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Lindo, Delroy 1952–

Delroy Lindo 1952

Actor

Moved Towards Acting

Made Mark on Broadway

Film Career Assisted by Spike Lee

Scarce Roles for Black Actors

Sources

Delroy Lindo is a busy character actor more interested in challenging roles than in stardom. His self-annihilating performances in films such as Malcolm X, Crooklyn, and Ransom, have drawn praise from critics but little attention from the public. On Broadway, his work in August Wilsons drama Joe Turners Come and Gone, earned him a Tony Award nomination.

Even though I havent been connected with huge hits, Im very proud of my track record. And Im grateful that I havent been typecast. But whats frustrating about this industry is that youre as good as your last project. The experience you have isnt necessarily cumulative, which is why the need to prove yourself never stops, Lindo told Dan Yakir of the Boston Globe.

To help keep audiences focused on the characters he plays, Lindo does not tell the press much about himself. Overcoming ones self is a big problem. You have to overcome your own presence and try to disappear inside of each role A lot of people dont know me. As a person becomes well known, it becomes a little different, Lindo told Ron Brewington and Les Slater of Black Diaspora. What is known is that Lindo was born near London, England in 1952, the only child of Jamaican parents. His mother was a nurse; his father was employed at a variety of jobs. Lindos interest in acting began at age five, when he participated in a Nativity play at school. Everybody made a fuss. My teacher praised me, and I had no problem remembering my lines, Lindo told Yakir.

Moved Towards Acting

Lindo spent his childhood in London but his later years were more peripatetic. During my teens and early twenties my family travelled a great deal. We were back and forth between America, England, and Canada, Lindo told Brewington and Slater. Seeing productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Cyrano de Bergerac on PBS television inspired him to pursue an acting career. In the late 1970s, he attended the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco. Denzel Washington was a fellow student. The curriculum was classically oriented and Lindo honed his skills on Shakespeare and Shaw. I trained and it was very valuable. But then I got disgruntled and upset people by being outspoken. I was not asked to be a member of the company, Lindo told Jay Carr of the Boston Globe.

At a Glance

Born on November 18, 1952, in Lewisham, near London, England; immigrated to Canada, c. 1967; the only child of Jamaican parents; married Nashormeh lindo; Education; American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, c. 1977-79.

Career: Actor. Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, 1981-82; Actors Theatre of Louisville, 1984-85, The Arena Stage, DC, 1987-88. Stage appearances include Spell Number 7, Negro Ensemble Co., 1979; Master Harold Andthe Boys, 1982, Joe Turners Come and Gone, 1988; The Heliotrope Bouquet by Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin, 1993. and A Raisin in the Sun, 1986-87. include: Of Mice and Men, 1975-76; Macbeth, 1981-82; A Raisin in the Sun, 1983; A Lesson from Aloes, 1983-84; Home, 1983-84; Much Ado About Nothing, 1985; Advice to the Players, 1985; Union Boys, 1985-86; Joe Turners Come and Gone, 1986; Miss Evers Boys, 1989; Cobb, 1989; Julius Caesar, 1991; Othello, 1993. Film appearances include More American Graffiti, 1979, The Blood of Heroes, 1990, Mountains on the Moon, 1990, Bright Angel, 1991, The Hard Way, 1991, Malcolm X, 1992, Bound By Honor, 1993, Mr. Jones, 1993, Crooklyn, 1994, Clockers, 1995, Get Shorty, 1995, Broken Arrow, 1996, Feeling Minnesota, 1996, Ransom, 1996, Behanzin, 1996, The Winner, 1996, Devils Advocate, 1997, A Life Less Ordinary, 1997. Television work includes: Baseball, 1994, Perfect Witness, 1989, Soul of the Game, 1996, First Time Felon, 1997, and Glory and Honor, 1998; appearances on the series Beauty and the Beast, 1987, and Going to Extremes, 1992.

Awards: Antoinette Perry Award, Joe Turners Come and Gone, 1988; Helen Hayes Award nomination, A Raisin in the Sun, 1987; NAACP Image Award, A Raisin in the Sun, 1987; nominations for Image Award for Malcolm X, Crookiyn, and Soul of the Game.

Addresses: ResidenceSan Francisco Bay Area. Agent-lntl. CreativeMgmt., 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, 90211. Publicist Alan Nierob, Rogers & Cowan, 1888 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

For the next several years Lindo worked in regional theatres across the United States, building up an impressive list of credits. Notable among his regional appearances was his portrayal of Walter Lee Younger, the lead character in A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberrys drama about a 1950s inner city black family striving for middle class comforts, particularly a house in the suburbs. Lindo appeared in the play at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1983. Delroy Lindos Walter Lee Younger (the role originally played by Sidney Poitier) is a man in a frenzy. At first, the actors diction is muffled, but the performance acquires intensity as he prowls the apartment venting his frustration. He is unable to keep his shirttails in or his mind on his demeaning duties as a chauffeur. When he finally explodes, he replaces guilt with self-knowledge, banishing cowardice from his house, wrote Mel Gussow of the New York Times.

