Aug. 14th, 1951
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Carl Lumbly's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - The Alphabet Killer
2004 - Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
2000 - Men of Honor
1998 - How Stella Got Her Groove Back
1992 - South Central
1990 - Pacific Heights
1987 - The Bedroom Window
1984 - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
1981 - Caveman
1979 - Escape From Alcatraz
Guest TV Roles
Dr. Miles Hawkins
Mayor Christian Davidson
Captain Joel Rucker
Dr. Graham Baker
Carl Lumbly was born in Minnesota, the son of Jamaican immigrants. His father was an avid reader, which inspired Lumbly's early appreciation for literature. After graduating from Macalester College with a degree in English, he landed a job writing for the Associated Press in Minneapolis. He also supplemented his income by doing freelance writing assignments for various periodicals and magazines.
While on assignment for a story on Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre, Lumbly attended a public audition and was handed an audition card. After a three-week audition process, the company offered him a coveted spot in its cast. He stayed for two years, doing improvisational comedy flavored with political satire
Lumbly moved to San Francisco, intending to continue his work as a journalist for Associated Press. Just two days after arriving in San Francisco, he came across a newspaper ad seeking "two black actors for South African political plays." He went to the audition and met the other actor already cast -- an unknown Danny Glover. Lumbly landed the part and toured with Glover in productions of Athol Fugard's "Sizwe Bansi is Dead" and "The Island."
The plays brought Lumbly to Los Angeles, where he signed with an agent, and soon after moved to New York. He landed his first significant on-screen role in a TV movie-of-the-week, Cagney & Lacey (1981) (TV), which turned into the hit series. Lumbly starred as Det. Mark Petrie for the show's seven-year run.
Lumbly has earned several awards and nominations for his work. His versatility spans a range of characters, from his NAACP Image Award-nominated work in TNT's Buffalo Soldiers (1997) (TV), produced by Glover, to a wealthy black entrepreneur in The Wedding (1998) (TV), starring opposite Halle Berry. Then there was "M.A.N.T.I.S." (1994), in which Lumbly played an independently wealthy paraplegic scientist/crimefighter, which marked the first black superhero on series television. He recently starred in the Showtime telefilm Just a Dream (2002), directed by Glover, about a 12-year-old doctor's son and his unlikely relationship with a rodeo cowboy/auto mechanic (Lumbly).
Lumbly's extensive feature credits include his role opposite Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. in Men of Honor (2000), portraying the father of the first black diver in U.S. Navy history. In Everybody's All-American (1988) with Jessica Lange and Dennis Quaid, Lumbly starred as a former football player affected by the segregated South. Other film credits include How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), South Central (1992), Pacific Heights (1990), To Sleep with Anger (1990), The Bedroom Window (1987), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) and Caveman (1981).
Lumbly portrays CIA agent Marcus Dixon, former field partner and supervisor to agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner (I)), on ABC's fast-paced drama series "Alias" (2001). The fourth season promises more surprising twists and turns as Dixon again joins Sydney in the field along with agents Jack Bristow (Victor Garber) and Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan) for a special black operations division -- a team handpicked by former adversary Arvin Sloane (Ron Rifkin).
Lumbly most recently appeared as Father in ABC's telefilm remake of the 1972 classic, Sounder (2003) (TV). Directed by Kevin Hooks (one of the stars of the original film), "Sounder" tells the story of a 1930s sharecropper family trying to survive under devastatingly difficult circumstances.
Lumbly can also be heard as the voice of action hero J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter, in the Cartoon Network's animated series "Justice League" (2001). The series follows the adventures of the greatest superhero team of all time.
On television, Lumbly has made numerous guest-starring appearances on such series as "The West Wing" (1999), "ER" (1994), "The X Files" (1993) and "L.A. Law" (1986). He also starred in the telefilms The Color of Friendship (2000) (TV) (directed by Kevin Hooks), Little Richard (2000) (TV), On Promised Land (1994) (TV), The Ditchdigger's Daughters (1997) (TV) and Nightjohn (1996) (TV).
Lumbly is married to actress Vonetta McGee, whom he met on "Cagney & Lacey" (1982) when she was cast as his wife. He is a family man with a teenage son. Despite his busy schedule, Lumbly works out regularly to keep in shape for his demanding role on "Alias." In his limited free time, Lumbly enjoys running sprints on the beach, playing basketball and practicing his golf swing.
- Went to same college as 'Peter Berg (I)' (qv) - Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota. He appeared in a guest role with Berg in episode #2.17, "Life Lines" of _"Chicago Hope" (1994)_ (qv). Berg also guest starred in two episodes of Alias were Lumbly had a big role.
- Played an alien in _The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)_ (qv)) and voiced the alien Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz on the animated _"Justice League" (2001)_ (qv).
- A former journalist in Minnesota, he got an acting job while on assignment for a story about a workshop theatre and stayed with the improvisational company for two years.
- Both he and friend 'Danny Glover' (qv) made their feature film debuts in _Escape from Alcatraz (1979)_ (qv).
- Long-time close friend of 'Danny Glover' (qv), they appeared together in two of 'Athol Fugard' (qv)'s plays early in their career: "Siswe Bansi Is Dead" and "The Island". Carl recently appeared in the film _Just a Dream (2002)_ (qv) directed by Glover.