Skip to page content

Glynn Turman

About this Artist

GLYNN TURMAN: Boasting a résumé that would earn him the envy of any ambitious character actor, Glynn Turman was nothing if not an experienced performer. As if a storied screen career and rich history on the stage weren’t enough, Turman also earned acclaim for his talents as a director, both theatrically and in the television industry. Revered likewise for his roles on the soap opera “Peyton Place” (ABC 1964-69), the sitcom “A Different World” (NBC 1987-1993), and the drama series “The Wire” (HBO 2002-08), Turman’s is a fame that not only transcends time, but genre. Glynn Russell Turman was born on January 31, 1947 in New York City, New York. He began his acting career in 1959 with a role in the original Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun. He followed this turn with an appearance in a televised production of Black Monday in 1961, as part of the syndicated anthology series “Play of the Week” (NTA Film Network 1959-1961). Turman graduated from the High School of Performing Arts, located in Manhattan, and set anew to a life of stage and screen acting. He kicked off his television career with a substantial recurring role on the drama series “Peyton Place” (ABC 1964-69), on which he starred for 37 episodes as the character Lew Miles. Turman made his film debut with a minor part in the racially themed romantic drama “Honky” (1971), which he followed up with appearances on TV shows like “The Doris Day Show” (CBS 1968-1973) and “Hawaii Five-O” (CBS 1968-1980), as well as with roles in movies including “Five on the Black Hand Side” (1973), “Thomasine & Bushrod” (1974), “The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat” (1974), and “Together Brothers” (1974). Turman’s first headlining role came with the coming-of-age dramedy “Cooley High” (1975), in which he played a high school student nicknamed Preach. Throughout the 1970s, Turman continued to explore stage productions, both as an actor and a director. He rounded out the decade with a role on the historical miniseries “Centennial” (NBC 1978-79). In 1978, Turman married musical superstar Aretha Franklin. The 1980s gave Turman a slew of one-off television roles, as well as parts in feature films including “Penitentiary II” (1982) and the popular horror comedy “Gremlins” (1984). In 1988, Turman began a four-season-long stint as Col. Brad Taylor on the family comedy series “A Different World” (NBC 1987-1993). In addition to his role on the series, Turman directed a number of its episodes, and went on to do the same for 1990s sitcoms including “The Parent Hood” (The WB 1995-99) and “The Wayans Bros.” (The WB 1995-99). Returning to dramatic acting, Turman then amounted roles in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998), “Light It Up” (1999), and “Men of Honor” (2000). Turman achieved favor with a new generation thanks to a substantial role as Baltimore Mayor Clarence V. Royce on the critically revered drama series “The Wire” (HBO 2002-08). Alongside a subsequent recurring role on the drama program “In Treatment” (HBO 2008-2010), Turman accumulated work in high-profile films like the musical “Burlesque” (2010) and the science-fiction film “Super 8” (2011). At the inception of the dramedy series “House of Lies” (Showtime 2012-), Turman took on the part of Jeremiah Kaan, disapproving father to series star Don Cheadle’s character Marty.