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Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 14, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Jamaica Profession: actor, freelance journalist, public relations executive with 3M Corporation

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A quiet yet powerful actor, Lumbly has risen from playing the decidedly supporting--almost background--role of Detective Marcus Petrie on "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1982-88) to essaying numerous secondary and leading parts in TV and films. Raised in Minneapolis by Jamaican immigrant parents, Lumbly's first break came in 1976 when he appeared opposite Danny Glover in two plays by Athol Fugard, "Sizwe Banzi is Dead" and "The Island". He later toured in this double bill. Among his other stage credits are "The Tempest" (1981) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1988) at the New York Shakespeare Festival and "The Gospel at Colonus" (1983).Lumbly made his film debut as an inmate in Don Siegel's "Escape From Alcatraz" (1979). He went on to appear in forgettable fare ("Caveman" 1981) and cult favorites ("The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension" 1984) before earning praise for his performance as a football hero in Taylor Hackford's "Everybody's All-American" (1988). In Charles Burnett's "To Sleep With Anger" (1990), he was the hardworking, successful Junior resentful of his younger brother (Richard Brooks). Later that same year, he was the tenant displaced in favor of psycho Michael Keaton in...

A quiet yet powerful actor, Lumbly has risen from playing the decidedly supporting--almost background--role of Detective Marcus Petrie on "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1982-88) to essaying numerous secondary and leading parts in TV and films. Raised in Minneapolis by Jamaican immigrant parents, Lumbly's first break came in 1976 when he appeared opposite Danny Glover in two plays by Athol Fugard, "Sizwe Banzi is Dead" and "The Island". He later toured in this double bill. Among his other stage credits are "The Tempest" (1981) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1988) at the New York Shakespeare Festival and "The Gospel at Colonus" (1983).

Lumbly made his film debut as an inmate in Don Siegel's "Escape From Alcatraz" (1979). He went on to appear in forgettable fare ("Caveman" 1981) and cult favorites ("The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension" 1984) before earning praise for his performance as a football hero in Taylor Hackford's "Everybody's All-American" (1988). In Charles Burnett's "To Sleep With Anger" (1990), he was the hardworking, successful Junior resentful of his younger brother (Richard Brooks). Later that same year, he was the tenant displaced in favor of psycho Michael Keaton in John Schlesinger's "Pacific Heights". In Steve Anderson's "South Central" (1992), Lumbly was Ali, an older, Muslim convict who acts as mentor to a fellow convict (Glenn Plummer).

On TV, Lumbly played a local clergyman in the biopic of a Gary Rowe Jr who went "Undercover With the KKK" (NBC, 1979) before appearing as Petrie in the TV-movie "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1981) which spawned the series. For six years, he appeared in support of Tyne Daly and the three actresses who played her partner (Loretta Swit in the original, Meg Foster in the first season, and Sharon Gless). He reprised the role in four reunion specials that aired between 1994 and 1996. In 1985, Lumbly recreated his stage role as Theseus in the PBS production of "The Gospel at Colonus" and went on to play Bobby Seale in "Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago Eight" (HBO, 1987) and slave uprising leader Denmark Vesey in "Brother Future" (PBS, 1991). Other series work included a recurring role as a professor accused of murder on "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1989-90), the chief administrator of a Caribbean medical school in "Going to Extremes" (ABC, 1992-93) and the paraplegic man who becomes a superhero through technology in "M.A.N.T.I.S." (Fox, 1994). The latter series was low-rated, but pleas from groups wanting positive Black adult roles in a drama convinced the Fox network to keep it on. Eventually, it became a ratings victim. Lumbly also appeared opposite Diana Ross in her TV-movie debut, "Out of Darkness" (ABC, 1994). He was one of a number of leading African American stars in "America's Dream" (HBO, 1996), a collection of three short pieces about African American life. Lumbly is married to actress Vonetta McGee who appeared as his wife on "Cagney and Lacey" and in "To Sleep With Anger".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
4.
5.
 Sounder (2003) Father
6.
 Just a Dream (2002) J.M. Hoagland
8.
 Little Richard (2000) Bud
9.
 Men of Honor (2000) Mac--Carl'S Father
10.
 Border Line (1999)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Jamaica
:
Raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota
:
Worked in public relations at 3M Corporation
:
Met Dudley Riggs, founder of Brave New Workshop Theatre, while doing a story for the Associated Press; joined the comedy troupe and remained there for two years
:
Moved to San Francisco
1976:
Starred with Danny Glover in San Francisco stage productions of "Swizi Banzi is Dead" and "Island"
1979:
TV acting debut, "Undercover With the KKK"
1979:
Feature film acting debut, "Escape From Alcatraz"
1980:
Starred in "Eden" for Los Angeles Actors Theatre
1982:
Co-starred as Sgt. Petrie on the CBS police drama "Cagney and Lacey"
:
Performed with the New York Shakespeare Festival
:
Performed with the L.A. Actors Studio
1987:
Portrayed Bobby Seale in "Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago Eight"
:
Played recurring role of murder suspect Prof. Earl Williams on "L.A. Law" (NBC)
1990:
Co-starred in "To Sleep With Anger"; played opposite real-life wife Vonetta McKee; first collaboration with director Charles Burnett
1992:
Appeared as Dr Michael Norris on the ABC series "Going to Extremes"
:
Cast as lead in "M.A.N.T.I.S." (Fox)
1994:
Starred as romantic lead opposite Diana Ross in her TV-movie debut, "Out of Darkness"
1996:
Had title role in The Disney Channel movie "Nightjohn", directed by Charles Burnett; screened at film festivals in 1997
1996:
Played recurring role of the Mayor on the short-lived NBC series "EZ Streets"
1997:
Portrayed the patriarch of the title in "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" (The Family Channel)
1997:
Co-starred in the TNT movie "Buffalo Soldiers"
1998:
Had supporting role in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"
1998:
Played an smooth jazz musician who romances Halle Berry in "The Wedding" (ABC), directed by Burnett
2000:
Cast as Congressman Ron Dellums in the TV biopic "The Color of Friendship" (The Disney Channel)
2000:
Acted in the Off-Broadway staging of August Wilson's "Jitney"
2001:
Returned to series TV as co-star of the ABC drama "Alias"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Vonetta McKee. Shopkeeper. Owned a local market in Gibralter.
wife:
Vonetta McKee. Actor. Met on set of "Cagney & Lacey"; co-starred as his wife in "To Sleep With Anger".

Family close complete family listing

son:
Brandon Lumbly. Jewish architect and painter.
son:
Brandon Lumbly. Born c. 1988.

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