Jan. 31st, 1946
New York City, New York, USA
Glynn Turman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
New York City-born African-American actor Glynn Turman enjoyed his first real taste of acting success at the age of 13 originating the role of Travis Younger on Broadway in Lorraine Hansberry's landmark play "A Raisin in the Sun" in 1959 opposite Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee (I), Claudia McNeil and Diana Sands as his various family members. While he did not play the role when it transferred to film in 1961, he intensified his studies at the renown High School of Performing Arts in New York. Upon graduation he apprenticed in regional and repertory companies throughout the country including Tyrone Guthrie's Repertory Theatre in which he performed in late 60s productions of "Good Boys," "Harper's Ferry," "The Visit" and "The House of Atreus." He made his Los Angeles stage debut in Vinnette Carroll's "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground." An impressive 1974 performance in "The Wine Sellers" earned him a Los Angeles Critics Award nomination and a Dramalogue Award. The play was also produced on Broadway as "What The Wine Sellers Buy." He won his first NAACP Image Award for his work in the play "Eyes of the American."
A stage director as well, he received his second NAACP Image award for his directing of "Deadwood Dick" at the Inner City Cultural Center. He segued these directing talents to TV where he helmed several episodes of "The Parenthood," "Hanging with Mr. Cooper" and "The Wayans Bros," among others. He also directed during his seasons of steady employment on "A Different World" (1987), in which he played the role of Colonel Taylor for five seasons (1988-1993). The show's theme song was sung by his ex-wife, legendary "Queen of Soul" artist Aretha Franklin. They divorced in 1984 after six years.
He began his film career in the 1970s with such blaxploitation flicks as Five on the Black Hand Side (1973), Together Brothers (1974) and Thomasine & Bushrod (1974), then progressed to roles in the cult classic Cooley High (1975), plus The River Niger (1976) and A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich (1978). TV-movies included the prestigious "Centennial" (1978), Attica (1980) (TV) and Minstrel Man (1977) (TV), for which he won his third NAACP Image Award. The quality of Glynn's work has shown over the decades with his participation in such prominent TV-movies as Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad (1994) (TV), Buffalo Soldiers (1997) (TV) and _Freedom Song (2000/I) (TV)_. Such audience-favorite movies such as Gremlins (1984) and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) have also come his way. In 2004 he joined the series "The Wire" (2002) as Mayor Royce.
He is currently in the process of writing his biography while performing and producing a one-man show about his life.
- 'George Lucas (I)' (qv) originally cast Turman as Han Solo in _Star Wars (1977)_ (qv), but eventually changed his mind and cast 'Harrison Ford (I)' (qv) instead.
- Attending youth camps as a kid by his mother saved him from juvenile delinquency. Turman, an accomplished horseman, and his wife, Jo-an, are co-founders of Camp Gid D Up, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization for under-privileged children
- Originated the role of "Travis Younger" in 'Lorraine Hansberry' (qv)'s play, "A Raisin in the Sun.".
- Co-wrote with then-wife 'Aretha Franklin' (qv), the song 'I'm Your Speed' which appeared on her "Almighty Fire" album.
- A cowboy and rodeo performer, he won the state's Regional Team Roping Finals and placed in the top five in the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City at one point.