press International. December 29, 2019. Archived from the original on December 29, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2021. actor Michael Cudlitz in 1964 (age 55)
  2. ^ "Michael Cudlitz". TV Guide. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Hegedus, Eric (28 February 2010). "Shooting from the lip". New York Post. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Alumni - School of Theater: Programs in Performance". California Institute of the Arts. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  5. ^ Rudolph, Ileane (1 February 2011). "Southland's Michael Cudlitz Gets Tangled Up in Blue". TV Guide. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  6. ^ Jaffe, Matthew (31 March 2010). "Southland's Michael Cudlitz Keeps it Real". TV.com. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  7. ^ James, Caryn (7 September 2001). "TV Weekend; An Intricate Tapestry Of a Heroic Age". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  8. ^ Owen, Ross (11 August 2010). "Michael Cudlitz AKA Denver 'BULL' Randleman - Recorded August 4th 2010". Black Sky Radio. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  9. ^ Hale, Mike (26 February 2013). "In Pursuit, on Wheels and on Foot". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  10. ^ Lowry, Brian (17 April 2013). "TV Review: A (Final?) Salute to 'Southland'". Variety. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  11. ^ Hale, Mike (1 March 2010). "Patrolling for Felons and Kudos on Sun-Blinded Streets". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  12. ^ Ausiello, Michael (9 October 2009). "'Southland' star on show's axing: 'I'm pissed off'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  13. ^ Chozick, Amy (16 March 2012). "'Southland' With Michael Cudlitz and Regina King on TNT / Mortal Cops Cling to Life on the Air". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  14. ^ Trachta, Ali (1 June 2011). "Southland at The Paley Center: Is This the Most Realistic Cop Show Out There?". LA Weekly. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  15. ^ Roisin, Fariha (26 June 2013). "Michael Cudlitz on Saying Goodbye to 'Southland' and Playing One of TV's Most Enduringly Complicated Characters". Indiewire. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  16. ^ Weisman, Jon (10 May 2013). "TNT Cancels 'Southland'". Variety. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  17. ^ Maglio, Tony (26 June 2013). "Emmys: 'Southland's' Michael Cudlitz Wants to Bring Back a Character Who Will 'F— You Up'". The Wrap. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  18. ^ Rapold, Nicolas (29 August 2013). "It's Vacation Time, Grief Stalker: 'Dark Tourist' Stars Michael Cudlitz". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  19. ^ Halterman, Jim (18 February 2014). "Michael Cudlitz Teases Walking Dead Character, All-Important Mission Ahead". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (9 November 2014). "'Walking Dead's' Michael Cudlitz: Abraham Is "Very Damaged at This Point"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  21. ^ Ross, Dalton (9 November 2014). "'The Walking Dead' star Michael Cudlitz explains Abraham's shocking flashbacks". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Michael Cudlitz - Presentation of Prism Award and acceptance speech". Entertainment Industries Council. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Rachael Cudlitz". XoJane. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Young Sheldon Fan Site". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  25. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (January 24, 2023). "Superman & Lois casts Michael Cudlitz as Lex Luthor". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 24, 2023.

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