Bokeem Woodbine

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Bokeem Woodbine
Woodbine in 2011.
Born (1973-04-13) April 13, 1973 (age 46)
Harlem, New York, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present

Bokeem Woodbine (born April 13, 1973) is an American actor.



With the encouragement of his actress mother, Woodbine entered show biz at age 19 as a stand-in and extra in Ernest Dickerson's directorial debut, the hip-hop classic Juice (1992), starring Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. In the following year, he made his TV acting debut in the CBS Schoolbreak Special entitled "Love Off Limits." His appearance was noticed by casting director Jaki Brown-Karman who later recommended him to Forest Whitaker for the latter's directorial effort, the HBO television movie Strapped (1993), in which he co-starred with Michael Biehn.

After playing a small part opposite Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly and Zelda Harris in Spike Lee's semi-biographical film Crooklyn (1994), Woodbine landed a featured role in Doug McHenry's romantic drama film Jason's Lyric (1994), as the title role's (played by Allen Payne) bad brother Joshua, who was obviously bound for a violent end, dealing drugs for short-term cash and joining a gang plotting a bank robbery. In the following year, he secured breakthrough screen roles in writer/director Mario Van Peebles' semi-historic film about the origins of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Panther, portraying a Panther member named Tyrone, and in the Hughes brothers' fact-based action/thriller film Dead Presidents, as Cleon, a religious yet deadly staff sergeant.

Woodbine subsequently co-starred with Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields in writer/director Matthew Bright's dark comedy/thriller film Freeway (1996), a modern riff on the Little Red Riding Hood story, and was cast alongside Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris for Michael Bay's blockbuster action movie The Rock (1996), as Gunnery Sergeant Crisp. That same year, he also appeared in 2Pac's music video for "I Ain't Mad at Cha."

In 1997, Woodbine had an uncredited role as Mud in Vondie Curtis-Hall's directorial debut, Gridlock'd, an intelligent dark comedy starring Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth and Thandie Newton, and was spotted as a guest in an episode of Fox's cop drama series New York Undercover. Afterwards, he was paired with Cynda Williams, playing her ex-con new boyfriend Daryl, in writer/director Darin Scott's crime/drama film Caught Up, played an assassin team member for a mob boss in Kirk Wong's comedy-action movie The Big Hit, starring Mark Wahlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips, and co-starred with Chris Farley and Matthew Perry in Christopher Guest's comedy film Almost Heroes (all three in 1998). In 1999 he collaborated with John Goodman, Courteney Cox, Ron Eldard and Joe Mantegna in Ron Moler's drama/thriller The Runner and portrayed a deaf mute named Can't Get Right in Ted Demme's comedy drama Life, starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.

Entering the new millennium, Woodbine was featured as a regular on the NBC midseason sitcom Battery Park and played Dr. Damon Bradley, who later turned out to be a serial rapist,[1] in the short-lived CBS medical drama City of Angels, the latter of which earned him a nomination for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He also guest starred in an episode of Showtime's popular drama series Soul Food, starred as FBI Agent Gottfried in Sacrifice, a TV movie based on Mitchell Smith's novel of the same name, and teamed with Justin Pierce playing two desperate con-men trying to blackmail a psychotic doctor who may just be a serial killer in the Baluzy brothers' thriller film BlackMale. Additionally, he appeared in the Wu-Tang Clan's music videos for their songs "Protect Ya Neck", "Gravel Pit", and "Careful (Click, Click)".

2001 saw Woodbine teaming up with Kevin Costner, Christian Slater and David Arquette to plan a daring raid on the Riviera hotel and casino in Las Vegas during International Elvis Week in the thriller feature 3000 Miles to Graceland, and also lent his voice to its short animated prequel film Road to Graceland. He also played an FBI agent who teams with a good vampire cop (played by Adrian Paul) in The Breed, which aired on Starz! in lieu of a theatrical release.

After reteaming with Christian Slater in the action/adventure film Hard Cash (aka Run for the Money, 2002) and co-starring with Elizabeth Berkley and Randall Batinkoff in Jonathan Winfrey's action/drama thriller film Detonator (2003), Woodbine went to portray prolific saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman in the Taylor Hackford-directed and Jamie Foxx-starring Oscar-winning biopic Ray (2004), about legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. Meanwhile, he starred in the made-for-TV movies Sniper 2 (2002), Jasper, Texas (2003), and Why Blitt? (2004), as well as guest-starred in an episode of Fox action series Fastlane and CBS cop/crime drama CSI: Miami.