Mary Alice and Beah Richards co-starred with Lindo in the Yale production, and Courtney B. Vance, then a student at the Yale School of Drama, had a small role. Lloyd Richards, who had directed the plays original Broadway mounting in 1959, was director. You dont have to build a fire under Delroy. The fire is going all the time, Richards told Helen Dudar of the New York Times. Later Lindo toured with A Raisin in the Sun to Washington, DC, where he earned a nomination for a local acting honor, the Helen Hayes Award; and to Los Angeles, where his performance won an National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award.

Made Mark on Broadway

Lindo made his New York debut in Spell Number Seven with the Negro Ensemble Company in 1979, and his Broadway debut in Athol Fugards Master Harold And the Boys in 1982. He also participated in the national tour of the Fugard play. It was his work in August Wilsons Joe Turners Come and Gone in 1988 that brought him to the attention of the New York theatre world. Lindo played Herald Loomis, a resident of a Pittsburgh boardinghouse in 1911, who recounted his seven years of bondage to a Mississippi bounty hunter named Joe Turner. Frank Rich of the New York Times called Lindos performance riveting, adding that Lindo, whose character was once the deacon of the Abundant Light church, gradually metamorphoses from a man whose opaque, defeated blackness signals the extinction of that light into a truly luminous shining man, bathing the entire theater in the abundant ecstasy of his liberation. The sight is indescribably moving. Joe Turners Come and Gone reunited Lindo with director Lloyd Richards. I loved him for the unstinting unfettered investment of self, Richards said to Dudar of Lindos work in the play. Lindo earned a Tony Award nomination in the featured actor in a drama category for his portrayal of Herald Loomis but lost to B.D. Wong in M. Butterfly.

Lindo hoped his much praised work in a highly regarded play would put his career on the fast track but the next offer he received was for a walk on role in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams Orpheus Descending. I was speechless. I couldnt believe they were serious, Lindo told Dudar. Lindo found a more substantive role in Cobb, a drama by Lee Blessing about the white baseball legend Ty Cobb which unsparingly examined Cobbs anger, greed, and racism, as well as his athletic prowess. Cobb was done at the Yale Repertory Theatre in the spring of 1989 and was yet another collaboration with director Lloyd Richards. Josef Sommer played Cobb and Lindo was Oscar Charleston, a great Negro League player known as The Black Cobb. Frank Rich of the New York Times called Lindo a mesmerizing presence as Charleston but added that the burden of representing all victims of racism and segregationin Cobbs society and in baseballrobs the character of his individuality, turning him into a blandly angelic archetype.

Later in 1989, Lindo appeared at Baltimores Center Stage in Miss Evers s Boys, a fictionalized account of the real life syphilis experiments performed on a group of Alabama men over a forty year period. In order to chart the degenerative progress of syphilis, curative treatment was withheld from these men, all of whom were black. Lindo played Caleb, the most skeptical of the men and one who was still alive when the government-funded project was exposed to great horror in the 1970s. David Richards of the Washington Post wrote that Lindo invested the role of Caleb with a primal strength and a native intelligence that virtually bristle as he searches for the words to express himself. After seeing his recent performances as Walter Lee in Raisin in the Sun and Herald Loomis in Joe Turners Come and Gone, it seems obvious to me that Lindo is one of the best actors of his generation. Notable among Lindos other stage credits include the role of Cassius in Julius Caesar at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 1991, the title role in Othello at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in 1992, and a portrayal of ragtime music composer Scott Joplin in The Heliotrope Bouquet By Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin at Playwrights Horizons in New York City in 1993. Edith Oliver of The New Yorker called Lindos portrayal of Joplin beautifully modulated.

Film Career Assisted by Spike Lee

Lindos first film appearance was a bit part as an Army sergeant in More American Graffiti in 1979. He stayed away from movies for more than a decade, then, in the early 1990s, returned to the screen in small roles in several films including Mountains of the Moon, a story of the search for source of the Nile starring Patrick Bergin, Bright Angel, a drama about teenage runaways with Dermot Mulroney and Sam Shepard, and The Hard Way, an action comedy with Michael J. Fox and James Woods. It was Lindos work as the numbers runner West Indian Archie in Spike Lees epic Malcolm X, released in 1992, that put his film career in high gear. Lee had been impressed by Lindos stage work in Joe Turners Come and Gone and had offered him a part in his earlier movie Do the Right Thing. However, the two did not work until until Malcolm X A Method actor, Lindo spent time with Harlem numbers runners in order to get a better sense of the character he was to play. Delroy just inhabits his roles, Lee told Tim Appelo of Entertainment Weekly.

