Glynn Turman

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Name Glynn Turman
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New York City-born African-American actor Glynn Turman enjoyed his first real taste of acting success as a young teenager, originating the role of Travis Younger on Broadway in Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark play “A Raisin in the Sun” in 1959 opposite Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil and Diana Sands as his various family members. While he did not play the role when it transferred to film in 1961, he intensified his studies at the renown High School of Performing Arts in New York. Upon graduation he apprenticed in regional and repertory companies throughout the country including Tyrone Guthrie’s Repertory Theatre in which he performed in late 60s productions of “Good Boys,” “Harper’s Ferry,” “The Visit” and “The House of Atreus.” He made his Los Angeles stage debut in Vinnette Carroll’s “Slow Dance on the Killing Ground.” An impressive 1974 performance in “The Wine Sellers” earned him a Los Angeles Critics Award nomination and a Dramalogue Award. The play was also produced on Broadway as “What The Wine Sellers Buy.” He won his first NAACP Image Award for his work in the play “Eyes of the American.”

A stage director as well, he received his second NAACP Image award for his directing of “Deadwood Dick” at the Inner City Cultural Center. He segued these directing talents to TV where he helmed several episodes of “The Parenthood,” “Hanging with Mr. Cooper” and “The Wayans Bros,” among others. He also directed during his seasons of steady employment on A Different World (1987), in which he played the role of Colonel Taylor for five seasons (1988-1993). The show’s theme song was sung by his ex-wife, legendary “Queen of Soul” artist Aretha Franklin. They divorced in 1984 after six years.

He began his film career in the 1970s with such blaxploitation flicks as Five on the Black Hand Side (1973), Together Brothers (1974) and Thomasine & Bushrod (1974), then progressed to roles in the cult classic Cooley High (1975), plus The River Niger (1976) and A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich (1978). TV-movies included the prestigious Centennial (1978), Attica (1980) and Minstrel Man (1977), for which he won his third NAACP Image Award. The quality of Glynn’s work has shown over the decades with his participation in such prominent TV-movies as Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad (1994), Buffalo Soldiers (1997) and _Freedom Song (2000/I) (TV)_. Such audience-favorite movies such as Gremlins (1984) and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) have also come his way. In 2004 he joined the series The Wire (2002) as Mayor Royce.

He is in the process of writing his biography while performing and producing a one-man show about his life.


  • Birthname: Glynn Russell Turman
  • Born: January 31, 1947
  • Born Place: New York City, New York, USA
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