Countless theater, television, film and comedic endeavors have pushed David Alan Grier’s career to remarkable heights. His ability to excel across all mediums and contexts is a testament to his inherent sense of comic timing and creative drive. The three-time Tony and Grammy Award nominee was trained in Shakespeare at Yale, where he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Grier has received many accolades and awards throughout his career, not the least of which was his inclusion on Comedy Central’s list of the “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.”
Although Grier’s acting career is rooted in live theater, he has since also made his name in the world of television. He is currently shooting his third season of NBC comedy series The Carmichael Show, in which he plays Jerrod Carmichael’s say-anything contrarian father. Grier had the chance to return to the Broadway stage in NBC’s 2015 live television production of The Wiz Live! as the iconic role of the Cowardly Lion. The Wiz Live! generated NBC’s highest-rated night (excluding sports) in 11 years, and earned Grier two Image Awards and two Critics’ Choice Awards nominations. Grier has also recently wrapped a nationwide comedy tour, where he was joined by In Living Color co-star Tommy Davidson.
Grier’s television work is highlighted predominately by his turn as a principal cast member on the Emmy Award-winning In Living Color (1990–1994), where he created and portrayed some of the show’s most memorable characters. He starred in DAG (2000–2001) and Life with Bonnie (2003), which earned him Image Award and Golden Satellite Award nominations. In 2008, David created, wrote and starred in Comedy Central’s Chocolate News. He also he starred as ‘Principal Carl Gaines’ in Bad Teacher on CBS in the 2013-2014 television season.
On the big screen, Grier has most recently joined the cast of indie drama SPRINTER produced by Will Smith, which will debut later this year. He has also starred in PEEPLES (2013), produced by Tyler Perry, opposite Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson, as well as appeared in the Wayans Brothers’ spoof movie DANCE FLICK (2009). He made his film debut in STREAMERS (1983), directed by Robert Altman for which he won the Golden Lion for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival.
Grier began his professional career on Broadway as Jackie Robinson in The First, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and won the Theatre World Award (1981). He then joined the cast of Dreamgirls before going on to star opposite Denzel Washington in A Soldier’s Play, for which both actors reprised their roles in the film adaptation, A SOLDIER’S STORY (1984).
In 2009/2010 Grier starred in David Mamet’s acclaimed play Race opposite James Spader and Kerry Washington at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway, for which he received his second Tony Award nomination. He received the third Tony Award nomination of his career in 2012 for his performance in the “stand-out role of the rakish, drug-dealing Sporting Life” (NY Times) in The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. In 2013, Grier received his first GRAMMY nomination when the cast recording of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.
Grier is managed by ROAR, Beverly Hills-based artist and brand management company, and represented by Innovative Artists.