Seth Gilliam

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Seth Gilliam
Seth Gilliam by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Gilliam in 2017
Born (1968-11-05) November 5, 1968 (age 53)
EducationState University of New York, Purchase (BFA)
Years active1990–present
Known forThe Wire
as Ellis Carver
The Walking Dead
as Gabriel Stokes
Teen Wolf
as Dr. Alan Deaton....The Cosby Show

Seth Gilliam (born November 5, 1968) is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayals of Ellis Carver on The Wire, Clayton Hughes on Oz, Detective Daniels on Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2007–2008), Dr. Alan Deaton on Teen Wolf, Father Gabriel Stokes on The Walking Dead, and Sugar Watkins in the movie Starship Troopers.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Gilliam graduated from State University of New York at Purchase in 1990.[citation needed]


Gilliam's film career began in the early 1990s. He has starred in award-winning films such as Still Alice. His other film credits include Sergeant Sugar Watkins in the 1997 action film Starship Troopers and Sergeant Steven Altameyer in the 1996 film Courage Under Fire.[3][4]

Gilliam has had a number of recurring roles on television, including during the seventh season of The Cosby Show as Aaron Dexter, boyfriend of Erika Alexander's character, and as Alan Deaton on Teen Wolf.[5] His most prominent role, however, has been on The Wire. In 2008, he attracted attention for criticizing the show being overlooked for Emmy nominations despite its critical success.[6] He has also had a number of guest roles in other shows such as CSI: Miami, Nurse Jackie, Skins, Person of Interest, and The Good Wife.[7] He played Clayton Hughes on Oz. In May 2014, Gilliam was cast as Father Gabriel Stokes in the fifth season of AMC's The Walking Dead.[8] Along with Chad Coleman and Lawrence Gilliard Jr., he is the third The Wire alum to join the series.[9]

Gilliam has also acted on stage, playing Prince Edward in a 1993 production of Richard III. He played the title role in Othello, first in 2010 at Boston's Commonwealth Shakespeare Company[2] and then the following year at the Houston Shakespeare Festival, directed by his wife Leah C. Gardiner. The pair returned to Houston in 2013 for Antony and Cleopatra, with Gilliam playing Antony and Gardiner directing.[10] Gilliam has stated that he prefers acting on the stage although he loves his work in film and television: "Acting for the stage is a lot more fun to do. There is instant communication with the audience. An actor can tell whether or not he or she is connecting with an audience or whether they understand what's going on."[11]

Personal life[edit]

On May 3, 2015, Gilliam was arrested in Peachtree City, Georgia, for driving under the influence as he was speeding one-hundred and seven miles per hour in a fifty-five miles per hour zone. Police found a marijuana cigarette in his car.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Joey Breaker Jeremy Breaker
Mr. Wonderful ER Doctor
1994 The Hardest Part Derek Short film
1995 Jefferson in Paris James Hemings
1996 Courage Under Fire Altameyer
1997 Starship Troopers Sugar Watkins
Tar Tyrone
2000 Punks Marcus
2002 Personal Velocity: Three Portraits Vincent
2005 The Great Wonderful Clayton Segment: "Emme's Story"
2008 Sympathetic Details Raymond
2009 The People v. Leo Frank Jim Conley
Did You Hear About the Morgans? U.S. Marshal Lasky
2010 Betrayed Roger Waite Short film
2011 Stake Out: Atlantic Salmon Rivers Short film
2014 Still Alice Frederic Johnson
2015 Police State Officer Grady
2018 Change in the Air Officer Payne


Year Title Role Notes
1990–91 The Cosby Show Aaron Dexter 3 episodes
1992 Law & Order Babatunde Amoda Episode: "Consultation"
In the Eyes of a Stranger Television film
1994 Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker Cadet Johnson C. Whittaker Television film
1999–2001 Oz Clayton Hughes 17 episodes
2002–08 The Wire Ellis Carver 50 episodes
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury A.D.A. Terence Wright 4 episodes
2007 The Bronx is Burning Paul Blair Episode: "Time for a Change?"
2007–08 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Detective Daniels 4 episodes
2009 Damages Mark Waters Episode: "I Knew Your Pig"
CSI: Miami Aaron Nolan Episode: "Flight Risk"
Mercy Police Officer Episode: "Destiny, Meet My Daughter, Veronica"
2010 Nurse Jackie Dr. Lindsey Episode: "Candyland"
Law & Order Michael's Attorney Episode: "Immortal"
2011 The Good Wife Jacob Rickter Episode: "Closing Arguments"
Svetlana Tomas Episode: "Milking It"
2011–17 Teen Wolf Dr. Alan Deaton Recurring role; 43 episodes
2012 Person of Interest Detective Des Franklin Episode: "Identity Crisis"
Homeland Chapman Episode: "A Gettysburg Address"
2013 Criminal Minds Lyle Johnson Episode: "Strange Fruit"
2014–present The Walking Dead Gabriel Stokes Also Starring (seasons 5–7)
Starring (season 8–present)
61 episodes
2016 Elementary Dr. Ira Wallace Episode: "Ready or Not"
2019 City on a Hill Rev. Jasper Fields 3 episodes
2020 Bull Dr. Poulson Episode: "The Invisible Woman"


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Othello Othello Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
2011 Othello Othello Houston Shakespeare Festival
2011 King Lear Edmund The Public Theater
2018 The Last Bar at the End of the World Tobias Off-Broadway, NYC



  1. ^ "Cast & Crew - Seth Gilliam as Ellis Carver". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
  2. ^ a b c Melloy, Kilian (2010-08-07). "Seth Gilliam :: From 'The Wire' to 'Othello'". EDGE Boston. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  3. ^ "Starship Troopers". Variety. 1997-11-08.
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger (1996-07-12). "Courage Under Fire". Chicago Sun-Times – via
  5. ^ Marnell cla, Blair (2011-07-13). "TEEN WOLF 1.07 'Night School'". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  6. ^ "The Wire star hits out at Emmys". BBC News. 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  7. ^ Reeves, Marcus (2011-05-06). "Seth Gilliam Cast For "Good Wife" Season Finale | News". BET. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  8. ^ "The Walking Dead Q&A – Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel) - news_detail | FX". Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  9. ^ Acuna, Kirsten (2014-10-10). "Why 'The Walking Dead' Casts So Many Actors From HBO's Hit Show 'The Wire'". Business Insider.
  10. ^ a b Gaines, Tarra (2013-08-02). "The most powerful woman of all: Controversial Facebook book inspires Houston's Cleopatra".
  11. ^ a b "Houston Shakespeare Festival Welcomes Seth Gilliam, Leah C. Gardiner". University of Houston News. 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  12. ^ "'Walking Dead' star Seth Gilliam arrested". CNN. May 4, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  13. ^ MacDonald, Heidi. "Roundtable: Stoya, Seth Gilliam, Phillip Cruise and Dean Haspiel talk The Last Bar at the End of The World," The Beat (04/09/2018).

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