David Alan Grier

David Alan Grier Headshot

Actor • Comedian

Birth Date: June 30, 1956

Age: 67 years old

Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan

Actor David Alan Grier turned from early dramatic roles to carve out a decades-long career in comedy. A Detroit native, he found acclaim early on the New York stage, earning a Tony nomination for playing baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the musical "The First." He moved onto film acting with a role in Robert Altman's Vietnam drama "Streamers" (1983). He later joined the cast of Norman Jewison's critically acclaimed "A Soldier's Story" (1984), playing a role that he had done on stage in Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize winning play. He began moving towards comedy with his next role opposite Rip Torn and Loretta Swit in "Beer" (1985). After appearing in the short-lived sitcom "All Is Forgiven" (NBC, 1986), Grier began a run of supporting roles in films like "From the Hip" (1987) and "Amazon Women on the Moon" (1987), and television shows such as "A Different World" (NBC, 1987-93), "ALF" (NBC,1986-90), and "Tour of Duty" (CBS, 1987-90). A small role in the action-spoof comedy "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988) brought him into the circle of actor/director/producer Keenan Ivory Wayans. Grier's relationship with Wayans and his siblings would prove to be extremely fruitful. He joined the cast of Wayans' influential sketch comedy show "In Living Color" (Fox, 1990-94) at the show's inception, and was one of the few performers to stay for the show's entire run. With his profile raised, he filmed a cameo for Altman's black comedy "The Player" (1992) before embarking on a successful run of supporting parts in films like "Boomerang" (1992), alongside Eddie Murphy, "Blankman" (1994), with Damon Wayans, and "In the Army Now" (1994), opposite Pauly Shore. He also played a recurring character on Martin Lawrence's hit sitcom, "Martin" (Fox, 1992-97). After "In Living Color" ended, he appeared on film in the Robin Williams' blockbuster "Jumanji" (1995), as well as the film adaption of the 1960s sitcom "McHale's Navy" (1997). On TV, he starred in the short-lived sitcoms "The Preston Episodes" (Fox, 1995) and "Damon" (Fox, 1998), again with Damon Wayans. He found more sustained success with "Life With Bonnie" (ABC, 2002-04) and a recurring role on "My Wife and Kids" (ABC, 2001-05). He enjoyed something of a resurgence in the 2010s, starting with a starring role opposite Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson in "Peeples" (2013). He landed the role of the Cowardly Lion in the television musical "The Wiz Live!" (NBC, 2015), and joined the cast of Jerrod Carmichael's edgy sitcom "The Carmichael Show" (NBC, 2015-17), playing the main character's opinionated father. Similar to "The Wiz," Grier played Santa Claus in the TV musical "A Christmas Story Live!" (Fox, 2017). He subsequently joined the cast of "The Cool Kids" (Fox, 2018-) playing a retiree opposite fellow veteran performers Vicki Lawrence and Martin Mull.

Credits

The American Society of Magical Negroes

Actor
Roger
Movie
2024

2023 Back That Year Up with Kevin Hart and Kenan ThompsonStream

Guest
Special
2023

St. Denis Medical

Actor
Ron
Series
2023

The Color PurpleStream

Actor
Reverend Avery
Movie
2023
82%

They Cloned TyroneStream

Actor
The Preacher
Movie
2023
95%

Candy Cane LaneStream

Actor
Santa Claus
Movie
2023
46%

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th CelebrationStream

Actor
Cogsworth
Special
2022

The PatientStream

Actor
Charlie
Series
2022
89%

Joe PickettStream

Actor
Vern Dunnegan
Series
2021

Joe Pickett: Extras

Actor
Show
2021

Meu Pai e Outros Vexames - The Afterparty

Actor
Show
2021

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!Stream

Actor
Pops Dixon
Series
2021
25%

Banfield

Guest
News
2021

The Netflix Afterparty

Guest
Show
2021

Clifford the Big Red DogStream

Actor
Packard
Movie
2021
58%

GMA3: What You Need to Know

Guest
Show
2020

Coffee & Kareem

Actor
Captain Hill
Movie
2020

All About All in the Family and The Jeffersons

Guest
Show
2019

Today With Hoda & Jenna

Guest
Show
2019

Today 3rd Hour

Guest
Show
2018

Busy Tonight

Guest
Talk
2018

The Cool KidsStream

Actor
Hank
Series
2018
75%

GMA Day

Guest
News
2018

The Cool Kids: Extras

Actor
Show
2018

The ResidentStream

Guest Star
Lamar Broome
Series
2018

Arizona

Actor
Coburn
Movie
2018

Sprinter

Actor
Coach Miller
Movie
2018

Access Live

Guest
Show
2017

Funny You Should AskStream

Guest
Game Show
2017

Snap Decision

Host
Show
2017

Live with Kelly and Ryan

Guest
Talk
2017

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsStream

Actor
Hal
Series
2017
96%

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsStream

Guest Star
Hal
Series
2017
96%

The Big SickStream

Actor
Andy Dodd
Movie
2017
98%

Jingle Ballin'

Actor
Collin
Show
2016

Today's Take

Guest
Show
2016

Black and WhiteStream

Guest
Talk
2016

Match GameStream

Guest
Game Show
2016

The Carmichael Show: Extras

Actor
Show
2016

Full Frontal With Samantha BeeStream

Guest
Talk
2016

Jalen & Jacoby

Guest
Talk
2016

The Wiz Live!Stream

Actor
Cowardly Lion
Special
2015

The Making of the Wiz Live!

