2019 LitFest Special Guest: Blair Underwood

A true multi-hyphenate, Blair Underwood is enjoying success in film, television and theater, as an actor, director, and producer.  

Underwood will return to Broadway early next year starring opposite David Alan Grier in the Pulitzer Prize winning drama A Soldier’s Play for director Kenny Leon and the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Underwood recently appeared in the Netflix Emmy Award-winning limited series When They See Us. He also had a recurring role on the Netflix comedy series Dear White People and can be seen in Clark Johnson’s Juanita, opposite Alfre 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.

Past television credits include series regular roles on Dirty Sexy MoneyThe New Adventures of Old ChristineIn TreatmentTheEvent, and L.A. Law.  Film credits include Deep Impact, Set It Off, Rules of EngagementJust Cause, Madea’s Family Reunion, and Steven Soderbergh’s Full Frontal.  Underwood co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the Lifetime telefilm & theatre production of 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 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination. He also starred in Paradise Blue at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Othello at the Old Globe Theatre.

Underwood also has several projects in the development pipeline as a director, including Viral, a feature based on a Joe McClean script. In 2010, he made his feature film directing debut with The Bridge to Nowhere, which starred Ving Rhames, Danny Masterson, Bijou Phillips, and Alex Breckenridge.

Underwood is an Emmy Award winner (as producer of the philanthropy-centered NBC Saturday morning series Give), a two-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and has been nominated for 17 NAACP Image Awards (seven wins).  He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word as co-narrator of Al Gore’s audiobook, An Inconvenient Truth.  A newly minted member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is also active in several philanthropic endeavors.