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Bokeem Woodbine (1973)

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Bokeem Woodbine is an American film and television actor.


 personal life
Woodbine was born in Harlem, New York to an actress mother. He attended the prestigious Dalton School in New York before transferring to the also prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in the city. He was an Instrumental Music Major, and the lead singer for the band, Mazard.

Bokeem, nicknamed Bo, is also a talented rock musician who both composes songs and plays the guitar for his band, 13 Purple Dragons. A formidable martial artist, he keeps his physique up practicing Shaolin Kung Fu under Shifu Shi Yan Ming, who is a 34th generation Shaolin Temple Warrior Monk.

Recently married, he and his wife are expecting their first child in early 2011. In his leisure time, he is an avid reader, and he has spoken for/supports Dr. Marshall's Street Soldiers center located in San Francisco that prepare and pay for urban youth to attend college.

A science and technology enthusiast, In 2003 Bokeem petitioned NASA to allow him to serve a 60 day rotation aboard the International Space Station conducting experiments on the effects of infectious bacteria in zero gravity. After a series of examination and interviews, his application was ultimately denied. NASA ultimately offered the position to Danny Trejo.

With the encouragement of his actress mother, Woodbine entered show biz at age 19 as a stand-in and extra in Ernest R. Dickerson's directorial debut, the hip-hop classic "Juice" , 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, "Strapped" , in which he co-starred with Michael Biehn.

After playing a small part in Spike Lee's semi-biographical film "Crooklyn" , Woodbine landed a featured role in Doug McHenry's romantic drama film "Jason's Lyric" , as the title role's bad brother Joshua, who 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 of 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" , 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" , as Sergeant Crisp. That same year, he also appeared in the music video for 2Pac , "I Ain't Mad Atcha."

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 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" . He also collaborated with John Goodman, Courteney Cox Arquette, 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 starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, "Life" .

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, in the CBS short-lived medical drama "City of Angels," the latter of which earned him an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He also guest starred in an episode of Showtime popular drama series "Soul Food," starred as FBI Agent Gottfried in the TV movie based on Mitchell Smith's novel, "Sacrifice," 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 Wu Tang Clan's music videos for their songs "The Jump-Off," "Gravel Pit," and "Careful."

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

After reteaming with Christian Slater in the action/adventure film "Hard Cash" (2002; aka "Run for the Money") and co-starring with Elizabeth Berkley and Randall Batinkoff in Jonathan Winfrey's action/drama thriller film "Detonator" , Woodbine went to portray prolific saxophonist David Fathead Newman in the Oscar-winning biopic about legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, "Ray" , directed by Taylor Hackford. Meanwhile, he starred in the made-for-TV movies "Sniper 2" , "Jasper, Texas" and "Why Blitt?" , 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" , played a prisoner in Stuart Gordon's film adaptation of David Mamet's play, "Edmond" , 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" . He also appeared alongside Tamala Jones in a small drama/sci-fi film called "Confessions" and in an independent film titled "The Champagne Gang" . On the small screen, he could be seen in an episode of Fox ongoing crime-drama "Bones" and ABC short-lived cop drama "The Evidence," as well as two episodes of Spike TV program based on the Marvel Comics character and popular film series, "Blade: The Series."

Recently, in 2007, Woodbine appeared in Sticky Fingaz' musical drama film "A Day in the Life," starring Omar Epps and Mekhi Phifer, Jesse Johnson's low-budget sci-fi/action "The Last Sentinel," alongside Don 'The Dragon' Wilson and Katee Sackhoff, and Jesse V. Johnson's actioner "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-winner Holly Hunter in her first TV series. The show that premiered July 16, 2007 is rated TV-MA for language, sexuality, and violence. Meanwhile, he was spotted as a guest on CBS legal drama starring James Woods, "Shark," and NBC/USA Network's crime/legal drama "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." He also appeared in the TV commercial for VisitLasVegas.com.

Woodbine has completed his upcoming film, "The Fifth Commandment," an action/adventure by director Jesse V. Johnson, and "The Poker House," a drama directed by Lori Petty. He is currently filming writer/director Jake Torem's "Letting Go" and writer/director/actor Sticky Fingaz's "Caught on Tape," along with Vivica A. Fox and Cedric the Entertainer. His 2010 films are "Exodus of Charlie Wright," with Aidan Quinn and Andy Garcia, "Little Murder," with Josh Lucas and Terrence Howard, "Letting Go," and the supernatural thriller Devil. He has also appeared as an officer on "Southland" .

Bokeem is a serious actor that lives and breathes his characters. He is a big fan of his mentor, Forest Whitaker.

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 ", "Careful " and in RZA's "Chi Kung". He has also appeared in Busta Rhymes video "Light Yo Ass On Fire", Tupac 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" with the line, "Ya'll niggas act tough like Bokeem Woodbine / Until you get slapped like Penny from Good Times."

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