Lindo has appeared in two more Spike Lee films and he credits Lee with giving his film career its major boost. Spike is obviously a complicated man but I actually think he has a sweet side. Im not saying hes a sweet man But the better you get to know him, the more you see it. He has come through for me, Lindo told Yakir. One of Lindos biggest film roles so far came in Lees Crooklyn, a wistful and loosely autobiographical story of growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s, co-written by Lee and his two of his siblings. Lindo played Woody Carmichael, a talented but struggling jazz musician torn between his dedication to music and his responsibilities to his large, rambunctious family. Alfre Woodard co-starred as Woodys more practical wife. I perceived the movie as an ultimate story focusing on the family. When was the last time you saw a film about a regular black family going through life? There are no car chases, no sexjust members of a clan coexisting. And I really find that exciting. The media show a certain image of black people, but in reality, when you look at black people, you see that you run the gamut, Lindo told Yakir. Stuart Klawans of The Nation wrote that Woody is played as a thoughtful, sweet-natured man who is outwardly strong but inwardly uncertaina marvelous creation by Delroy Lindo.

In 1995, Lindo and Lee reteamed in a very different film, clockers, a gritty look at urban violence also featuring Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, and Mekhi Phifer. Lindo played Rodney, the neighborhood drug lord who employs children in his street dealing. It was real interesting, because this cat is a cat who is a very charming man on many levels and loves to laugh and have a good time, Lindo explained to Andy Seller of USA Today. He knows everybody in his community and everybody knows him This is a man who considers himself an entrepreneur. Hes a barber. He has a store that he runs. If he could make the kind of immediate money doing real estate that he makes selling drugs, he would do that. If he could make that kind of money cutting hair, he would do that Rodney Little is no a drug kingpin. This is a man who controls three and half blocksliterally. Its a very lurid and small and petty situation.

Scarce Roles for Black Actors

Although Lindo has been working almost constantly in films since he made Malcolm X, he finds the roles offered to a black actor to be of a generally low quality. What else is new? This is America. Anybody with half a brain in his head knows what the issues are. Do I get offered the things that I should be offered? Am I satisfied? No, Im not satisfied. Im deeply dissatisfied, Lindo told Michael E. Ross of BET Weekend. The Sam Jacksons and Wesley Snipeses and Denzel Washingtons and Laurence Fishburnes and Mekhi PhifersId bet we all suffer a deep dissatisfaction with the things were offered. But were in it. Were doing it. Were attempting to move forward. For myself, its of no interest to me to involve myself in a conversation about the inequities of Hollywood unless I can offer something to change it. Lindo thinks the best way to change the situation is for black performers, directors, and writers to develop their own projects and he is interested in someday becoming a director.

Lindo found his supporting role in the Ron Howard-directed kidnap drama Ransom, a somewhat refreshing change. He played an FBI officer investigating the abduction of a wealthy businessmans son. Mel Gibson starred. What was interesting in Ransom was that, for a black man to get the responsibility of cracking the case in the film, it suggested a very senior FBI officer. I saw him as someone whod come up through the ranks. So I created a biography for the character. You want to try to get as close to what you perceive the circumstances of a characters life are, Lindo explained to Ross about his work in the 1995 film.

The quirky 1997 comedy A Life Less Ordinary, directed by Danny Boyle who had made a big splash the previous year with Trainspotting, offered an even bigger change of pace for Lindo. In this British-American production, Lindo and Holly Hunter portrayed angels sent to earth to promote love and harmony. They do so by having an angry young janitor (Ewan McGregor) with outlandish dreams accidentally kidnap a discontent heiress (Cameron Diaz).

Cable television films have given Lindo the opportunity to portray two notable figures in African-American history. In the 1996 HBO film Soul of the Game, Lindo was Satchel Paige, legendary pitcher in the Negro baseball leagues. Reuben Cannon, a producer and casting director who worked on Soul of the Game, told Ross that Lindos talent is enormous. And he has yet to be challenged on screen the way he has been on stage.

In Glory and Honor, a 1998 Turner Network film directed by Kevin Hooks, Lindo played Arctic explorer Matthew Henson who accompanied Robert E. Peary on his 1909 expedition to the North Pole. Hired as a valet by Peary in 1890s, Henson became Pearys indispensable right hand man and should, many historians believe, be credited as co-discoverer of the North Pole. Henson died in obscurity in 1955 after working as a custodian. I think the experience for Matthew Henson represented some discovery of himself, an affirmation of himself as a human being. I think, at least initially, he felt that achieving the Pole would allow him an escape from the restraints of how he was looked on as a black man. Of course, that didnt happen, Lindo told Susan King of the Los Angeles Times TV Times. Glory and Honor was shot on location on Baffin Island, near the Arctic Circle. Emulating Henson, Lindo spent a great deal of time with the local Inuit people participating in the film. To show their friendship, the Inuits built an igloo for Lindo. It took them about five hours to build the thing and we slept in it overnight. We had his little gas stove and slept in sleeping bags. It was comfortable. It was amazing, Lindo told King.

Tall and muscular with a hesitant yet direct manner, Lindo has been described by interviewers as a quiet but formidable presence. After living for many years in New Jersey, he and his wife, Nashormeh, an arts educator, make their home in the San Francisco Bay area. Given the quality and quantity of Lindos work, greater notoriety for the actor seems inevitable. Lindo, however, sees fame as secondary to finding challenging roles and performing them well. He told Brewington and Slater of Black Diaspora The best thing I can do is to keep working. And over and above that, to do as excellently in my work as I possibly can. That is my m.o. If I can continue to do work of a certain caliber, Ill be happy.

