Despite being known for his breakout role on the short-lived ABC sitcom "Better Off Ted" (2009-2010), Malcolm Barrett has dabbled in sketch comedy, performed poetry at SLAM fests across the country, and started his own not-for-profit theater company. He even moonlights as a hip-hop artist, having written several songs for a debut album. It may seem like Barrett has kept himself busy entirely separate from his onscreen characters. However, since his professional acting career began in 2000, Barrett has guest-starred on over two dozen television shows and movies, most notably "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) and "The Hurt Locker" (2009), making him a widely versatile entertainer that refuses to limit himself to any single form of entertainment.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Barrett attended New York's Tisch School of the Arts where he studied both acting and directing. During breaks from his studies, Barrett auditioned for film and television roles being shot in and around New York City. He nabbed guest spots on shows like "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) and the "The Sopranos," before landing a series regular role on the short-lived Fox sitcom, "Luis" (2003-04). The show allowed Barrett to set up his permanent residence in Los Angeles, where he was able to audition for more television pilots. While living, and struggling, in L.A., Barrett began appearing in commercials to pay the bills, as he continued to perform spoken word poetry, write hip-hop songs, and act in plays produced by the theater company he co-founded in New York.
In 2009 Barrett landed the role of the nerdy scientist Dr. Lem Hewitt on ABC's "Better Off Ted." Although the show had a small but devoted following, it failed to earn solid ratings and was cancelled after its second season. This was also the year Barrett appeared in the Academy Award-winning war drama "The Hurt Locker"; the film won Best Picture at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, allowing Barrett to broaden his credits and appear in more serious fare, such as the critically acclaimed cop drama "Southland" (NBC & TNT, 2009-2013), and the Tom Hanks dramedy "Larry Crowne" (2011). In 2013 Barrett had a small role in the Tyler Perry-produced comedy, "Peeples." The film received negative reviews, however, and despite a heavy marketing campaign, made just under $10 million at the box office.
Series regular role on "Luis"
Series regular role on "Better Off Ted"
Appeared in the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, "The Hurt Locker"