Glynn Turman

Glynn Russell Turman (born January 31, 1947) is an American stage, television, and film actor as well as a writer, director, and producer. Turman is known for his roles as Lew Miles on the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place (1968–69), high school student Leroy "Preach" Jackson in the 1975 coming-of-age film Cooley High, math professor and retired Army colonel Bradford Taylor on the NBC sitcom A Different World (1988–93), and fictional Baltimore mayor Clarence Royce on the HBO drama series The Wire. He recently portrayed Jeremiah Kaan on the Showtime series House of Lies.

Glynn Turman
Turman in 2007
Born (1947-01-31) January 31, 1947
  • Actor
  • director
  • writer
Years active1959–present
Known forLeroy "Preach" Jackson – Cooley High
Colonel Bradford Taylor – A Different World
Clarence RoyceThe Wire
Ula M. Walker
(m. 1965; div. 1971)

Aretha Franklin
(m. 1978; div. 1984)

Jo-Ann Allen
(m. 1992)


Turman had his first prominent acting role at the age of 12 as Travis Younger in the original Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic A Raisin in the Sun, opposite Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett Jr., Lonne Elder III, John Fiedler and Diana Sands. While he did not play the role when it transferred to film in 1961, he intensified his studies at Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. 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 Parent 'Hood, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and The Wayans Bros, among others. He also directed during his seasons of steady employment on A Different World, in which he played the role of Colonel Taylor for five seasons; from 1988 until 1993.

Turman began his film career in the 1970s with such blaxploitation flicks as Five on the Black Hand Side (1973), Thomasine & Bushrod (1974) and Together Brothers (1974), then progressed to roles in Cooley High (1975), plus The River Niger (1976), J. D.'s Revenge (1976) and A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich (1978). TV movies included Carter's Army, the prestigious Centennial, Attica, and Minstrel Man, 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 in 1994, Buffalo Soldiers and Freedom Song. More notable films include Penitentiary II (1982), Gremlins (1984), Deep Cover (1992), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Men of Honor (2000), Sahara (2005), Kings of the Evening (2007), Burlesque (2010) and Super 8 (2011). In 2004, he joined the hit HBO series The Wire portraying the recurring role of Mayor Clarence Royce, becoming a full-time regular in 2006. His portrayal of Mayor Royce has given him an NAACP Image award nomination for Outstanding Support Actor in a Drama Series for the 2007 awards ceremony.[1] Since The Wire, Turman guest-starred as a patient in the Scrubs episode "My Last Words". Turman's other television appearances include Hawaii Five-O (as Harley Dartson, 1973, S6/Ep7 - Tricks Are Not Treats), the Twilight Zone segment "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (co-starring Danny Kaye with a script by Harlan Ellison), Matlock, Millennium, and the sitcom All of Us. In 2008, he won a Primetime Emmy award for his guest appearance on the HBO series In Treatment. He appeared in the ABC series Detroit 1-8-7. He is currently performing and producing a one-man show, Movin' Man, about his life and plans a book as well.

Turman was almost cast for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars. In a 2007 interview, Turman recalled: "That was in George Lucas' book. Apparently George Lucas had me in mind for the role, and then thought that there might be too much controversy between a white Princess Leia and a black Han Solo – because those were the times – and he didn't want to get into that. At the time, I had no idea. I just went to the audition, did it and got out of there."[2] In 2012, he began starring in House of Lies on Showtime as the father of the characters played by Don Cheadle and Larenz Tate. In 2016, he appeared in the Oprah Winfrey Network tv show Queen Sugar in which he played the father, Ernest Bordelon. The character died in season one, episode one. In

In 2017, Turman was cast as Nate Lahey Sr in 10 episodes, seasons 4 and 5 of the ABC drama How to Get Away With Murder. His character was the imprisoned father of Nate Lahey (Billy Brown) a former police officer, detective and lover to series star Annalise Keating (Viola Davis). Keating made Turman's character the face of a class action U.S Supreme Court case of mistreatment of minorities in the criminal justice system. The court found Lahey Sr to be mentally ill and during transfer to a mental facility he was shot and killed.

2018, Turman appeared on the Legal Drama Suits as Vic.

Personal life

Turman was born in New York City, New York, in 1947. According to a DNA analysis, Turman shares maternal ancestry with the Edo people of Nigeria.[3] Turman was married to Ula M. Walker from 1965 until 1971. Together, Turman and Walker had three children. Turman married singer Aretha Franklin on April 11, 1978, at her father's (C. L. Franklin) New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Turman and Franklin separated in 1982 and divorced in 1984. Since 1992, Turman has been married to Jo-Ann Allen.



