Delroy Lindo Biography

Actor (1952–)
Delroy Lindo is an actor who has played both good guys and bad guys in his three-decade career in film, theater and television.


Born on November 18, 1952, in London, England, to Jamaican parents, Delroy Lindo has established himself as a versatile and hardworking actor over a three-decade career. Working in film, television and theater, from an August Wilson play to several Spike Lee films, he has portrayed drug dealers, FBI agents, thieves, an angel, a corrupt politician and baseball legend Satchel Paige.

Family Background and Education

Delroy Lindo was born in London, England, on November 18, 1952, to Jamaican parents. He was raised in London's Lewisham district. When he was a teenager, he moved with his mother to Canada and then to the United States.

Lindo was inspired to act after seeing productions of The Taming of The Shrew and Cyrano de Bergerac on public television. When he was 24, he moved to San Francisco to study at the American Conservatory Theater.

Early Film and Theater Roles

Lindo made his first screen appearance in 1979, playing an Army sergeant in More American Graffiti. However, he worked in theater for most of the 1980s, making his Broadway debut in 1982 in "Master Harold"...and the Boys. His acting in a touring production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic A Raisin in the Sun earned him critical praise in 1987. In 1988 he starred in August Wilson's play Joe Turner's Come and Gone on Broadway; this performance brought him a Tony nomination.

Career Highlights

After receiving several minor screen roles, Lindo achieved greater recognition as a movie actor with his appearances in three Spike Lee films in the 1990s. Lee directed Lindo as the father of an African-American family in Brooklyn in the semi-autobiographical Crooklyn, the psychotic gangster West Indian Archie in Malcolm X and a neighborhood drug dealer in Clockers.

Lindo's new prominence led to work in other major motion pictures, such as Get Shorty in 1995 and Ransom in 1996. In 1996 Lindo starred in the made-for-television movie The Soul of the Game, portraying legendary African-American baseball pitcher Satchel Paige. Lindo later recalled that he was "thrilled" to take this role and was very proud of his work in the film (which also starred Blair Underwood as Jackie Robinson and Mykelti Williams as Josh Gibson). He received a NAACP Image Award nomination for this performance.

Lindo's resume continued to grow with parts in films as diverse as the romantic comedy A Life Less Ordinary in 1997, the literary adaptation The Cider House Rules in 1999, and two action films with Jet Li, Romeo Must Die and The One (2000 and 2001, respectively).

Recent Projects

Since 2000 Lindo has been featured in small but memorable roles in big-budget studio releases like Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Heist (2001) and The Core (2003). He has also appeared in smaller, more character-driven films, such as Wondrous Oblivion (2003), a drama about friendship and race in early-1960s London. He voice-acted the role of Beta (a Rottweiler dog) for the animated hit Up in 2009. 

On television, Lindo has recently appeared in two short-lived series, playing an FBI agent in Kidnapped (2006-07) and a corrupt local politician in The Chicago Code in 2011. He also played Dr. Milton Winter in the TV series Believe.

Lindo has maintained his connection to theater, and has directed plays in Los Angeles and Berkeley, California.

Personal Life

Lindo has been married twice. An early marriage, to Kathi Coaston, ended in divorce. He married artist and arts educator Nashormeh Lindo in 1990. The Lindos' son, Damiri, was born in 2001.

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