Isiah Whitlock

Isiah Whitlock Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: September 13, 1954

Age: 69 years old

Birth Place: South Bend, Indiana

Prolific character actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. worked with everyone from Martin Scorsese to Woody Allen to Spike Lee during his gradual career ascent but first caught the public's attention when he was cast as the foul-mouthed bribe-taking senator Clay Davis in "The Wire" (HBO 2002-08). After that, he combined supporting big-screen parts in the likes of "Pieces Of April" (2003), "Cedar Rapids" (2011) and "Thanks For Sharing" (2013) with more substantial small-screen roles in "Rubicon" (AMC 2010), "Lucky 7" (ABC 2013) and "Veep" (HBO 2012-), while also earning critical acclaim for his theatre work both on and off Broadway.

Born in South Bend, IN, in 1954, Isiah Whitlock Jr. first attended Southwest Minnesota State University on a football scholarship before injury caused him to switch his attention to drama instead. After graduating in 1976, he moved to San Francisco where he became a valuable member of the prestigious American Conservatory Theater. While following debuts on the small-screen in "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS 1981-88) and big-screen in "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (1990), he was cast as the sympathetic doctor in "Goodfellas" (1990) and landed bit parts in the likes of "Eddie" (1996), "Everyone Says I Love You" (1996) and "The Spanish Prisoner" (1997).

After playing a slave in miniseries "Liberty: The American Revolution" (PBS 1997), Whitlock secured minor roles in redemption tale "Harlem Aria" (1999) and relationship comedy "A Fish In the Bathtub" (1999) and earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Joe in Christopher Shinn's off-Broadway play "Four" before appearing as Agent Flood in Spike Lee's "25th Hour" (2002) a role he would also later reprise in "She Hate Me" (2004) and "Red Hook Summer" (2012). While having played various different characters in "Law & Order" (NBC 1990-2010), Whitlock also began to crop up on its spin-off shows "Criminal Intent" (NBC 2001-2011) and "Special Victims Unit" (NBC 1999-).

Whitlock's profile then rocketed when he took on the role of Clay Davis, the corrupt Maryland State senator renowned for his idiosyncratic profanity, on the critically-acclaimed "The Wire" (HBO 2002-08). Whitlock continued to add to his CV during his sporadic five-season stint on the show, appearing as Eugene in Thanksgiving comedy drama "Pieces Of April" (2003), the hotel engineer in Stephen King adaptation "1408" (2007) and Ethan Banks in Disney self-parody "Enchanted" (2008), while also later popping up in the likes of "Cadillac Records" (2008), "Brooklyn's Finest" (2009) and "Twelve" (2010).

Following a recurring role in short-lived conspiracy drama "Rubicon" (AMC 2010), Whitlock then co-starred as insurance agent Ronald Wilkes in indie comedy "Cedar Rapids" (2011), made several appearances in "Onion SportsDome" (Comedy Central 2011), "Smash" (NBC 2012-13) and "Louie" (FX 2010-15) and landed supporting parts in big-screen comedies "Why Stop Now" (2012), "Thanks For Sharing" (2012) and "Newlyweeds" (2013). Whitlock then appeared as lottery-winning gas station attendant Bob Harris in the swiftly-cancelled "Lucky 7" (ABC 2013), before showing up as cantankerous Defense Secretary George Maddox in the political satire "Veep" (HBO 2012-).

Credits

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LightyearStream

Voice
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The Kings of NapaStream

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Series
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Your HonorStream

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Charlie
Series
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58%

The Lost Husband

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Run With the HuntedStream

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Lester
Movie
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0%

Da 5 BloodsStream

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Melvin
Movie
2020
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I Care a LotStream

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Movie
2020
78%

Lying and Stealing

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Lyman Wilkers
Movie
2019

Corporate Animals

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2019

Lost Holiday

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Matthews
Movie
2019

FBIStream

Guest Star
Richard Talmage
Series
2018

The Good CopStream

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Burt Loomis
Series
2018
50%

Apple & OnionStream

Guest Voice
Mayor Naise
Series
2018

The Old Man & the Gun

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2018

All Square

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CHiPsStream

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Kevin Can WaitStream

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Series
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AtlantaStream

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98%

LuciferStream

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2016
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Pete's DragonStream

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2016
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87%

GothamStream

Guest Star
Series
2014
77%

Madam SecretaryStream

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The Angriest Man in BrooklynStream

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2014
9%

23 Blast

Actor
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Lucky 7Stream

Actor
Bob Harris
Series
2013
29%

The BlacklistStream

Guest Star
Danny
Series
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91%

Home

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Newlyweeds

Actor
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2013

Europa ReportStream

Actor
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80%

ElementaryStream

Guest Star
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VeepStream

Guest Star
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Series
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93%

Red Hook Summer

Actor
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Movie
2012

Why Stop Now?

Actor
Black
Movie
2012

Not Fade Away

Actor
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Movie
2012

CHAOS

Guest Star
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2011

Cedar RapidsStream

Actor
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Movie
2011
86%

Gun Hill Road

Actor
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Movie
2011

RubiconStream

Actor
Series
2010
69%

LouieStream

Guest Star
Alphonse
Series
2010
93%

Main Street

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Movie
2010

The Good WifeStream

Guest Star
Ira Protopapas
Series
2009
93%

The UnusualsStream

Guest Star
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Series
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72%

New Amsterdam

Guest Star
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2008

1408Stream

Actor
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Movie
2007
80%

Kettle of Fish

Actor
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Movie
2006

The Jury

Guest Star
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2004

Pieces of AprilStream

Actor
Eugene
Movie
2003
84%

Bought & Sold

Actor
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Movie
2003

The WireStream

Actor
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Series
2002
94%

The WireStream

Guest Star
State Sen. R. Clayton "Clay" Davis
Series
2002
94%

The Wire FREE

Actor
State Sen. R. Clayton "Clay" Davis
Show
2002

25th Hour

Actor
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Movie
2002

Law & Order: Criminal IntentStream

Guest Star
Series
2001

Jump Tomorrow

Actor
George's Uncle
Movie
2001

Madigan Men

Guest Star
Show
2000

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Captain Reece
Series
1999
78%

NYPD BlueStream

Guest Star
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Series
1993
83%

Law & OrderStream

Guest Star
Series
1990