Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: August 14, 1951

Age: 72 years old

Birth Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota

A quiet yet powerful actor, Lumbly has risen from playing the decidedly supporting--almost background--role of Detective Marcus Petrie on "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1982-88) to essaying numerous secondary and leading parts in TV and films. Raised in Minneapolis by Jamaican immigrant parents, Lumbly's first break came in 1976 when he appeared opposite Danny Glover in two plays by Athol Fugard, "Sizwe Banzi is Dead" and "The Island." He later toured in this double bill. Among his other stage credits are "The Tempest" (1981) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1988) at the New York Shakespeare Festival and "The Gospel at Colonus" (1983).

Lumbly made his film debut as an inmate in Don Siegel's "Escape From Alcatraz" (1979). He went on to appear in forgettable fare ("Caveman" 1981) and cult favorites ("The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension" 1984) before earning praise for his performance as a football hero in Taylor Hackford's "Everybody's All-American" (1988). In Charles Burnett's "To Sleep With Anger" (1990), he was the hardworking, successful Junior resentful of his younger brother (Richard Brooks). Later that same year, he was the tenant displaced in favor of psycho Michael Keaton in John Schlesinger's "Pacific Heights." In Steve Anderson's "South Central" (1992), Lumbly was Ali, an older, Muslim convict who acts as mentor to a fellow convict (Glenn Plummer).

On TV, Lumbly played a local clergyman in the biopic of a Gary Rowe Jr who went "Undercover With the KKK" (NBC, 1979) before appearing as Petrie in the TV-movie "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1981) which spawned the series. For six years, he appeared in support of Tyne Daly and the three actresses who played her partner (Loretta Swit in the original, Meg Foster in the first season, and Sharon Gless). He reprised the role in four reunion specials that aired between 1994 and 1996. In 1985, Lumbly recreated his stage role as Theseus in the PBS production of "The Gospel at Colonus" and went on to play Bobby Seale in "Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago Eight" (HBO, 1987) and slave uprising leader Denmark Vesey in "Brother Future" (PBS, 1991). Other series work included a recurring role as a professor accused of murder on "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1989-90), the chief administrator of a Caribbean medical school in "Going to Extremes" (ABC, 1992-93) and the paraplegic man who becomes a superhero through technology in "M.A.N.T.I.S." (Fox, 1994). The latter series was low-rated, but pleas from groups wanting positive Black adult roles in a drama convinced the Fox network to keep it on. Eventually, it became a ratings victim. Lumbly also appeared opposite Diana Ross in her TV-movie debut, "Out of Darkness" (ABC, 1994). He was one of a number of leading African American stars in "America's Dream" (HBO, 1996), a collection of three short pieces about African American life. Lumbly is married to actress Vonetta McGee who appeared as his wife on "Cagney and Lacey" and in "To Sleep With Anger."

