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David Alan Grier

David Alan Grier

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 30, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: comedian, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actor David Alan Grier turned from early dramatic roles to carve out a decades-long career in comedy. A Detroit native, he found acclaim early on the New York stage, earning a Tony nomination for playing baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the musical "The First." He moved onto film acting with a role in Robert Altman's Vietnam drama "Streamers" (1983). He later joined the cast of Norman Jewison's critically acclaimed "A Soldier's Story" (1984), playing a role that he had done on stage in Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize winning play. He began moving towards comedy with his next role opposite Rip Torn and Loretta Swit in "Beer" (1985). After appearing in the short-lived sitcom "All Is Forgiven" (NBC, 1986), Grier began a run of supporting roles in films like "From the Hip" (1987) and "Amazon Women on the Moon" (1987), and television shows such as "A Different World" (NBC, 1987-93), "ALF" (NBC,1986-90), and "Tour of Duty" (CBS, 1987-90). A small role in the action-spoof comedy "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988) brought him into the circle of actor/director/producer Keenan Ivory Wayans. Grier's relationship with Wayans and his siblings would prove to be extremely fruitful. He joined the cast of Wayans'...

Actor David Alan Grier turned from early dramatic roles to carve out a decades-long career in comedy. A Detroit native, he found acclaim early on the New York stage, earning a Tony nomination for playing baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the musical "The First." He moved onto film acting with a role in Robert Altman's Vietnam drama "Streamers" (1983). He later joined the cast of Norman Jewison's critically acclaimed "A Soldier's Story" (1984), playing a role that he had done on stage in Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize winning play. He began moving towards comedy with his next role opposite Rip Torn and Loretta Swit in "Beer" (1985). After appearing in the short-lived sitcom "All Is Forgiven" (NBC, 1986), Grier began a run of supporting roles in films like "From the Hip" (1987) and "Amazon Women on the Moon" (1987), and television shows such as "A Different World" (NBC, 1987-93), "ALF" (NBC,1986-90), and "Tour of Duty" (CBS, 1987-90). A small role in the action-spoof comedy "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988) brought him into the circle of actor/director/producer Keenan Ivory Wayans. Grier's relationship with Wayans and his siblings would prove to be extremely fruitful. He joined the cast of Wayans' influential sketch comedy show "In Living Color" (Fox, 1990-94) at the show's inception, and was one of the few performers to stay for the show's entire run. With his profile raised, he filmed a cameo for Altman's black comedy "The Player" (1992) before embarking on a successful run of supporting parts in films like "Boomerang" (1992), alongside Eddie Murphy, "Blankman" (1994), with Damon Wayans, and "In the Army Now" (1994), opposite Pauly Shore. He also played a recurring character on Martin Lawrence's hit sitcom, "Martin" (Fox, 1992-97). After "In Living Color" ended, he appeared on film in the Robin Williams' blockbuster "Jumanji" (1995), as well as the film adaption of the 1960s sitcom "McHale's Navy" (1997). On TV, he starred in the short-lived sitcoms "The Preston Episodes" (Fox, 1995) and "Damon" (Fox, 1998), again with Damon Wayans. He found more sustained success with "Life With Bonnie" (ABC, 2002-04) and a recurring role on "My Wife and Kids" (ABC, 2001-05). He enjoyed something of a resurgence in the 2010s, starting with a starring role opposite Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson in "Peeples" (2013). He landed the role of the Cowardly Lion in the television musical "The Wiz Live!" (NBC, 2015), and joined the cast of Jerrod Carmichael's edgy sitcom "The Carmichael Show" (NBC, 2015-17), playing the main character's opinionated father. Similar to "The Wiz," Grier played Santa Claus in the TV musical "A Christmas Story Live!" (Fox, 2017). He subsequently joined the cast of "The Cool Kids" (Fox, 2018-) playing a retiree opposite fellow veteran performers Vicki Lawrence and Martin Mull.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Arizona (2018)
2.
 Big Sick, The (2017)
3.
4.
 Wiz Live!, The (2015)
5.
 Road Hard (2015)
6.
9.
 Astro Boy (2009)
10.
 Dance Flick (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1981:
Appeared opposite Denzel Washington in the off-Broadway production of "A Soldier's Play"
1986:
Debuted as a series regular on the short-lived "All is Forgiven" (NBC)
1984:
Reprised his stage role for the film "A Soldier's Story"
1987:
Appeared in the cult film "Amazon Women on the Moon"
1992:
Cast as Eddie Murphy's shy friend Gerard in the comedy "Boomerang"
2002:
Co-starred on the improv-based ABC sitcom "Life With Bonnie"
1981:
Landed first stage role, portraying Jackie Robinson in the Broadway musical "The First"; earned a Tony nomination
2001:
Hosted Comedy Central's "Premium Blend"
1997:
Returned to Broadway in the musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
2005:
Starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the big screen adaptation of "Bewitched"
2002:
Appeared frequently on the Comedy Central show "Crank Yankers"
2000:
Co-starred with Delta Burke on the NBC series "DAG"
2004:
Cast opposite Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick in "The Woodsman"
1988:
Cast in minor role in Keenan Ivory Wayans' "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"
2003:
Headlined his own Comedy Central stand-up special "The Book of David: The Cult Figure's Manifesto"
1998:
Joined "In Living Color" co-star Damon Wayans for the short-lived sitcom "Damon" (Fox)
1995:
Returned to TV as star of the short-lived "The Preston Episodes" (Fox)
2003:
Starred in Mario Van Peebles's half documentary/half homage to his father Melvin Van Peebles "Baadasssss!"
2006:
Cast in the revival production of "The Wiz" at the La Jolla Playhouse
1994:
Co-starred with Damon Wayans in Mike Binder's "Blankman"
2008:
Hosted the short-lived Comedy Central show "Chocolate News"
2009:
Joined the eighth season of the ABC competition series "Dancing with the Stars"
2009:
Returned to Broadway to co-star in David Mamet's "Race"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Play
1981:
Starred as James 'Thunder' Early in the hit Broadway musical "Dreamgirls"
1985:
Made TV debut with a guest spot on "Hometown" (CBS)
2009:
Starred in the TBS comedy special "David Alan Grier: Comedy You Can Believe In"
2010:
Guest starred on "Bones" (Fox) as the host of a kids' TV show who wants Brennan (Emily Deschanel) to appear on his program
2012:
Co-starred with Audra McDonald in the Broadway revival of "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
2008:
Feature writing debut, co-writing with Lori Petty in "The Poker House"
1990:
Re-teamed with Keenan Ivory Wayans, when he joined cast of the sketch comedy series "In Living Color" (Fox)
1983:
Made feature film debut in Robert Altman's "Streamers"
2018:
Cast as one of the leads of the Fox sitcom "The Cool Kids"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan -
Yale University: New Haven, Connecticut - 1981

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Maritsa Grier. Actor. Married c. 1987; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William H Grier. Psychiatrist, writer. Co-author of book, "Black Rage".

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