Speaking to the World
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Actor, Activist & Philanthropist
A charismatic and versatile actor, Blair Underwood has found success in television, on stage and screen, in the literary world, and in his personal life. His success has been shaped by the underlying belief that you must diversify yourself and remain as flexible as possible in order to achieve longevity in the acting business. But an acting career is only one facet of Underwood's wildly varied achievements. His passion for philanthropy, activism and advocacy for causes ranging from mental illness, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and HIV/AIDS has made him one of the most well-rounded and respected faces in Hollywood, Washington, D.C. and around the world. Read More >
Blair Underwood will soon star in the upcoming reboot of the hit legal series, L.A. Law, for ABC, on which he will reprise his character, “Jonathan Rollins.” He is also currently filming a starring role in the new Showtime series, Three Women, alongside Shailene Woodley, DeWanda Wise and Betty Gilpin.
Underwood recently directed Viral, a feature in which he will also play the lead, opposite Sarah Silverman and Alfre Woodard. He can currently be seen playing “Vernon Jordan,” opposite Clive Owen, Edie Falco and Beanie Feldstein, in megaproducer Ryan Murphy’s Impeachment for FX, as well as the role of father to “William Jackson Harper” in the second season of Love Life on HBO Max. Underwood co-starred in the Netflix limited series, Self-Made, opposite Octavia Spencer. His performance earned a nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series for the NAACP Image Awards, as well as a Black Reel Award. While audiences were streaming that performance, Underwood was onstage, starring on Broadway opposite David Allen Grier in the Roundabout Theatre revival of “A Soldier’s Play” at the American Airlines Theater. His performance garnered accolades and was nominated for a Tony Award as well as a Drama League Distinguished Performance Award.
In 2019 he recurred on the Netflix comedy series, Dear White People, and in Clark Johnson's Juanita, opposite Alfred Woodard, also for Netflix. He spent two years as a series regular on the ABC drama series, Quantico, while also recurring on another hit ABC drama, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also had a co-starring role in The After Party, from writer/director Ian Edelman, which Netflix released late in 2018. He can be seen co-starring in Justin Simien’s horror comedy, Bad Hair, which premiered on Hulu in October 2020.
Past television credits include series regular roles on Dirty Sexy Money, The New Adventures of Old Christine, In Treatment, L.A. Law and The Event. Film credits include Rules of Engagement, Madea's Family Reunion and Full Frontal, for director Steven Soderbergh. Underwood co-starred opposite the late Cicely Tyson in the Lifetime telefilm, A Trip to Bountiful, based on the Tony Award-winning play. In 2012 he made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of "Stanley" in Tennessee Williams' “A Streetcar Named Desire,” for which he earned a Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination.
Underwood speaks candidly about his life and career, whether rising through the ranks as an actor, raising awareness for diabetes and obesity prevention, championing for HIV/AIDS treatment and caregiving to those nearest and dearest to him. A driving force in making positive changes in the world, he believes you have to first practice being a leader in your family and community in order to have that leadership flourish at work and in your personal life. Read Less ^
The Components of True Success
Blair Underwood has distinguished himself as an award-winning actor/director/producer who continues to showcase his many talents in the world of film, television, theatre and literature. His success has been driven by the underlying belief that, in order to achieve longevity in the acting business, you must diversify yourself and become as flexible as possible. Read More >
Sharing insights on how his own education influenced his life as well as noteworthy career, Underwood illustrates his experiences, many life challenges and journey to success to inspire audiences to pursue their dreams as they move forward to their career and life. He encourages people to seize the moment and recognize their accomplishments as a way to shape their futures — reminding them to always stay motivated to pursue their personal and professional goals, while constantly looking for even greater success. Read Less ^
"On behalf of DuPont, we want to thank you for your participation in our event and your inspiring message. From the moment you began your address to the countless times we have received feedback about the inspirational nature of your remarks, you have exceeded our expectations. Your flexibility and graciousness in supporting the scheduling challenges presented by the pandemic is sincerely appreciated. Thank you for weaving the DuPont story into your remarks. We also appreciate you sharing some of your personal life with us to emphasize the importance of determining our individual passion as we decide where and how to serve. You helped to spark an even greater passion for serving others in the hearts of our colleagues. Thank you for playing a part in our mission to engage our employees in their communities through volunteerism and supporting communities to ensure they thrive."
"The event went very well! Yes, Blair captured our audience and was very engaging. He was a pleasure to work with!"
"Wow. What a fantastic event we just had! Blair Underwood was a HUGE hit for our 1,000 person crowd. People could not believe how he added such a personal touch to the celebration. He took photos with everyone. He knew everyone by name (first AND last). He played with our daycare children. He was engaged on our campus tour. People said this was the best Civic Celebration they’ve ever been to - and there’s been 48 of them!"
"Our event with Blair Underwood was a smashing success. We are still receiving feedback from attendees raving about the program and heartfelt comments by Blair."
"WOW...what an amazing man and fantastic choice as our commencement speaker. During his entire visit, Blair was a pleasure to host. He was kind and approachable during our Friday evening informal dinner at the Country Club, providing our Advisory Board, alumni and faculty/staff the opportunity to meet him and have a photo taken with a genuine smile. His message to our graduates was delivered with such heart and passion—what a true inspiration to our graduates. Our graduates LOVED getting to meet him for autographs after commencement and Blair's kindness and genuine personality made each graduate's brief exchange a positive ending to an already exciting day. We would HIGHLY RECOMMEND him to any other university considering him as their speaker in the future. He truly was an amazing choice! Please extend our warm thanks again to him as well as everyone there at the APB for being so great to work with!"
"We wanted to share that his presentation was most powerful and the members truly enjoyed."
"He was outstanding and so, so nice! We had over 4,000 people crammed in there - they were hanging from the rafters. They came from everywhere. He read Martin Luther King's MLK speech and I swear I thought it was Martin himself. He made me look good, too by mentioning how hard I had worked to get him here and I really appreciate it. I definitely want him back."
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