Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan Headshot

Actor

Birth Name: Michael Bakari Jordan

Birth Date: February 9, 1987

Age: 37 years old

Birth Place: Santa Ana, California

An assured and mature actor from an early age, Michael B. Jordan brought the complex web of heartbreak and triumph inherent to young, disadvantaged black men to vivid life in a number of acclaimed performances. Though his roles tended to be cut from the same dramatic cloth - his most significant characters were young men from troubled urban homes who fought to wrest control of their own lives - Jordan's naturalistic performances helped to bring each to life. Whether playing a young man caught up in the false promise of the drug trade on "The Wire" (HBO, 2002-08), a talented but troubled high school athlete on "Friday Night Lights" (NBC/101 Network, 2006-2011) or a man struggling to move beyond his past on "Parenthood" (NBC, 2010-15), Jordan infused each role with a riveting intensity. A jump to feature film work landed Jordan a turn in George Lucas' World War II aerial action drama "Red Tails" (2012) and a co-starring role in the surprise hit "Chronicle" (2012) as one of three teens who mysteriously find themselves endowed with superpowers.

For his lead role in the based-on-fact drama "Fruitvale Station" (2013), Jordan went from promising young talent to acclaimed actor. He followed that breakthrough film success with a string of increasingly high-profile roles in hits like the "Rocky" (1975) sequel "Creed" (2015) and Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster "Black Panther" (2018).

Born Michael Bakari Jordan in Santa Ana, CA on Feb. 9, 1987, he relocated with his family to New Jersey, where he began his acting career at 12 with minor turns on series like "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007). A supporting role as Jamal, a wayward teen from a housing project in the comedy-drama "Hardball" (2001) led to an increased profile and more work, most notably in the debut season of "The Wire" as teenaged drug dealer Wallace. Initially, Jordan auditioned for the role of Bodie Broadus, a morally conflicted lieutenant in drug kingpin Avon Barksdale's empire, but being only 15 years old at the time, he was considered a better fit for Wallace, a youthful foot soldier who served as a sort of overseer for other young dealers. His fortunes rose when he provided key information that led to the discovery of Brandon Wright, sidekick and lover to stick-up man Omar Little, a notorious thorn in Barksdale's side. Wright was eventually tortured and killed, earning Wallace a portion of the bounty on his head.

The experience soured the boy on his career as a dealer, and he soon provided information on Barksdale's organization to the Baltimore police, whereupon he was taken out by his friend Bodie. Jordan received stellar reviews for his work on "The Wire," and became something of a pop culture touchstone by virtue of a much-repeated line of dialogue -"Where the f*ck is Wallace?" - that became a catchphrase among series fans.

During this period, Jordan was a student at the famed Newark Arts High School, but had to leave during his sophomore year due to the demands of his career. In 2003, he joined the cast of the daytime soap opera "All My Children" (ABC, 1970-2011) as Reggie Porter, a troubled inner-city teen who brought urban drama to the town of Pine Valley. Debuting on the show with a stab wound from a gang fight, Reggie initially established himself as pure trouble by taking Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) hostage after she called the police. But after being taken under the wing of lawyer Jackson Montgomery, he renounced his gang past and developed a strong bond with his adopted cousin, Bianca (Christina Bennett Lind).

Jordan eventually left the soap in 2006 after requesting an end to his contract over lack of airtime. He moved on to projects like "Blackout" (BET, 2007), where he played a young man bound for college on a scholarship who fell afoul of gang violence during the titular blackout. After moving to the West Coast, Jordan starred on the short-lived sitcom "The Assistants" (2009) for Nickelodeon's teen-friendly network, The N, as one of four young assistants to an eccentric movie producer.

Jordan joined "Friday Night Lights" during its fourth season as Vince Howard, quarterback for the Texas high school team the East Dillon Lions. Yet another troubled teen on the actor's growing résumé, the "Friday Night Lights" role proved to be Jordan's star-making performance, and he was soon showered in accolades by the media, including a mention in Nylon magazine as one of its "55 Faces of the Future." While wrapping his obligations to "Friday Night Lights," Jordan began a recurring role on "Parenthood" as Alex, a young man working at a soup kitchen who caught the eye of Haddie Braverman (Sarah Ramos), daughter of the show's ostensible main character, Adam Braverman (Peter Krause). Though a recovering alcoholic and the product of a tough upbringing, Alex pulled his life together and served as mentor to Haddie before a romance bloomed between them. However, Haddie's parents disapproved of the relationship, citing the three-year difference in their ages and Alex's past troubles.

The conflict resulted in Haddie moving in with her grandparents while taking the relationship to the next level by sleeping with Alex - which her parents accidentally overheard through a misdialed phone call.

In 2011, Jordan was cast in two high-profile feature films, both with the potential to push him to star status. In the historical drama "Red Tails" (2012), he was cast as a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, an African-American squadron that flew combat missions during World War II. George Lucas and John Ridley penned the script for the film, which marked the feature debut of "Wire" director Anthony Hemingway. Jordan was also top-billed in "Chronicle" (2012), a science fiction drama about a trio of friends who gained incredible powers after coming in contact with a mysterious substance. Rounding out the year for the increasingly busy Jordan was a guest spot as a young man afflicted with a sudden, unexplained blindness in a final season episode of "House MD." (Fox, 2004-2012), in addition to a supporting role in indie writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez's 1950s crime drama "Hotel Noir" (2012).

At the start of the new year, Jordan garnered critical raves at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for his performance in "Fruitvale Station" (2012), the based-on-fact story about Oscar Grant (Jordan) a 22-year-old California man whose death at the hands of a BART police officer - recorded via cellphone video - sparked outrage across the nation in 2009. Following that high-profile performance, Jordan began working regularly on the big screen. After co-starring with Miles Teller and Zac Efron in the male-skewing romantic comedy "That Awkward Moment" (2014), Jordan co-starred in "Fantastic Four" (2015), written and directed by "Chronicle" helmer Josh Trank, as Johnny Storm, the Human Torch.

Jordan next returned to the sports world with his leading role as rising young boxer Adonis Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa in writer-director Ryan Coogler's drama "Creed" (2015). Joran next appeared on the big screen as N'Jadaka, murderous cousin of the hero T'Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster "Black Panther" (2018). Following that massive success, Jordan returned to television as the star of an adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" (HBO 2018).

Credits

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News aboutMichael B. Jordan

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