Sources

Periodicals

BET Weekend Magazine, March 1998, p. 10-14.

Black Diaspora, October/November 1996, p. 27-28.

Boston Globe, May 8, 1994, p. B11, 14; September 12, 1995, p. 25, 28.

Entertainment Weekly, September 15, 1995, p. 85.

Hyde Park Citizen, November 7, 1996, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times TV Times, March 1-7, 1998, p. 4.

Nation, June 20, 1994, p. 882.

New Yorker, March 15, 1993, p. 122.

New York Times, November 9, 1983, p. C23; March 28, 1985, p. C16; March 28, 1988, p. C15; March 31, 1989, p. C3; December 21, 1989, p. C16; March 1, 1993, p. C9; May 8, 1994, sect. 2, p. 19.

Oakland Post, November 17, 1996, p. 5.

People, November 13, 1995, p. 180.

Premiere, June 1994, p. 27.

USA Today, September 18, 1995, p. 4D.

Variety, October 13, 1996, p. 77.

Washington Post, November 17, 1986, p. D1, 3; November 28, 1989, p. C1, 3.

Other

Information also provided by Rogers and Cowan Publicists.

Mary Kalfatovic

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Lindo, Delroy 1952–

Delroy Lindo 1952

Actor

Career Inspired by Travels

Made New York Debut

Appeared in Film

Career in Television

Sources

Delroy Lindo is a busy character actor more interested in challenging roles than in stardom. His self-annihilating performances in films such as Malcolm X, Crooklyn, and Ransom have drawn praise from critics but little attention from the public. On Broadway, his work in August Wilsons drama Joe Turners Come and Gone earned him a Tony Award nomination.

Even though I havent been connected with huge hits, Im very proud of my track record. And Im grateful that I havent been typecast. But whats frustrating about this industry is that youre as good as your last project. The experience you have isnt necessarily cumulative, which is why the need to prove yourself never stops, Lindo told Dan Yakir of the Boston Globe.

To help keep audiences focused on the characters he plays, Lindo does not tell the press much about himself. Overcoming ones self is a big problem. You have to overcome your own presence and try to disappear inside of each role A lot of people dont know me. As a person becomes well known, it becomes a little different, Lindo told Ron Brewington and Les Slater of Black Diaspora. What is known is that Lindo was born near London, England, in 1952, the only child of Jamaican parents. His mother was a nurse; his father was employed at a variety of jobs. Lindos interest in acting began at age five, when he participated in a Nativity play at school. Everybody made a fuss. My teacher praised me, and I had no problem remembering my lines, Lindo told Yakir.

Career Inspired by Travels

Lindo spent his childhood in London but his later years were more peripatetic. During my teens and early twenties my family travelled a great deal. We were back and forth between America, England, and Canada, Lindo told Brewington and Slater. Seeing productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Cyrano de Bergerac on PBS television inspired him to pursue an acting career. In the late 1970s, he attended the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco. Denzel Washington was a fellow student. The curriculum was classically oriented and Lindo honed his skills on Shakespeare and Shaw. I trained and it was very valuable. But then I got disgruntled and upset people by being outspoken. I was not asked to be a member of the company, Lindo told Jay Carr of the Boston Globe.

For the next several years Lindo worked in regional theatres across the United States, building up an impressive list of credits. Notable among his regional appearances was his portrayal of Walter Lee Younger, the lead character in A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberrys drama about a 1950s inner-city black family striving for middle-class comforts, particularly a house in the suburbs. Lindo appeared in the play at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1983. Delroy Lindos Walter Lee Younger (the role originally played by Sidney Poitier) is a man in a frenzy. At first, the actors diction is muffled, but the performance acquires intensity as he prowls the apartment venting his frustration.

At a Glance

Born on November 18, 1952, in Lewisham, near London, England; immigrated to Canada, c. 1967; the only child of Jamaican parents; married Nashormeh Lindo, an educational programs director; children; Damiri. Education: Attended the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA, c. 1977-79.

Career: Actor 1981; Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, member, 1981-82; Actors Theatre of Louisville, member, 1984-85; Arena Stage, DC, guest member, 1987-88.

Awards: Helen Hayes Award nomination, for A Raisin in the Sun, 1987; NAACP Image Award for A Raisin in the Sun, 1987; Antoinette Perry Award, for Joe Turners Come and Cone, 1988; NAACP Image Award nomination, for Ransom and Soul of the Game, 1997; Golden Satellite Award, for Clory and Honor, 1999; Screen Guild Actors Award nomination, for Cider House Rules, 2000.

Addresses: Agent Intl. Creative Mgmt, 8942 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211. PublicistAlan Nierob, Rogers & Cowan, 1888 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

He is unable to keep his shirttails in or his mind on his demeaning duties as a chauffeur. When he finally explodes, he replaces guilt with self-knowledge, banishing cowardice from his house, wrote Mel Gussow of the New York Times.