Actor
Cowardly Lion
Show
2015

The Daily Show with Trevor NoahStream

Guest
Talk
2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

Guest
Talk
2015

The Carmichael ShowStream

Actor
Joe Carmichael
Series
2015
87%

The Nightly Show With Larry WilmoreStream

Guest
Talk
2015
100%

CatastropheStream

Actor
Tim Cabot
Series
2015
98%

The McCarthysStream

Guest Star
Dr. Hugh Morris
Series
2014
58%

Thugs! The Musical

Actor
Peppermint
Show
2014

Celebrity Name Game

Contestant
Game Show
2014

Funniest Wins

Guest Star
Show
2014

Sing Your Face Off

Judge
Show
2014

Bad TeacherStream

Actor
Principal Carl Gaines
Series
2014
56%

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

Guest
Talk
2014

An En Vogue Christmas

Actor
Marty
Movie
2014

An En Vogue Chrstmas

Actor
Marty
Movie
2014

The Queen Latifah Show

Guest
Talk
2013

Peeples: Extras

Actor
Show
2013

Cutthroat KitchenStream

Judge
Reality
2013

The Real

Guest
Talk
2013

Hollywood Game Night

Guest
Game Show
2013

The Watsons Go to BirminghamStream

Actor
Mr. Robert
Movie
2013

PeeplesStream

Actor
Virgil Peeples
Movie
2013
38%

Bad Teacher: Extras

Actor
Show
2012

Steve Harvey

Guest
Talk
2012

Totally Biased With W. Kamau BellStream

Guest
Series
2012

Larry King NowStream

Guest
Talk
2012

Good Afternoon America

Guest
Show
2012

The Soul ManStream

Guest Star
Jesse
Series
2012

Comedy Bang! Bang!Stream

Guest Star
Series
2012

The Eric Andre ShowStream

Music Performer
Series
2012

CBS This Morning

Guest
Show
2012

The Chew

Guest
Talk
2011

Big Morning Buzz Live

Guest
Show
2011

Happy EndingsStream

Guest Star
Terry Chuckles
Series
2011
76%

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

The Kilborn File

Guest
Show
2010

Something Like a Business

Actor
3D
Movie
2010

Bollywood Hero

Guest Star
Series
2009

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest
Talk
2009

Comedy You Can Believe in With David Alan Grier

Host
Show
2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Music Performer
Talk
2009

Dance Flick

Actor
Sugar Bear
Movie
2009

Chocolate News

Host
Show
2008

The Bonnie Hunt Show

Guest
Talk
2008

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

Kissing Cousins

Actor
The Griller
Movie
2008

An American Carol

Actor
Rastus Malone
Movie
2008

Gym Teacher: The Movie

Actor
Shelly Bragg
Movie
2008

The Poker HouseStream

Actor
Stymie
Movie
2008
63%

The Poker HouseStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2008
63%

The Hustle

Actor
Rev. Isaac Montgomery Paid
Movie
2008

Head Case

Guest Star
Show
2007

Thank God You're Here

Host
Show
2007

Our World With Black Enterprise

Guest
Show
2006

Comics Unleashed With Byron Allen

Guest
Talk
2006

Rachael Ray ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2006

BonesStream

Guest Star
Professor Bunsen Jude
Series
2005
90%

The Martha Stewart Show

Guest
Reality
2005

Dancing With the StarsStream

Contestant
Reality
2005

Bewitched

Actor
Jim Fields
Movie
2005

The Muppets' Wizard of OzStream

Actor
Uncle Henry
Movie
2005
30%

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

The Woodsman

Actor
Bob
Movie
2004

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Host
Talk
2003

Baadasssss!

