Stephen Henderson (actor)

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This article is about the American actor. For the Irish footballer, see Stephen Henderson (footballer born 1988). For the Irish former footballer and current manager see Stephen Henderson (footballer born 1966)
Stephen Henderson
Born Stephen McKinley Henderson
(1949-08-31) August 31, 1949 (age 66)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Alma mater Lincoln University, Missouri
Juilliard School
North Carolina School of the Arts
Purdue University

Stephen McKinley Henderson (born August 31, 1949) is an American actor.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Henderson was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Ruby Naomi and Elihue Henderson.[2] He spent a year at Lincoln University, Missouri and was originally part of Group 1 at the Juilliard School Drama Division before he left. He finished his BFA in Acting at the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1972. He later studied at Purdue University where he received his Master of Arts in Theatre in 1977. He also spent summer sessions at Rose Bruford College in London and William Esper Studios in New York City.[3]

Henderson is known for his role as Arthur in the acclaimed HBO film, Everyday People.[4] Other film credits include White House servant William Slade in Steven Spielberg's 2012 film Lincoln, Lester in the 2011 film Tower Heist, Bobo in the 1989 version of A Raisin in the Sun, Cooper's husband in the 1985 movie Marie, and roles in the films Keane (2004) and If You Could Say It in Words (2008). In addition to his films, Henderson was a series regular, Omar on the FOX series New Amsterdam, which premiered in early 2008.

Henderson is known mostly for his stage work. Most recently, he portrayed Jim Bono in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's Fences starring Denzel Washington for which Henderson received a Tony nomination as a supporting actor as well as the Richard Seff Award from Actor's Equity. Previously, he appeared as Van Helsing in the Broadway production of Dracula, the Musical. On Broadway, he has also performed in Drowning Crow, the revival of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and the premiere of King Hedley II. Henderson is especially recognized as a veteran performer of August Wilson's ouvre.[5]

Ironically, his signature August Wilson role is in the only play of August Wilson's ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle not to play on Broadway: the gossipy Turnbo in Jitney, for which he won a Drama Desk Award. He had created the role in the 1996 premiere at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, then honed it (as Wilson was honing the script) in other regional theaters before its arrival Off-Broadway in 2000. But having missed the Tony Award (which is limited to Broadway), he and the core of the cast took "Jitney" to London where it won the 2002 Olivier Award for best new play -- London's Tony. In addition, he appeared in A Raisin in the Sun and directed Zooman and the Sign. With the LAByrinth Theatre Company, he portrayed Pontius Pilate in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.

Television work includes Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Newsroom, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Tyler Perry's House of Payne,Third Watch, New Amsterdam and Blue Bloods.[6]

His work as an actor, director, and educator has been documented in the book, Acting Teachers of America, and also in the Oxford University Press African American National Biography. He currently teaches in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University at Buffalo where is a former department chair.