Mary Alice and Beah Richards co-starred with Lindo in the Yale production, and Courtney B. Vance, then a student at the Yale School of Drama, had a small role. Lloyd Richards, who had directed the plays original Broadway mounting in 1959, was director. You dont have to build a fire under Delroy. The fire is going all the time, Richards told Helen Dudar of the New York Times. Later Lindo toured with A Raisin in the Sun to Washington, D.C., where he earned a nomination for a local acting honor, the Helen Hayes Award; and to Los Angeles, where his performance won a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award.

Made New York Debut

Lindo made his New York debut in Spell Number Seven with the Negro Ensemble Company in 1979, and his Broadway debut in Athol Fugards Master Harold And the Boys in 1982. He also participated in the national tour of the Fugard play. It was his work in August Wilsons Joe Turners Come and Gone in 1988 that brought him to the attention of the New York theatre world. Lindo played Herald Loomis, a resident of a Pittsburgh boardinghouse in 1911, who recounts his seven years of bondage to a Mississippi bounty hunter named Joe Turner. Frank Rich of the New York Times called Lindos performance riveting, adding that Lindo, whose character was once the deacon of the Abundant Light church, gradually metamorphoses from a man whose opaque, defeated blackness signals the extinction of that light into a truly luminous shining man, bathing the entire theater in the abundant ecstasy of his liberation. The sight is indescribably moving. Joe Turners Come and Gone reunited Lindo with director Lloyd Richards. I loved him for the unstinting unfettered investment of self, Richards said to Dudar of Lindos work in the play. Lindo earned a Tony Award nomination in the featured actor in a drama category for his portrayal of Herald Loomis but lost to B.D. Wong in M. Butterfly.

Lindo hoped his much praised work in a highly regarded play would put his career on the fast track but the next offer he received was for a walk on role in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams Orpheus Descending. I was speechless. I couldnt believe they were serious, Lindo told Dudar. Lindo found a more substantive role in Cobb, a drama by Lee Blessing about the white baseball legend Ty Cobb which unsparingly examined Cobbs anger, greed, and racism, as well as his athletic prowess. Cobb was done at the Yale Repertory Theatre in the spring of 1989 and was yet another collaboration with director Lloyd Richards. Josef Sommer played Cobb and Lindo was Oscar Charleston, a great Negro League player known as The Black Cobb. Frank Rich of the New York Times called Lindo a mesmerizing presence as Charleston but added that the burden of representing all victims of racism and segregationin Cobbs society and in baseballrobs the character of his individuality, turning him into a blandly angelic archetype.

Later in 1989, Lindo appeared at Baltimores Center Stage in Miss Everss Boys, a fictionalized account of the real life syphilis experiments performed on a group of Alabama men over a forty year period. In order to chart the degenerative progress of syphilis, curative treatment was withheld from these men, all of whom were black. Lindo played Caleb, the most skeptical of the men and one who was still alive when the government-funded project was exposed to great horror in the 1970s. David Richards of the Washington Post wrote that Lindo invested the role of Caleb with a primal strength and a native intelligence that virtually bristle as he searches for the words to express himself. After seeing his recent performances as Walter Lee in Raisin in the Sun and Herald Loomis in Joe Turners Come and Gone, it seems obvious to me that Lindo is one of the best actors of his generation. Notable among Lindos other stage credits include the role of Cassius in Julius Caesar at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 1991, the title role in Othello at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in 1992, and a portrayal of ragtime music composer Scott Joplin in The Heliotrope Bouquet by Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin at Playwrights Horizons in New York City in 1993. Edith Oliver of The New Yorker called Lindos portrayal of Joplin beautifully modulated.

Appeared in Film

Lindos first film appearance was a bit part as an Army sergeant in More American Graffiti in 1979. He stayed away from movies for more than a decade, then, in the early 1990s, returned to the screen in small roles in several films including Mountains of the Moon, a story of the search for source of the Nile starring Patrick Bergin, Bright Angel, a drama about teenage runaways with Dermot Mulroney and Sam Shepard, and The Hard Way, an action comedy with Michael J. Fox and James Woods. It was Lindos work as the numbers runner West Indian Archie in Spike Lees epic Malcolm X, released in 1992, that put his film career in high gear. Lee had been impressed by Lindos stage work in Joe Turners Come and Gone and had offered him a part in his earlier movie Do the Right Thing. However, the two did not work until Malcolm X. A Method actor, Lindo spent time with Harlem numbers runners in order to get a better sense of the character he was to play. Delroy just inhabits his roles, Lee told Tim Appelo of Entertainment Weekly.

Lindo has appeared in two more Spike Lee films and he credits Lee with giving his film career its major boost. Spike is obviously a complicated man but I actually think he has a sweet side. Im not saying hes a sweet man. But the better you get to know him, the more you see it. He has come through for me, Lindo told Yakir. One of Lindos biggest film roles so far came in Lees Crooklyn, a wistful and loosely autobiographical story of growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s, co-written by Lee and his two of his siblings. Lindo played Woody Carmichael, a talented but struggling jazz musician torn between his dedication to music and his responsibilities to his large, rambunctious family. Alfre Woodard co-starred as Woodys more practical wife. I perceived the movie as an ultimate story focusing on the family. When was the last time you saw a film about a regular black family going through life? There are no car chases, no sexjust members of a clan coexisting. And I really find that exciting. The media show a certain image of black people, but in reality, when you look at black people, you see that you run the gamut, Lindo told Yakir. Stuart Klawans of The Nation wrote that Woody is played as a thoughtful, sweetnatured man who is outwardly strong but inwardly uncertaina marvelous creation by Delroy Lindo.