In the next years, Woodbine played a cop in the drama/thriller The Circle (2005), played a prisoner in Stuart Gordon's adaptation of David Mamet's play, Edmond (2005), starring William H. Macy, and starred as Deborah Cox's once-promising boxer husband who spent ten years in prison and finds it difficult to readjust to civilian life, in the dramatic film Blood of a Champion (2006). He also appeared alongside Tamala Jones in a small drama/sci-fi film called Confessions and in an independent film titled The Champagne Gang (both in 2006). On the small screen, he could be seen in an episode of Fox's ongoing crime-drama Bones and ABC's short-lived cop drama The Evidence, as well as two episodes of Spike TV's Blade: The Series, based on Marvel Comics' character and popular film series.

As recently as 2007, Woodbine appeared in Sticky Fingaz' musical drama film A Day in the Life, starring Omar Epps and Mekhi Phifer, and two films by Jesse V. Johnson: the low-budget sci-fi/action movie The Last Sentinel (alongside Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Katee Sackhoff), and the action film The Butcher, opposite Eric Roberts. He also landed a series regular, as Leon Cooley, an inmate on death row, in the TNT crime/drama series Saving Grace, starring Academy Award–winning actress Holly Hunter in her first TV series. Meanwhile, he was spotted as a guest on CBS legal drama Shark starring James Woods, and the USA Network crime/legal drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He also appeared in the TV commercial for

In 2008 Woodbine completed his next film, Jesse V. Johnson's The Fifth Commandment, and The Poker House, a drama directed by Lori Petty. He then filmed writer/director Jake Torem's Letting Go and Sticky Fingaz's feature Caught on Tape, along with Vivica A. Fox and Cedric the Entertainer. His 2010 films were Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright, with Aidan Quinn and Andy Garcia, Little Murder, with Josh Lucas and Terrence Howard, and the M. Night Shyamalan-produced supernatural thriller Devil. He has also appeared as an officer on the critically acclaimed series Southland (2011).

Woodbine's scene-stealing role as killer Mike Milligan in 2015's Fargo (season 2) was originally written as a 50-year-old potbellied Italian man.[2] Woodbine's audition so impressed showrunner Noah Hawley that he gave Woodbine the part.[2] In December 2015, he received a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries for this role.


He has appeared in a number of music videos, beginning with TLC's video "Waterfalls." He has made appearances in the Wu-Tang Clan video clips "Gravel Pit," "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)," "Careful (Click, Click)" and in RZA's "Chi Kung." He has also appeared in Busta Rhymes' video "Light Your Ass on Fire," Tupac Shakur video, "I Ain't Mad at Cha," Eazy-E video, "Just tah Let U Know," and Jadakiss' video "Time's Up!"

He is referenced by Sean Price in the Boot Camp Clik song "Let's Go" (from their 2006 album The Last Stand); with the line "Ya'll niggas act tough like Bokeem Woodbine / Until you get slapped like Penny from Good Times."


Film/TV Shows
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Strapped Diquan Mitchell TV movie
1994 Crooklyn Richard
Jason's Lyric Joshua Alexander
1995 Panther Tyrone
Dead Presidents Staff Sgt. Cleon
The X-Files Sammom Roque TV series; episode: "The List"[3]
1996 The Elevator Malcolm
Freeway Chopper
The Rock Gunnery Sergeant Crisp
1997 Gridlock'd Mud Uncredited,
1998 Caught Up Daryl
The Big Hit Crunch
Almost Heroes Jonah
1999 Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies Farralon Direct-to-video,
Life Can't Get Right
The Sopranos Massive Genius TV series; Episode: "A Hit Is a Hit"
The Runner 477
2000 Sacrifice Agent Gottfried TV movie
BlackMale Jimmy Best
2001 3000 Miles to Graceland Franklin
The Breed FBI Agent Steve Grant
2002 Run for the Money Rock (a.k.a. Hard Cash)
Sniper 2 U.S. Army Sniper Jake Cole Direct-to-video
2003 Detonator Jack Forrester
Jasper, Texas Khalid X TV movie
2004 Ray Fathead Newman
2005 The Circle Cop
Edmond Prisoner
2006 Blood of a Champion Shadow Direct-to-video
18 Fingers of Death! Billy Buff Direct-to-video
Confessions Miles Adams
2007 The Last Sentinel Anchilles
Saving Grace Leon Cooley 28 episodes (2007–2010)
2008 The Poker House Duval
The Fifth Commandment Miles Templeton
2009 Black Dynamite Black Hand Jack
A Day in the Life Bam Bam
The Butcher Chinatown Pete
Three Bullets Bo Short film
2010 Caught on Tape Tyrone
Devil Guard
2011 Little Murder Lipp
2012 Total Recall Harry
2013 The Host Nate Small cameo
Riddick Moss
2014 Jarhead 2: Field of Fire Corporal Danny Kettner
2015 AWOL72 Myron Co-Producer
Fargo Mike Milligan 10 episodes
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2013 PAYDAY 2 "The Elephant"


  1. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 224. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Henderson, Danielle (4 Nov 2015). "Bokeem Woodbine's Unexpected, Surreal Journey to 'Fargo'". Thrillist. Retrieved 8 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links