A former musician who turned to acting, Chi McBride earned a reputation for adding depth and humanity to the stock no-nonsense authority figure in a wide variety of film and television projects. Following a few guest appearances on TV, McBride had his first significant role as Heavy Gene, the surly bus station janitor on "The John Larroquette Show" (NBC, 1993-96). Almost out of the gate, he showed an unfortunate knack of landing quality roles on series that ultimately proved short-lived. From there, McBride landed supporting turns in features like "Hoodlum" (1997) and "Mercury Rising" (1998), and courted controversy as the fictional black butler to Abraham Lincoln on "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer" (UPN, 1998). He went on to land one of his most beloved roles, playing beleaguered high school principal Steven Harper on "Boston Public" (Fox, 2000-04) while securing higher-profile films like "The Terminal" (2004) and "I, Robot" (2004). McBride had memorable leading roles on "Pushing Daisies" (ABC, 2007-09) and "Human Target" (Fox, 2010-11), but again was the victim of cancellation. Regardless of his lack of a ratings hit, McBride was a durable character actor who added grace and gravitas to every performance.