David Alan Grier created some of the most iconic sketch comedy characters of the early 1990s - from the flamboyant film critic Antoine Merriweather to obnoxious shop teacher Al MacAfee - and helped pu...
|Happily Ever After Fairy Tales: Goldilocks||Voice||n/a||5|
|A Saintly Switch||Actor||n/a||1|
|Tyler Perry Presents Peeples||Actor||n/a||1|
|Dance Flick||Actor||Sugar Bear||1|
|The Poker House||Screenwriter||n/a||7|
|Angels in the Infield||Actor||Bob "Bungler" Bugler||1|
|The Hustle||Actor||Rev. Paid||1|
|The Poker House||Actor||n/a||1|
|In the Army Now||Actor||Fred Ostroff||1|
|Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby||Actor||Mr. Butz||1|
|Gym Teacher: The Movie||Actor||Shelley Bragg||1|
|Return to Me||Actor||Charlie Johnson||1|
|From the Hip||Actor||Steve Hadley||1|
|If Love Hadn't Left Me Lonely||Actor||n/a||1|
|Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil||Voice||Moss the Troll||12|
|The Poker House||Co-Producer||n/a||13|
|Something Like a Business||Actor||n/a||1|
|The Muppets' Wizard of Oz||Actor||n/a||1|
|Me and Him||Actor||Peter Conklin||1|
|An American Carol||Actor||Rastus Malone||1|
|Almost an Angel||Actor||n/a||1|
|Astro Boy||Voice||Mr. Squirt||19|
|The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle||Actor||Measures||1|
|I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!||Actor||Newsman||1|
|A Saintly Switch (1997-1998)||Actor||Dan Anderson||1997||1|
|The Book of David: The Cult Figure's Manifesto (2001-2002)||Actor||n/a||2001||1|
|American Comedy Awards Viewer's Choice: Class of '99 (1997-1998)||Actor||Host||1997||1|
|Random Acts of Comedy (1998-1999)||Actor||Host||1998||1|
|Kingpins (1986-1987)||Actor||Dieter Philbin||1986||1|
|Mchale's Navy||Actor||Ensign Charles T Parker||1|
|East of A||Actor||Brother James||1|
|A Soldier's Story||Actor||Corporal Cobb||1|
|Tales From the Hood||Actor||Carl||1|
|All Is Forgiven (1984-1985)||Actor||Oliver Royce||1984||1|
|Stealing Home||Actor||Jazz Moe||1|
|Results Show||Actor||Celebrity Participant||1|
|AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs (1998-1999)||Actor||n/a||1998||1|
|Season: 1||Actor||Professor Byron Wallcott||1|
|100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time (2002-2003)||Actor||Honoree (Archival Footage)||2002||1|
|Amazon Women on the Moon||Actor||("Blacks Without Soul" "Don 'No Soul' Simmons")||1|
|The 5th Annual Family Television Awards (2001-2002)||Actor||Presenter||2001||1|
|Season: 5||Actor||Judge Leon Lonnie Love||1|
|Season: 1||Actor||Reverend Leon Lonnie Love||1|
|Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary Primetime Special (1998-1999)||Actor||n/a||1998||1|
|Disney/Pixar's Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (1999-2001)||Voice||of Tubunch||1999||1000055|
|The Book of David: The Cult Figure's Manifesto (2001-2002)||Producer||n/a||2001||3|
|Season: 4||Other Writer||special material writer||4000040|
|Starred in the TBS comedy special "David Alan Grier: Comedy You Can Believe In"|
|Made feature film debut in Robert Altman's "Streamers"|
|Returned to Broadway to co-star in David Mamet's "Race"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Play|
|Appeared frequently on the Comedy Central show "Crank Yankers"|
|Feature writing debut, co-writing with Lori Petty in "The Poker House"|
|Guest starred on "Bones" (Fox) as the host of a kids' TV show who wants Brennan (Emily Deschanel) to appear on his program|
|Cast in the revival production of "The Wiz" at the La Jolla Playhouse|
|Hosted the short-lived Comedy Central show "Chocolate News"|
|Cast as Eddie Murphy's shy friend Gerard in the comedy "Boomerang"|
|Appeared opposite Denzel Washington in the off-Broadway production of "A Soldier's Play"|
|Cast opposite Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick in "The Woodsman"|
|Starred as James 'Thunder' Early in the hit Broadway musical "Dreamgirls"|
|Co-starred with Audra McDonald in the Broadway revival of "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"|
|Made TV debut with a guest spot on "Hometown" (CBS)|
|Re-teamed with Keenan Ivory Wayans, when he joined cast of the sketch comedy series "In Living Color" (Fox)|
|Joined the eighth season of the ABC competition series "Dancing with the Stars"|
|Debuted as a series regular on the short-lived "All is Forgiven" (NBC)|
|Cast in minor role in Keenan Ivory Wayans' "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"|