In 1995, Lindo and Lee reteamed in a very different film, Clockers, a gritty look at urban violence also featuring Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, and Mekhi Phifer. Lindo played Rodney, the neighborhood drug lord who employs children in his street dealing. It was real interesting, because this cat is a cat who is a very charming man on many levels and loves to laugh and have a good time, Lindo explained to Andy Seller of USA Today. He knows everybody in his community and everybody knows him. This is a man who considers himself an entrepreneur. Hes a barber. He has a store that he runs. If he could make the kind of immediate money doing real estate that he makes selling drugs, he would do that. If he could make that kind of money cutting hair, he would do that. Rodney Little is no a drug kingpin. This is a man who controls three and half blocksliterally. Its a very lurid and small and petty situation.

Although Lindo has been working almost constantly in films since he made Malcolm X, he finds the roles offered to a black actor to be of a generally low quality. What else is new? This is America. Anybody with half a brain in his head knows what the issues are. Do I get offered the things that I should be offered? Am I satisfied? No, Im not satisfied. Im deeply dissatisfied, Lindo told Michael E. Ross of BET Weekend. The Sam Jacksons and Wesley Snipeses and Denzel Washingtons and Laurence Fishburnes and Mekhi PhifersId bet we all suffer a deep dissatisfaction with the things were offered. But were in it. Were doing it. Were attempting to move forward. For myself, its of no interest to me to involve myself in a conversation about the inequities of Hollywood unless I can offer something to change it. Lindo thinks the best way to change the situation is for black performers, directors, and writers to develop their own projects and he is interested in someday becoming a director.

Lindo found his supporting role in the Ron Howard-directed kidnap drama Ransom, a somewhat refreshing change. He played an FBI officer investigating the abduction of a wealthy businessmans son. Mel Gibson starred. What was interesting in Ransom was that, for a black man to get the responsibility of cracking the case in the film, it suggested a very senior FBI officer. I saw him as someone whod come up through the ranks. So I created a biography for the character. You want to try to get as close to what you perceive the circumstances of a characters life are, Lindo explained to Ross about his work in the 1995 film.

The quirky 1997 comedy A Life Less Ordinary, directed by Danny Boyle who had made a big splash the previous year with Trainspotting, offered an even bigger change of pace for Lindo. In this British-American production, Lindo and Holly Hunter portrayed angels sent to earth to promote love and harmony. They do so by having an angry young janitor (Ewan McGregor) with outlandish dreams accidentally kidnap a discontent heiress (Cameron Diaz).

Career in Television

Television films have given Lindo the opportunity to portray two notable figures in African-American history. In the 1996 HBO film Soul of the Game, Lindo was Satchel Paige, legendary pitcher in the Negro baseball leagues. Reuben Cannon, a producer and casting director who worked on Soul of the Game, told Ross that Lindos talent is enormous. And he has yet to be challenged on screen the way he has been on stage.

In Glory and Honor, a 1998 Turner Network film directed by Kevin Hooks, Lindo played Arctic explorer Matthew Henson who accompanied Robert E. Peary on his 1909 expedition to the North Pole. Hired as a valet by Peary in 1890s, Henson became Pearys indispensable right hand man and should, many historians believe, be credited as co-discoverer of the North Pole. Henson died in obscurity in 1955 after working as a custodian. I think the experience for Matthew Henson represented some discovery of himself, an affirmation of himself as a human being. I think, at least initially, he felt that achieving the Pole would allow him an escape from the restraints of how he was looked on as a black man. Of course, that didnt happen, Lindo told Susan King of the Los Angeles Times TV Times. Glory and Honor was shot on location on Baffin Island, near the Arctic Circle. Emulating Henson, Lindo spent a great deal of time with the local Inuit people participating in the film. To show their friendship, the Inuits built an igloo for Lindo. It took them about five hours to build the thing and we slept in it overnight. We had his little gas stove and slept in sleeping bags. It was comfortable. It was amazing, Lindo told King.

Lindo continued to play a variety of roles in theater, film, and television, into the new century. Some of his significant roles included a cider house foreman who impregnates his own daughter in Cider House Rules (1999), a mob boss in Romeo Must Die (2000), a thief in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) and Heist (2001), and an earth scientist in The Core (2003). About the variety of his work, Lindo told Ebony, Im very proud of my roles. I enjoy the ability to touch millions of people and, in some way, connect with them in ways that I cannot connect with them in my normal, everyday life.

