|Born||Paul Edward Winfield
May 22, 1939
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||March 7, 2004
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Forest Lawn Memorial Park
(Hollywood Hills, California)
|Other names||Paul E. Winfield|
|Alma mater||Manual Arts High School
University of Portland
Los Angeles City College
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Hawaii
University of California, Santa Barbara
|Partner(s)||Charles Gillan, Jr. (1972–2002)|
Paul Edward Winfield (May 22, 1939 – March 7, 2004) was an American television, film and stage actor. He was known for his portrayal of a Louisiana sharecropper who struggles to support his family during the Great Depression in the landmark film Sounder, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. He portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1978 television miniseries King, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award. Winfield was also known to science fiction fans for his roles in The Terminator, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Winfield was born in Los Angeles, California to Lois Beatrice Edwards, a union organizer in the garment industry. His stepfather from the age of eight was Clarence Winfield, a city trash collector and construction worker. He graduated from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles. From there, he attended the University of Portland, 1957-59; Stanford University, 1959; Los Angeles City College, 1959-63; University of California, Los Angeles, 1962-64; University of Hawaii, 1965 and the University of California, Santa Barbara, 1970-71.
A life member of The Actors Studio, Winfield carved out a diverse career in film, television, theater and voiceovers by taking ground breaking roles at a time when African-American actors were rarely cast. He first appeared in the 1965 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Runaway Racer," as Mitch, a race car mechanic. His first major feature film role was in the 1969 film, The Lost Man starring Sidney Poitier. Winfield first became well-known to television audiences when he appeared for several years opposite Diahann Carroll on the groundbreaking television series Julia. Filmed during a high point of racial tensions in the United States, the show was unique in featuring an African-American female as the central character. He also starred as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1978 miniseries King.
In 1973, Winfield was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1972 film Sounder, and his co-star in that film, Cicely Tyson, was nominated for Best Actress. Prior to their nominations, and Diana Ross for Lady Sings the Blues the same year with Winfield and Tyson, only three other African Americans – Dorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier and James Earl Jones – had ever been nominated for a leading role. He also appeared, in a different role, in the 2003 Disney-produced television remake of Sounder, which was directed by Kevin Hooks, his co-star from the original. Winfield played the part of “Jim the Slave” in Huckleberry Finn (1974) which was a musical based on the novel by Mark Twain. Winfield would recall late in his career that as a young actor he had played one of the two leads in Of Mice and Men in local repertory, made up in whiteface, since a black actor playing it would have been unthinkable. Winfield also starred in the miniseries, including Scarlett, and two based on the works of novelist Alex Haley: Roots: The Next Generations and Queen: The Story of an American Family.
Winfield gained a new segment of fans for his brief but memorable roles in several science fiction television series and movies. He portrayed Starfleet Captain Clark Terrell of the USS Reliant, an unwilling minion of Khan Noonien Singh, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Lieutenant Ed Traxler, a friendly but crusty cop partnered with Lance Henriksen in The Terminator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1996, he was part of the 'name' ensemble cast in Tim Burton's comic homage to 1950s science fiction Mars Attacks!, playing the complacently self-satisfied Lt. General Casey. On the small screen Star Trek franchise, he appeared as an alien captain who communicates in metaphor in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok". He also appeared in the second season Babylon 5 episode "Gropos" as General Richard Franklin, the father of regular character Dr. Stephen Franklin, and on the fairy tale sitcom The Charmings as The Evil Queen's wise-cracking Magic Mirror. He also portrayed the character of Julian Barlow in the television series 227 during its last two seasons.
Winfield also took on roles as gay characters in the films Mike's Murder in 1984 and again in 1998 in the film Relax...It's Just Sex. He found success off-camera due to his unique voice. He provided voices on the cartoons Spider-Man, The Magic School Bus, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, Batman Beyond, Gargoyles, K10C and The Simpsons, on the latter voicing the Don King parody Lucius Sweet. In his voiceover career, he is perhaps best known as the narrator for the A&E true crime series City Confidential, a role he began in 1998 and continued with until his death in 2004. Throughout his career, Winfield frequently managed to perform in the theater. His only Broadway production, Checkmates, in 1988, co-starring Ruby Dee, was also the Broadway debut of Denzel Washington. He also appeared in productions at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. Winfield was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in the King and Roots: The Next Generations. He won an Emmy Award, in 1995, for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for his appearance as Judge Harold Nance in an episode of the CBS drama Picket Fences.
Personal life and death
Winfield was gay but remained discreet about it in the public eye. His partner of 30 years, architect Charles Gillan, Jr., died on March 5, 2002 of bone cancer. Winfield long battled obesity and diabetes. He died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 64, at Queen of Angels – Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles. Winfield and Gillan are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. He was also the cousin of actor William Marshall who played the lead role in the classic 1972 Blaxploitation horror film Blacula.