|Appeared in the cult film "Amazon Women on the Moon"|
|Returned to Broadway in the musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"|
|Reprised his stage role for the film "A Soldier's Story"|
|Headlined his own Comedy Central stand-up special "The Book of David: The Cult Figure's Manifesto"|
|Hosted Comedy Central's "Premium Blend"|
|Returned to TV as star of the short-lived "The Preston Episodes" (Fox)|
|Co-starred with Damon Wayans in Mike Binder's "Blankman"|
|Co-starred on the improv-based ABC sitcom "Life With Bonnie"|
|Joined "In Living Color" co-star Damon Wayans for the short-lived sitcom "Damon" (Fox)|
|Landed first stage role, portraying Jackie Robinson in the Broadway musical "The First"; earned a Tony nomination|
|Starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the big screen adaptation of "Bewitched"|
|Starred in Mario Van Peebles's half documentary/half homage to his father Melvin Van Peebles "Baadasssss!"|
|Co-starred with Delta Burke on the NBC series "DAG"|
Born on June 30, 1955 in Detroit, MI, Grier - who sometimes went simply by his initials, "DAG" - was the son of William Henry Grier and Aretas Ruth (nee Dudley). He attended Detroit's Cass Tech High School, received his bachelor's degree in Radio/TV/Film from the University of Michigan, and his MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Before he was ever seen, the aspiring actor was first heard, voicing a nameless X-Wing fighter pilot for a National Public Radio adaptation of "Star Wars" in 1980. Immediately after graduating from Yale, Grier made his Broadway debut in 1981, starring in the musical "The First," which also earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Feature Actor.
The theater soon became Grier's second home early in his career. He won the Theater World Award for "The First" and followed it with stirring performances as James "Thunder" Early in the stage hit "Dreamgirls," the off-Broadway drama "A Soldier's Story," and in various Shakespeare productions. His acting caught the attention of filmmakers, including Robert Altman, who directed Grier in 1983's "Streamers," a film debut that earned him a Golden Lion for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. A year later, Grier reprised his role in the big screen adaptation of "A Soldier's Story" (1984).
Grier started making a shift from drama to comedy in the 1985 film "Beer," which parodied the advertising industry. He then starred in a couple of independent releases, "From The Hip" and the cult favorite "Amazon Women on the Moon," both released in 1987. A year later, Grier was cast as a newsman in "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988), a parody of '70s blaxploitation movies from writer/director/star Keenen Ivory Wayans. The film was in no way a blockbuster hit, yet it spawned one of the most cutting edge and influential variety programs in TV history.
Two years after "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," Wayans created the comedy sketch show "In Living Color," which was described at the time as "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) with an urban twist. Wayans gathered a group of up-and-coming comics including his siblings Damon, Kim, Marlon, and Shawn, Grier, and then-unknowns Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx. "In Living Color" was a ratings and critical success, lauded for its racy comedy and inclusion of topics such as racism, sexuality, and violence that were - until then - too controversial for a primetime network program. Grier's characters were unforgettable, whether he was giving a film "two snaps and around the world" as gay film critic Antoine (a bit he created with Damon Wayans) or spoofing the likes of Rodney King, Ike Turner, and Maya Angelou.
"In Living Color" tested the boundaries of television and FOX even struggled to censor some of the show's material after a live Super Bowl halftime special (FOX, 1992) that included Grier and Wayans' "Men on Film" sketch that suggested that actor Richard Gere and athlete Carl Lewis were homosexual lovers. But such controversy and the memorable cast of characters only peaked viewers' interests and they kept the show going for five seasons (and in syndication), earning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Series along the way.