Tall and muscular with a hesitant yet direct manner, Lindo has been described by interviewers as a quiet but formidable presence. After living for many years in New Jersey, he and his wife, Nashormeh, an arts educator, make their home in the San Francisco Bay area. Given the quality and quantity of Lindos work, greater notoriety for the actor seems inevitable. Lindo, however, sees fame as secondary to finding challenging roles and performing them well. He told Brewington and Slater of Black Diaspora: The best thing I can do is to keep working. And over and above that, to do as excellently in my work as I possibly can. That is my m.o. If I can continue to do work of a certain caliber, Ill be happy.

Sources

Periodicals

BET Weekend Magazine, March 1998, p. 10-4.

Black Diaspora, October/November 1996, p. 27-8.

Boston Globe, May 8, 1994, p. Bll, 14; September 12, 1995, p. 25, 28.

Ebony, August 2002, p. 146-7.

Entertainment Weekly, September 15, 1995, p. 85.

Hyde Park Citizen, November 7, 1996, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times TV Times, March 1-7,1998, p. 4.

Nation, June 20, 1994, p. 882.

New Yorker, March 15, 1993, p. 122; November 3, 1997, p. 114; November 12, 2001, p. 138.

New York Times, November 9, 1983, p. C23; March 28, 1985, p. C16; March 28, 1988, p. C15; March 31, 1989, p. C3; December 21, 1989, p. C16; March 1, 1993, p. C9; May 8, 1994, sect. 2, p. 19.

Oakland Post, November 17, 1996, p. 5.

People, November 13, 1995, p. 180.

Premiere, June 1994, p. 27.

USA Today, September 18, 1995, p. 4D.

Variety, October 13, 1996, p. 77; September 13, 1999, p. 48; March 20, 2000, p. 25.

Washington Post, November 17, 1986, p. Dl, 3; November 28, 1989, p. Cl, 3.

Other

Information also provided by Rogers and Cowan Publicists.

Tom and Sara Pendergast

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Lindo, Delroy 1952–

LINDO, Delroy 1952–

PERSONAL

Born November 18, 1952, in Lewisham, London, England (some sources cite Eltham, London, England); immigrated to Canada, c. 1967; father worked various jobs; mother, a nurse; married Neshormeh (an educator and program director); children: Damiri (son). Education: American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA, graduated, 1979; also studied at the Actors Studio. Avocational Interests: Soccer.

Addresses:

Agent—Endeavor, 9601 Wilshire Blvd., Third Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Manager—Rigberg–Rugolo Entertainment, 1180 South Beverly Dr., Suite 601, Los Angeles, CA 90035.

Career:

Actor, producer, and director. Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee, WI, member of company, 1981–82; Actors Theatre of Louisville, Louisville, KY, member of company, 1984–85; Arena Stage, Washington, DC, guest artist, 1987–88. Also worked as a teacher of the mentally disabled, New York City, and as a cab driver, a telemarketer, and in a restaurant.

Awards, Honors:

Helen Hayes Award, 1986, and Image Award, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1987, both for A Raisin in the Sun; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actor in a featured dramatic role, 1988, for Joe Turner's Come and Gone; Image Award, c. 1992, for Malcolm X; Image Award, c. 1994, for Crooklyn; Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture, 1997, for Ransom; Image Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a television movie or mini-series, 1997, for Soul of the Game; Golden Satellite Award, International Press Academy, best performance by an actor in a miniseries or television movie, 1999, for Glory & Honor; Sierra Award nomination, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, best supporting actor, and Black Reel Award nomination, best supporting actor in a theatrical film, both 2000, for The Cider House Rules; Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a miniseries or television movie, Black Reel Award nomination, best actor in a network or cable program, and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination (with others), outstanding cast in a theatrical motion picture, all 2000, for Strange Justice.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

Sam, Find the Lady (also known as Call the Cops! and Kopek and Broom), 1976.

Prisoner, Voice of the Fugitive (also known as Frontiere de la liberte), 1978.

Army sergeant, More American Graffiti (also known as Purple Haze), Universal, 1979.

Mabruki, Mountains of the Moon, TriStar, 1990.

Mbulu, The Blood of Heroes (also known as The Salute of the Jugger and Salute to the Jugger), Filmpac, 1990.

Captain Brix, The Hard Way, Universal, 1991.

Harley, Bright Angel, Hemdale Releasing, 1991.

West Indian Archie, Malcolm X (also known as X), Warner Bros., 1992.

Bonafide, Bound by Honor (also known as Blood In, Blood Out and Blood In, Blood Out … Bound by Honor), Buena Vista, 1993.

Howard, Mr. Jones, TriStar, 1993.

Woody Carmichael, Crooklyn, Universal, 1994.

L'exil du roi Behanzin, 1994.

Bo Catlett, Get Shorty, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer/United Artists, 1995.

(Uncredited) Captain Wanta, Congo, Paramount, 1995.

Rodney Little, Clockers, Universal, 1995.

Agent Lonnie Hawkins, Ransom, Buena Vista, 1996.

Colonel Max Wilkins, Broken Arrow, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1996.

Red, Feeling Minnesota, Fine Line, 1996.

Jackson, A Life Less Ordinary, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1997.

(Uncredited) Phillipe Moyez, The Devil's Advocate (also known as Im Auftrag des Teufels), Warner Bros., 1997.