Credits

Captain America: Brave New World

Actor
Isaiah Bradley
Movie
2025

The Fall of the House of UsherStream

Actor
C. Auguste Dupin
Series
2023
90%

I'm Charlie Walker

Actor
Willie
Movie
2022

The Falcon and the Winter SoldierStream

Guest Star
Isaiah Bradley
Miniseries
2021
85%

Doctor SleepStream

Actor
Dick Hallorann
Movie
2019
78%

God Friended MeStream

Guest Star
Alphonse
Series
2018
59%

S.W.A.T.Stream

Guest Star
Saint
Series
2017

DoubtStream

Guest Star
Tyson Cobb
Series
2017
55%

This Is UsStream

Guest Star
Abe
Series
2016
94%

A Cure for Wellness

Actor
Wilson
Movie
2016

SupergirlStream

Guest Star
Myr'nn
Series
2015
88%

ZooStream

Guest Star
Series
2015
82%

UnREALStream

Guest Star
Dr. Henry Carter
Series
2015
80%

Justice League: Doom

Voice
Martian Manhunter / Ma'alefa'ak
Movie
2012

Black Panther

Actor
Uncle S'Yan
Show
2011

Detroit 1-8-7Stream

Guest Star
Series
2010
81%

Black Panther: The Animated Series

Voice
Uncle S'Yan
Show
2010

Trauma

Guest Star
Show
2009

NCIS: Los AngelesStream

Guest Star
Retired Navy Captain Charles Langston
Series
2009

SouthlandStream

Guest Star
Joel Rucker
Series
2009
90%

Immigrants

Voice
Movie
2008

ChuckStream

Guest Star
Series
2007
90%

Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation

Actor
Movie
2007

Criminal MindsStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

Grey's AnatomyStream

Guest Star
Series
2005
84%

Battlestar GalacticaStream

Actor
Lt. Danny "Bulldog" Novacek
Series
2005
95%

Battlestar GalacticaStream

Guest Star
Lt. Danny "Bulldog" Novacek
Series
2005
95%

Justice League UnlimitedStream

Voice
J'onn J'onzz
Series
2004

Cold CaseStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

NCISStream

Guest Star
Navy Rear Adm. Beau Hindley
Series
2003

Sounder

Actor
The Father
Movie
2003

Just a Dream

Actor
J.M. Hoagland
Movie
2002

Justice LeagueStream

Actor
Series
2001

AliasStream

Actor
Marcus Dixon
Series
2001
86%

Night Visions

Actor
Show
2001

Kate Brasher

Guest Star
Show
2001

Static Shock

Guest Voice
Show
2000

The Color of Friendship

Actor
Ron Dellums
Movie
2000

Little Richard

Actor
Bud Penniman
Movie
2000

Men of HonorStream

Actor
Mac Brashear
Movie
2000
42%

The West WingStream

Guest Star
Jeff Breckenridge
Series
1999
81%

Family Law

Guest Star
Series
1999

Any Day Now

Guest Star
Series
1998

The Wedding

Actor
Lute McNeil
Show
1998

The Magnificent SevenStream

Guest Star
Series
1998
33%

Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero

Actor
Additional Voices
Movie
1998

How Stella Got Her Groove BackStream

Actor
Judge Spencer Boyle
Movie
1998
50%

The Ditchdigger's Daughters

Actor
Donald Thornton
Movie
1997

Buffalo SoldiersStream

Actor
Horse
Movie
1997

EZ Streets

Guest Star
Show
1996

Lazarus Man

Guest Star
Show
1996

Nightjohn

Actor
John
Movie
1996

America's Dream

Actor
Cal
Movie
1996

Touched by an AngelStream

Guest Star
Series
1994

ERStream

Guest Star
Dr. Graham Baker
Series
1994

Chicago Hope

Guest Star
Series
1994

M.A.N.T.I.S.Stream

Actor
Series
1994
45%

Out of Darkness

Actor
Addison
Movie
1994

On Promised Land

Actor
Floyd Ween
Movie
1994

Cagney & Lacey: The Return

Actor
Marcus Petrie
Movie
1994

M.A.N.T.I.S.

Actor
Dr. Miles Hawkins
Movie
1994

The X-FilesStream

Guest Star
Marcus Duff
Series
1993
74%

Back to the Streets of San Francisco

Actor
Charlie Walker
Movie
1992

South CentralStream

Actor
Ali
Movie
1992
100%

Brother Future

Actor
Denmark Vesey
Movie
1991

Eyes of a Witness

Actor
Mambulu
Movie
1991

To Sleep With Anger

Actor
Junior
Movie
1990

Pacific HeightsStream

Actor
Lou Baker
Movie
1990
52%

Everybody's All-American

Actor
Narvel Blue
Movie
1988

Judgment in BerlinStream

Actor
Edwin Palmer
Movie
1988
20%

Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8

Actor
Bobby Seale
Movie
1987

The Bedroom Window

Actor
Detective Quirke
Movie
1987

American MastersStream

Narrator
Franchise
1986

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensionStream

Actor
John Parker
Movie
1984
66%

Cagney & LaceyStream

Actor
Det. Mark Petrie
Series
1982

Cagney & Lacey

Actor
Mark Petrie
Movie
1981

Caveman

Actor
Bork
Movie
1981

Lifepod

Actor
Keshah
Movie
1980

The JeffersonsStream

Guest Star
Jimmy
Series
1975

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