Countless theater, television, film and comedic endeavors have pushed David Alan Grier’s career to remarkable heights and 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 enjoyed 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.”
On the big screen, David Alan Grier was recently seen starring in PEEPLES, produced by Tyler Perry, opposite Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson. Grier 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. He also appeared in the Wayans Brothers’ spoof movie DANCE FLICK (2009).
Grier’s television work is highlighted by a turn as principal cast member on the Emmy Award winning In Living Color (1990–1994) where he helped to create some of the show’s most memorable characters, DAG (2000–2001) and Life with Bonnie (2003) which earned an Image and Golden Satellite nomination. David created, wrote and executive produced a show for Comedy Central called Chocolate News (2008). Last fall, David starred in THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM, a Hallmark Channel adaptation of Paul Curtis’ 1996 Newbery Award-winning novel by the same name. Grier recently wrapped shooting a starring role as ‘Principal Carl Gaines’ in a new series for CBS, Bad Teacher.
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. Grier 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 Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess. Grier received his first GRAMMY nomination when the cast recording of The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess received a 2013 GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album.