Kyle, Pros and Cons, New Line Home Video, 1999.

Mr. Rose, The Cider House Rules, Miramax, 1999.

Detective Roland Castlebeck, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Buena Vista, 2000.

Isaak O'Day, Romeo Must Die, Warner Bros., 2000.

Agent Harry Roedecker, The One (also known as Jet Li's "The One"), Columbia, 2001.

Bobby "Bob" Blane, Heist (also known as Le vol), Warner Bros., 2001.

General Wheeler, The Last Castle, DreamWorks, 2001.

The professor, The Book of Stars, Showcase Entertainment, 2001.

Dennis, Wondrous Oblivion, Momentum, 2003.

Dr. Ed "Braz" Brazleton, The Core (also known as Core), Paramount, 2003.

General Zateb Kazim (some sources cite role of Carl), Sahara, Paramount, 2005.

Domino, New Line Cinema, 2005.

Hounddog, Full Moon, c. 2005.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Voice, Baseball (also known as The History of Baseball), PBS, 1994.

Voice, Jazz, PBS, 2001.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Assistant district attorney Berger, Perfect Witness, HBO, 1989.

Kingman, The Winner, The Movie Channel, 1996.

Satchel Paige, Soul of the Game (also known as Baseball in Black and White and Field of Honour), HBO, 1996.

John Calhoun, First–Time Felon, HBO, 1997.

Matthew Henson, Glory & Honor, TNT, 1998.

Clarence Thomas, Strange Justice, Showtime, 1999.

Ricardo Thornton, Profoundly Normal (also known as Le droit a la difference), CBS, 2003.

Delbert, The Exonerated, Court TV, 2005.

Lackawanna Blues, HBO, 2005.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Interviewer, Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee, Independent Film Channel, 1999.

Interviewer, Delroy Lindo in Conversation with Charles Burnett, Showtime, 2000.

Himself, Hollywood High, American Movie Classics, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 42nd Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1988.

Presenter, The 2000 Essence Awards, Fox, 2000.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Issac Stubbs, "No Way Down," Beauty and the Beast, CBS, 1987.

Issac Stubbs, "Terrible Savior," Beauty and the Beast, CBS, 1987.

Mark Slater, "Vendetta," A Man Called Hawk, ABC, 1989.

Roger, Going to Extremes, ABC, c. 1992.

Guest, The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, 1996.

Guest, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1996.

Guest, Howard Stern, E! Entertainment Television, 2000.

Himself, "The Films of Spike Lee," The Directors, Encore, c. 2000.

Himself, Aaliyah: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

Voice of the angel Gabriel, "Brawl in the Family," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 2002.

Guest, Dinner for Five, Independent Film Channel, 2004.

Television Work; Specials:

Creator and executive producer, Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee, Independent Film Channel, 1999.

Creator, executive producer, and director, Delroy Lindo in Conversation with Charles Burnett, Showtime, 2000.

Stage Appearances:

Of Mice and Men, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1975–76.

Spell Number 7, Negro Ensemble Company, New York City, 1979.

Macbeth, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cincinnati, OH, 1981–82.

Willie, Master Harold … and the Boys, Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 1983.

Walter Lee Younger, A Raisin in the Sun, Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1983–84.

Home, Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, CT, 1983–84.

A Lesson from Aloes, Virginia Stage Company, Norfolk, VA, 1983–84.

Friar Francis, Much Ado about Nothing, Shakespeare and Company, Lenox, MA, 1985.

Union Boys, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1985–86.

Herald Loomis, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA, 1986–87, then Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, 1987–88, later Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1988.

Oscar Charleston, Cobb, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1988–89.

Caleb Humphries, Miss Evers' Boys, Center Stage, Baltimore, MD, 1989–90.

Caius Cassius, Julius Caesar, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1990–91.

Title role, Othello, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland, OH, 1992–93.

Scott Joplin, The Heliotrope Bouquet by Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin, Playwrights' Horizons Theatre, New York City, 1993.

Title role, Othello, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 1998.

Appeared off–Broadway in Les Blancs.

Major Tours:

Willie, Master Harold … and the Boys, U.S. cities, 1983.

Walter Lee Younger, A Raisin in the Sun, U.S. cities, 1986–87.

Radio Appearances; Episodic:

Guest, The Howard Stern Radio Show, 2000.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

The Cider House Rules: The Making of an American Classic, Miramax, 1999.

Jet Li Is "The One," Columbia/TriStar Home Video, 2002.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 45, Gale, 2004.

Periodicals:

Boston Globe, May 8, 1994, p. B11.

Current Biography, March, 2001, pp. 28–34.

Ebony, August, 2002, pp. 146–52.

Entertainment Weekly, September 15, 1995, p. 85.

New York Times, May 8, 1994, section 2, p. 19.

People Weekly, November 13, 1995, p. 180.

Premiere, June, 1994, p. 27.

USA Today, September 18, 1995, p. 4D.

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"Lindo, Delroy 1952–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Lindo, Delroy 1952–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 29, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/lindo-delroy-1952-0

"Lindo, Delroy 1952–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved April 29, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/lindo-delroy-1952-0