|1967||Who's Minding the Mint?||Garbage man||Uncredited|
|1970||R. P. M.||Steve Dempsey|
|1971||Brother John||Henry Birkart|
|1972||Trouble Man||Chalky Price|
|1972||Sounder||Nathan Lee Morgan|
|1973||Gordon's War||Gordon Hudson|
|1975||Hustle||Sergeant Louis Belgrave|
|1977||Green Eyes||Lloyd Dubeck|
|1977||Twilight's Last Gleaming||Willis Powell|
|1978||A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich||Butler|
|1981||Carbon Copy||Bob Garvey|
|1982||Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan||Captain Clark Terrell|
|1983||On the Run||Harry|
|1984||The Terminator||Lt. Ed Traxler|
|1986||Blue City||Luther Reynolds|
|1987||Death Before Dishonor||Ambassador|
|1987||Big Shots||Johnnie Red|
|1988||The Serpent and the Rainbow||Lucien Celine|
|1990||Presumed Innocent||Judge Larren Lyttle|
|1993||Dennis the Menace||Chief of Police|
|1994||The Killing Jar||Judge||Alternative title: Trapped|
|1995||In the Flesh||William Stone|
|1996||Original Gangstas||Reverend Dorsey||Alternative title: Hot City|
|1996||Mars Attacks!||Lt. General Casey|
|1998||Assignment Berlin||Al Spector|
|1999||Catfish in Black Bean Sauce||Harold Williams|
|2001||Vegas, City of Dreams||Edgar Jones|
|2002||Second to Die||Detective Grady|
|1965||Perry Mason||Mitch||1 episode|
|1966||The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||EP The Minus x Affair||Military M.P.|
|1966||Daktari||Roy Kimba||2 episodes|
|1967||Cowboy in Africa||Kabutu||1 episode|
|1968||Mission: Impossible||Klaus||1 episode|
|1969||Mannix||Walter Lucas||1 episode|
|1970||The Young Rebels||Pompey||1 episode|
|1973||The Horror at 37,000 Feet||Dr. Enkalla||Television movie|
|1974||It's Good to Be Alive||Roy Campanella||Television movie|
|1977||Green Eyes||Lloyd Dubeck||Television movie|
|1978||King||Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.||Miniseries|
|1979||Backstairs at the White House||Emmett Rogers Sr.||Miniseries|
|1980||Angel City||Cy||Television movie|
|1981||The Sophisticated Gents||Richard "Bubbles" Wiggins||Television movie|
|1982||The Blue and the Gray||Jonathan Henry||Miniseries|
|1983||For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story||Television movie|
|1984||The Fall Guy||Bert Perkins||1 episode|
|1985||Murder, She Wrote||Det. Lieutenant Starkey||1 episode|
|1986||Under Siege||Andrew Simon||Television movie|
|1987||Mighty Pawns||Mr. Wright||Television movie|
|1987–1988||The Charmings||The Magic Mirror||19 episodes|
|1988–1990||227||Julian C. Barlow||24 episodes|
|1989||The Women of Brewster Place||Sam Michael||Miniseries|
|Wiseguy||Isaac Twine||6 episodes|
|1990||L.A. Law||Derron Holloway||4 episodes|
|1991||Family Matters||Jimmy Baines||1 episode|
|1991||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Captain Dathon||1 episode|
|1993||Irresistible Force||Commander Toole||Television movie|
|1994–1998||The Magic School Bus||Mr. Ruhle||Occasional guest voice|
|1995||Tyson||Don King||Television movie|
|1995||Babylon 5||General Richard Franklin||1 episode|
|1995||White Dwarf||Dr. Akada||Television movie|
|1995-1996||Gargoyles||Voice of Jeffrey Robbins||Season 2, Episode 4: 'A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time'|
|1995–2003||Touched by an Angel||Sam||13 episodes|
|1996||Second Noah||Ramses||1 episode|
|1998||Walker, Texas Ranger||Pastor Roscoe Jones||1 episode|
|1999–2004||City Confidential||Narrator||94 episodes|
|1999||Strange Justice||Thurgood Marshall||Television movie|
|2002||Crossing Jordan||Dr. Phillip Sanders||1 episode|
|2003||Sounder||Kindly schoolteacher||Television movie|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award||Result||Category||Film or series|
|1973||Academy Award||Nominated||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Sounder|
|2004||Black Reel Awards||Nominated||Television: Best Supporting Actor||Sounder|
|1997||Daytime Emmy Award||Nominated||Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special||The Legend of Gator Face|
|1982||NAACP Image Awards||Won||Best Performance by an Actor in a Dramatic Series or Miniseries or Television Movie||The Sophisticated Gents|
|1978||Primetime Emmy Award||Nominated||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special||King|
|1979||Roots: The Next Generations
(For episode V)
|1995||Won||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||Picket Fences
(For episode "Enemy Lines")
|1999||St. Louis International Film Festival||Won||Lifetime Achievement Award||
- "Paul Winfield Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2007-06-23.
- "Paul Winfield Biography". yahoo! Movies. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- "Paul Winfield". Contemporary Black Biography. The Gale Group, Inc. 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
- Roger Greenspun (1972-09-25). "Sounder (1972) Screen: 'Sounder' Opens: Story of a Negro Boy in Louisiana of 1930's". The New York Times.
- Linda Rapp (2005). "Winfield, Paul". glbtq encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
- King, Susan (2004-03-09). "Oscar-nominated actor Paul Winfield dies". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
- Allmusic Gene Page, Blacula
- Paul Winfield at the African American Registry (archived by the Wayback Machine)
- Paul Winfield at the Internet Broadway Database
- Paul Winfield at the Internet Movie Database
- Paul Winfield at the TCM Movie Database
- Paul Winfield at AllMovie
- Paul Winfield at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Paul Winfield and Charles Gillan, Jr. at Find a Grave