Year Title Role Notes
1970 Carter's Army Pvt. George Brightman TV Movie
1971 Honky Sailor at bus station
1972 A.W.O.L. Mohammed G.
1973 Five on the Black Hand Side Gideon Brooks
1974 Thomasine & Bushrod Jomo J. Anderson
1974 Together Brothers Dr. Johnson
1975 Cooley High Preach
1976 The River Niger Jeff Williams
1976 J. D.'s Revenge Isaac
1977 The Serpent's Egg Monroe
1978 A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Nigeria
1980 Attica Raymond Franklin TV Movie
1981 Thornwell James Thornwell TV Movie
1982 Penitentiary II Charles Johnson
1984 Gremlins Roy Hanson
1986 Out of Bounds Lieutenant Delgado
1992 Deep Cover Russell Stevens Sr.
1994 The Inkwell Spencer Phillips
1996 Subterfuge Stallworth Hubbs
1997 Buffalo Soldiers Sgt. Joshua 'Joyu' Judges Ruth TV Movie
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Dr. Shakespeare
1999 Light It Up Principal Allan Armstrong
2000 Freedom Song T-Bone Lanier
2000 The Visit Parole Board Member Reingold
2000 Men of Honor Chief Floyd
2001 Fire & Ice Robert Aimes Sr. TV Movie
2004 The Seat Filler Derrick's Dad
2005 Sahara Dr. Frank Hopper
2007 City Teacher Kevin Sawyer
2007 Kings of the Evening Clarence Brown
2009 Preaching to the Pastor Bishop Hightower
2010 Takers Chief Detective Duncan
2010 Burlesque Harold Saint
2011 Super 8 Dr. Woodward
2012 John Dies at the End Detective Appleton
2012 Who Killed Soul Glow?
2012 The Obama Effect Slim Sugar
2012 The Pastor's Secrets
2013 Act Like You Love Me David
2014 Dakota's Summer Isaac Benson
2016 Race Harry Davis
2018 Solace Clay
2018 Bumblebee General Whalen
2019 Sextuplets Leland
2019 Windows on the World Lou
2019 Justine Papa Don
2020 Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Toledo Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1968-1969 Peyton Place Lew Miles 37 episodes
1969 Julia Jimmy James 2 episodes
1975 The Blue Knight Edwin Beall Season 1, Episode 1: "Pilot"
1978 The Paper Chase Raymond Livingston Season 1, Episode 9: "Moot Court"[4]
1978-1979 Centennial Nate Person 5 episodes
1984 Fantasy Island Joe Wilson Season 7, Episode 21: "Bojangles and the Dancer/Deuces Are Wild"
1984 T. J. Hooker Norman Powell Season 4, Episode 5: "Anatomy of a Killing"
1985-1989 Murder, She Wrote Earl Browder / Stan Lassiter / Ben Coleman 3 episodes
1986 The Redd Foxx Show Rod Tyler Season 1, Episode 2: "High School Blues"
1987 Matlock Maj. Dennis Orlando 2 episodes
1988-1993 A Different World Colonel Bradford Taylor 68 episodes
2000-2002 Resurrection Blvd. Bobby Davis 7 episodes
2004-2005 The Bernie Mac Show Carl McCullough 2 episodes
2004-2008 The Wire Mayor Clarence V. Royce 22 episodes
2008-2009 In Treatment Alex Prince, Sr. 4 episodes
2009 ‘’Scrubs’’ George Valentine Season 8, Episode 2: "My Last Words"
2010-2011 The Defenders Judge Bob Owens 5 episodes
2012 NCIS: Los Angeles James Pierce Season 4, Episode 5: "Out of the Past"
2012-2016 House of Lies Jeremiah Kaan 51 episodes
2013 Criminal Minds Charles Johnson Season 9, Episode 9: "Strange Fruit"
2015 Proof Colonel James Tyler Season 1, Episode 7: "St. Luke's"
2016 Queen Sugar Ernest Bordelon 2 episodes
2018-2019 How to Get Away with Murder Nate Lahey Sr. 8 episodes
2019 Claws Calvin Sims 2 episodes
2019 Power Uncle Gabriel 1 episode
2020 Fargo Doctor Senator[5]


  1. "2007 Image Award nominees and winners". Hollywood Reporter. The Nielsen Company. 1 March 2007. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
  2. Holan, Curt (2012). "Glynn Turman: Character actor brings star power to Atlanta". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  3. Glynn Turman Ancestry Reveal on YouTube
  4. The Paper Chase, Season 1, Episode 9, "Moot Court" (YouTube)
  5. Petski, Denise (September 3, 2019). "'Fargo': Glynn Turman To Recur In Season 4 Of FX Series". Deadline. Retrieved September 3, 2019.


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