David Alan Grier
About this Artist
Three-time Tony and Grammy Award nominee David Alan Grier was trained in Shakespeare at Yale where he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Grier has enjoyed many accolades and awards throughout his career, not the least of which was his inclusion on Comedy Central’s list of the “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.” Currently, Grier is touring the stand-up comedy circuit with the In Living Color cast.
On the big screen, David Alan Grier was recently seen starring in The Big Sick. Grier made his film debut in Streamers (1983), directed by Robert Altman, for which he won the Golden Lion for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. He also appeared in the Wayans Brothers’ spoof movie Dance Flick (2009). He can be seen in the upcoming Will Smith produced Sprinter.
Grier’s television work is highlighted by a turn as principal cast member on the Emmy Award winning In Living Color (1990–1994) where he helped to create some of the show’s most memorable characters, DAG (2000–2001), and Life with Bonnie (2003) which earned an Image and Golden Satellite nomination. David created, wrote and executive produced a show for Comedy Central called Chocolate News (2008) and starred in The Watsons Go to Birmingham, a Hallmark Channel adaptation of Paul Curtis’ 1996 Newbery Award-winning novel by the same name. In 2014, Grier starred as Principal Carl Gaines on the CBS series Bad Teacher. Grier will star in The Cool Kids from 20th Century Fox Television in association with FX Productions later this year.
Grier began his professional career on Broadway as Jackie Robinson in The First, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and won the Theatre World Award (1981). He then joined the cast of Dreamgirls before going on to star opposite Denzel Washington in A Soldier’s Play, for which both actors reprised their roles in the film adaptation, A Soldier’s Story (1984).
In 2009/10, Grier starred in David Mamet’s acclaimed play Race opposite James Spader and Kerry Washington at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway, for which he received his second Tony Award nomination. Grier received the third Tony Award nomination of his career in 2012 for his performance in the “stand-out role of the rakish, drug-dealing Sporting Life” (The New York Times) in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Grier received his first Grammy nomination when the cast recording of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess was nominated for a 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.