WENDELL PIERCE (narrating the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) is recognized by film audiences for his extensive work with such directors as Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Brian De Paima, Barry Levinson, Sidney Lumet, and Paul Schrader. In addition to his regular role on HBO’s critically acclaimed drama series The Wire, Pierce was recently seen in HBO’s Life Support, starring opposite Queen Latifah. He was in Spike Lee’s documentary, When the Levees Broke, telling his own family’s story of loss. He starred in Stay Alive for Disney and worked in the award-winning feature film Ray for director Taylor Hackford, as well as Wim Wenders’ Angst and Alienation in America, and Hole in One, which had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. These films contribute to Pierce’s already large body of work, which includes Jonathan Lynne’s Fighting Temptations, The 24 Hour Woman, Brown Sugar, Volcano, Abilene, Bullworth (under director Warren Beatty), and Lee’s Get on the Bus. His filmography also includes Sleepers, Waiting to Exhale, Hackers, Bye Bye Love, It Could Happen to You, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Malcom X, Husbands and Wives, A Rage in Harlem, Bonfire of the Vanities, Casualties of War, Family Business, Ishtar, Patty Hearst, and The Money Pit. Upcoming releases include the independent film Bolden!, co-starring with Anthony Mackie, and Taylor Hackford’s new film, Love Ranch, starring Helen Mirren.
Pierce has always had a home in television. In addition to The Wire, he has had regular roles on NBC’s The Weber Show, CBS’ The Gregory Hines Show, Maloney, and The Brian Benben Show, and recurring roles on shows including Numb3rs, Law and Order, Third Watch, New York Undercover, and I’ll Fly Away.
Heralded for his work in the world premiere of Queenie Pie at the Kennedy Center, Pierce includes among his Broadway stage credits roles in The Piano Lesson, Serious Money, and The Boys of Winter. He has appeared off-Broadway in Cymbeline and Two Gentlemen of Verona for the New York Shakespeare Festival. He received rave reviews for the Cherry Orchard at the Classical Theatre of Harlem and was nominated for a VIV award in the Lead Actor category. He followed up with Waiting for Godot, set on a rooftop surrounded by water in a post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. In 2006, he co-starred with Laurence Fisburne and Angela Bassett in August Wilson’s Fences at the Pasadena Playhouse. In the fall of 2003, he performed the Oedipus plays in the ancient Herod Atticus Theatre at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece in association with the Washington, D.C. Shakespeare Theatre.
Pierce is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee for Best Actor in a Television Drama for his work on The Wire, and won the 2008 Image award for Best Actor in a Television Movie for Life Support as well as the Women’s Image Network WIN award.