Grier parlayed his success with "In Living Color" to a full time film career. The actor reunited with Altman in the Hollywood satire "The Player," where he played himself. He appeared in Eddie Murphy's "Boomerang" (1992), co-starred with Pauly Shore in the military comedy "In The Army Now" (1994), and with Damon Wayans in "Blankman" (1994), a spoof of superhero films. Even though he was not always the main star, Grier played the perfect comedy sidekick - someone who starts in the background, yet ultimately steals the show. He had even more box office success with the movies "Jumanji" (1995) with Robin Williams, "McHale's Navy" (1997) with Tom Arnold, and "Return To Me" (2000) with David Duchovny. He made a dramatic comeback playing an abusive father in "Tales From the Hood," a horror anthology from director Rusty Cundieff.
A year after "In Living Color" went off the air Grier was invited to host "Saturday Night Live," where he voiced his most beloved character, Antoine Merriweather, once more for a sketch. It seemed television always had a place for the actor, and he made several attempts to establish a successful career on the small screen. He had a recurring role as Rev. Leon Lonnie Love in the hit series "Martin" (FOX, 1992-97) before reuniting with Damon Wayans in the latter's self-titled sitcom. Unfortunately, "Damon" (FOX, 1998) only lasted one season - the same fate that fell upon Grier's own show "DAG" (NBC, 2000-01), where he played Secret Service agent Jerome Daggett opposite Delta Burke. He was more successful, however, with his other TV appearances - from hosting "Premium Blend" (Comedy Central, 1997- ) to his 2003 standup special "The Book Of David - The Cult Figures Manifesto" (Comedy Central).
Acting as a comic foil once again proved successful for Grier, who was cast as a regular character in "Life With Bonnie" (ABC, 2002-04), a sitcom about a frantic TV host played by Bonnie Hunt. Grier's chameleon voice also boosted ratings for Comedy Central's "Crank Yankers" (2002- ), where he popularized the characters Landanlius "The Truth" Truefeld, Danny, and Stompy. Given his background in radio, Grier was regularly asked to guest-host the late night radio show "Loveline" with Dr. Drew Pinsky. His most infamous episode on the show happened in 2002 when Grier revealed his girlfriend of four years cheated on him with fellow actors. Instead of blurting it out, the actor instead "coughed up" a few names that sounded to many listeners as "Tom Sizemore" and "Colin Farrell." Though all of his TV sitcom projects failed to take off, Grier kept a steady stream of acting projects throughout his career. He returned to theater with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" on Broadway, and starred in the revival production of "The Wiz" at the La Jolla Playhouse.
Comedy Central gave Grier his own show in 2008 titled "Chocolate News," which took its cue from the successful comedy/news programs "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (Comedy Central, 1996- ) and "The Colbert Report" (Comedy Central, 2005- ). "Chocolate News" did not hide the fact it was a black-oriented comedy/news program and that it skewered politics and pop culture from an African-American standpoint - the same year Barack Obama was elected the country's President. It was also the actor's dream job. "We discovered that if we're being true to this on-show environment, we've got to come out pro-black," Grier said. "When we take that position after setting up the most obscene and obtuse circumstances, it feeds the comedy." Grier dressed up in costume once again to create another memorable character, a domineering maternal figure for a bit on the "Fat Black Momma Syndrome."
In 2009, Grier followed in the footsteps of comic actors-turned-ballroom dancers Adam Carolla and Jeffrey Ross when he competed in the eighth season of "Dancing with the Stars." He was partnered with professional dancer Kym Johnson, who was the previous season's runner-up. The actor also appeared in the films "Something Like a Business" and "Dance Flick" that same year. He voiced the character Troll in "Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil" (2010).
|Maritsa Grier||Wife||Previously married; divorced in 1987|
|William Grier||Father||Co-author of book, Black Rage|
|Luisa Grier-Kim||Daughter||Born January 10, 2008; mother, Christine Kim|
|Christine Kim||Wife||Married July 2007; filed for divorce in July 2009|
|University of Michigan|
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