Actor
Clyde Houston
Movie
2003

Tiptoes

Actor
Jerry Robin Jr.
Movie
2003

Life With Bonnie

Actor
David Bellows
Series
2002

Crank YankersStream

Guest Voice
Danny
Series
2002

King of Texas

Actor
Movie
2002

The Proud FamilyStream

Guest Voice
Reuben
Series
2001

Samurai JackStream

Voice
Da Samurai
Series
2001

My Wife and KidsStream

Guest Star
Series
2001

15 Minutes

Actor
Mugger
Movie
2001

DAG

Actor
Jerome Daggett
Show
2000

Boston Public

Guest Star
Series
2000

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

Guest Voice
Series
2000

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

Actor
Measures
Movie
2000

Return to MeStream

Actor
Charlie Johnson
Movie
2000
62%

3 Strikes

Actor
Detective Jenkins
Movie
2000

Angels in the Infield

Actor
Bob Bugler
Movie
2000

East of A

Actor
Brother James
Movie
2000

The '60s

Actor
Show
1999

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

A Saintly Switch

Actor
Dan Anderson
Movie
1999

Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby

Actor
Mr. Butz
Movie
1999

Stuart LittleStream

Voice
Red
Movie
1999
67%

Damon

Actor
Bernard
Show
1998

Top of the World

Actor
Detective Augustus
Movie
1998

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

McHale's Navy

Actor
Ens. Charles T. Parker
Movie
1997

CosbyStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

MADtvStream

Guest Star
Series
1995
43%

The Preston Episodes

Actor
David Preston
Show
1995

Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child

Voice
Show
1995

Tales From the Hood

Actor
Carl
Movie
1995

JumanjiStream

Actor
Carl Bentley, Shoe Factory Cobbler 1969/Police Officer 1995
Movie
1995
52%

In the Army Now

Actor
Fred Ostroff
Movie
1994

Blankman

Actor
Kevin Walker
Movie
1994

MartinStream

Guest Star
Series
1992

BoomerangStream

Actor
Gerard
Movie
1992
48%

In Living Color

Actor
Series
1990

Almost an Angel

Actor
Det. Bill
Movie
1990

Baby Boom

Guest Star
Show
1988

Off Limits

Actor
Rogers
Movie
1988

A Different WorldStream

Guest Star
Series
1987

Tour of Duty

Guest Star
Harold
Series
1987

Amazon Women on the Moon

Actor
Don 'No Soul' Simmons
Movie
1987

From the Hip

Actor
Steve Hadley
Movie
1987

ALFStream

Guest Star
FBI 1
Series
1986

All Is Forgiven

Actor
Oliver Royce
Show
1986

Beer

Actor
Elliott Morrison
Movie
1985

A Soldier's StoryStream

Actor
Corporal Cobb
Movie
1984
91%

Streamers

Actor
Roger
Movie
1983

Entertainment Tonight

Guest
News
1981

Saturday Night LiveStream

Host
Series
1975

Sesame StreetStream

Guest Star
Series
1969

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutDavid Alan Grier

Wendi McLendon-Covey and David Alan Grier in 'St. Denis Medical'

‘St. Denis Medical’: NBC Orders Wendi McLendon-Covey & David Alan Grier Comedy to Series

Michael Dorman in 'Joe Pickett' Season 2

‘Joe Pickett’ Season 2 Trailer: Michael Doorman Hunts Down a Serial Killer (VIDEO)

David Alan Grier at the Tony Awards

David Alan Grier Joins NBC Hospital Comedy Pilot ‘St. Denis Medical’

H.E.R. and Josh Groban in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration' on ABC

‘Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration’ Honors Angela Lansbury & 7 More Must-See Moments

H.E.R. as Belle in 'Beauty & the Beast: A 30th Celebration'
Preview

ABC’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Will Make You See the Music in a ‘Whole Different Light’

Martin Short, David Alan Grier and Shania Twain

ABC’s ‘Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration’ Casts Martin Short, David Alan Grier, Shania Twain & More (PHOTOS)

Joe Pickett on Spectrum
Preview

‘Joe Pickett’ Cast Teases Romance, Tension & Danger in Spectrum’s Whodunnit (VIDEO)

Michael Dorman as Joe Pickett and Skywalker Hughes as Sheridan Pickett on Spectrum
Review

Roush Review: Don’t Underestimate Spectrum’s ‘Joe Pickett’

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! - Kyla Drew Simmons, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier

‘Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!’ First Look: Family, Faith and Laughs in Jamie Foxx Comedy (VIDEO)

The Cool Kids - Joanna Cassidy and David Alan Grier
Exclusive

‘The Cool Kids’: Joanna Cassidy’s Joanie Makes an Impression on Hank (VIDEO)

THE COOL KIDS: L-R: Martin Mull, David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan, and Vicki Lawrence in THE COOL KIDS premiering Friday Sept. 28 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX
Preview

Meet the Characters From Fox’s New Comedy ‘The Cool Kids’

THE COOL KIDS: L-R: Leslie Jordan, Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier and Martin Mull in THE COOL KIDS premiering Friday Sept. 28 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX
Exclusive

First Look: Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull, David Alan Grier & Leslie Jordan in Fox’s ‘Cool Kids’ (PHOTO)

Untitled design (73)

7 So-Called ‘Show-Killers’ Who Deserve TV Stardom by Now

Jane the Virgin

TV’s Funniest Dads of the Year (2017 Edition)

TV Tattle

‘The Wiz Live!’ casts David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion