Seth Gilliam

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Seth Gilliam
Gilliam in 2020
Born (1968-11-05) November 5, 1968 (age 55)
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

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, Dr. Alan Deaton on Teen Wolf, and Father Gabriel Stokes on The Walking Dead.[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 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 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 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 eight miles per hour in a fifty-five miles per hour zone. Police found a marijuana cigarette in his car.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 In the Eyes of a Stranger - TV movie
Aibobo - Short
1993 Joey Breaker Jeremy Breaker
Mr. Wonderful ER Doctor
1994 Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker Cadet Johnson C. Whittaker TV movie
Heading Home Willie
The Hardest Part Derek Short
1995 Jefferson in Paris James Hemings
1996 Courage Under Fire Altameyer
Tar Tyrone
1997 Starship Troopers Sugar Watkins
2000 Punks Marcus
2002 Personal Velocity: Three Portraits Vincent
2005 The Great Wonderful Clayton
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
2011 Stake Out: Atlantic Salmon Rivers Short
2012 The Skinny HIV Testing Worker
2014 Still Alice Frederic Johnson
2017 Police State Officer Grady
2018 Change in the Air Officer Payne
Silver Lake Jeff
2023 Teen Wolf: The Movie Dr. Alan Deaton


Year Title Role Notes
1990–1991 The Cosby Show Aaron Dexter Recurring cast (season 7)
1992 Law & Order Babatunde Amoda Episode: "Consultation"
1999–2001 Oz Clayton Hughes Recurring cast (seasons 3–4); 17 episodes
2002–2008 The Wire Ellis Carver Recurring cast (seasons 1–2), main cast (seasons 3–5); 51 episodes
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury A.D.A. Terence Wright Recurring cast
2007 The Bronx is Burning Paul Blair Episode: "Time for a Change?"
2007–2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Detective Daniels Guest (season 6), recurring cast (season 7)
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 Skins Ken Episode: "Cadie"
Svetlana Tomas Episode: "Milking It"
The Good Wife Jacob Rickter Episode: "Closing Arguments"
2011–2017 Teen Wolf Dr. Alan Deaton Recurring cast (seasons 1–5), guest (season 6); 47 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"
2014–2022 The Walking Dead Gabriel Stokes Also starring (seasons 5–7), main cast (seasons 8–11); 73 episodes
2015 The Good Wife Jacob Rickter Episode: "Wanna Partner?"
2016 Elementary Dr. Ira Wallace Episode: "Ready or Not"
2019 The Code Lt. Col. Metchaf Episode: "Original Pilot"
City on a Hill Rev. Jasper Fields Recurring cast (season 1)
2020 Bull Dr. Poulson Episode: "The Invisible Woman"
2023 The Blacklist Lawrence Whitaker Episode: "Blair Foster"
2024 The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Gabriel Stokes Episode: "Become"


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Othello Othello Commonwealth Shakespeare Company[11]
2011 Othello Othello Houston Shakespeare Festival[2]
2011 King Lear Edmund The Public Theater[13]
2018 The Last Bar at the End of the World Tobias Off-Broadway, NYC[10]


  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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