Glynn Russell Turman is an American actor, writer, and director known for his roles in Cooley High, A Different World, and the TV series The Wire.


Turman was born in New York City, New York, on January 31, 1947. According to a DNA analysis, he shares maternal ancestry with the Edo people of Nigeria. When Turman was thirteen years old, he landed his first prominent acting role as Travis Younger in the Broadway play of Lorraine Hansberry's classic A Raisin in the Sun. While he did not play the role when it was adapted into a movie in 1961, he began studying at Manhattan's School of Performing Arts. Upon graduating from the school, Turman apprenticed in regional and repertory theater companies throughout the U.S., including Tyrone Guthrie's Repertory Theatre, in which he performed in the productions of Good Boys, Harper's Ferry, The Visit, and The House of Atreus. He then made his Los Angeles stage debut in Vinnette Carroll's Slow Dance on the Killing Ground. He later earned a Los Angeles Critics Award nomination and a Dramalogue Award win after performing in The Wine Sellers in 1974. Turman also won his first NAACP Image Award for his work in the play Eyes of the American. Also becoming a stage director, Turman received his second NAACP Image Award for directing Deadwood Dick at the Inner City Cultural Center.

Turman also directed several episodes for TV series, including The Parent 'Hood, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and The Wayans Bros, among others. He also directed several episodes whilst starring in the TV sitcom A Different World, in which he portrayed Colonel Bradford "Brad" Taylor for a total of five seasons. The show's theme song was sung by his ex-wife, Aretha Franklin, to whom he was married from 1978 to 1984 before divorcing her. Glynn also portrayed the lead character in JD's Revenge. Turman later extended his career to films during the 1970s, starring in blaxploitation movies, including Five on the Black Hand Side and Together Brothers. Then, he progressed to roles in the cult classic Cooley High in 1975, The River Niger in 1976, and A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich in 1978. Turman also starred in made-for-TV movies, including Centennial, a miniseries released in 1978; Attica; Minstrel Man, for which he won his third NAACP Image Award; Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad, released in 1994; Buffalo Soldiers; and Freedom Song. Turman also made notable appearances in the films Gremlins and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

In 2004, Turman joined the hit HBO-produced series The Wire, in which he portrayed the recurring character Mayor Clarence Royce, later becoming a full-time regular character in 2006. His portrayal of Mayor Royce granted him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Support Actor in a Drama Series for the 2007 awards ceremony. Since The Wire, Turman guest-starred Scrubs, The Twilight Zone, Matlock, Millennium, and the sitcom All of Us. In 2008, Turman won a Primetime Emmy award for his guest-star appearance on the HBO series In Treatment. He recently appeared on the ABC-produced series Detroit 1-8-7 and is currently performing and producing a one-man show, Movin' Man, which details his life; Turman has also made plans on writing a book as well. According to a 2007 interview, Turman was almost cast for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars, recalling of the decision, "That was in George Lucas' book. Apparently George Lucas had me in mind for the role, and then thought that there might be too much controversy between a white Princess Leia and a black Han Solo – because those were the times - and he didn't want to get into that. At the time, I had no idea. I just went to the audition, did it and got out of there." In 2012, he began starring in House of Lies on Showtime, portraying the father of Don Cheadle's character.

On Criminal MindsEdit

Turman portrayed serial killer Charles Johnson in the Season Nine episode Strange Fruit.


  • Criminal Minds - Strange Fruit (2013) TV episode - Charles Johnson
  • Act Like You Love Me (2013) as David
  • House of Lies (2012-2013) as Jeremiah Kaan (24 episodes)
  • Revolution (2012) as Major David Kipling
  • NCIS: Los Angeles (2012) as James Pierce
  • The Obama Effect (2012) as Slim Sugar
  • Alcatraz (2012) as Emmitt Little
  • John Dies at the End (2012) as Detective
  • Super 8 (2011) as Dr. Thomas Woodward
  • Supremacy (2011) as Frank Walker (short)
  • Funny or Die Presents... (2011) as Chief Huckey (segment "United States Police Department")
  • The Defenders (2010-2011) as Judge Bob Owens (5 episodes)
  • Bright (2011) as Beamon (short)
  • Detroit 1-8-7 (2010) as Reverend Clinton P. Huey
  • Burlesque (2010) as Harold Saint
  • Takers (2010) as Chief Detective Duncan
  • Preaching to the Pastor (2009) as Bishop Hightower
  • FlashForward (2009) as Senator Noland
  • Southland (2009) as Captain
  • In Treatment (2008-2009) as Alex Prince, Sr. (4 episodes)
  • Scrubs (2009) as George Valentine
  • ER (2008) as Mr. Holmes
  • Cold Case (2008) as Al Towert
  • The Wire (2004-2008) as Mayor/Ex-Mayor Clarence V. Royce (22 episodes)
  • Kings of the Evening (2008) as Clarence Brown
  • Murder 101: New Age (2008) as Sheriff Bob Monroe
  • City Teacher (2007) as Kevin Sawyer
  • All of Us (2006) as Earl James (3 episodes)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2006) as Dr. Young
  • Sahara (2005) as Dr. Frank Hopper
  • The Bernie Mac Show (2004-2005) as Carl/Calvin, Bernie's Brother (2 episodes)
  • The Seat Filler (2004) as Derrick's Dad
  • The Lyon's Den (2003) as Phil Cherot
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2003) as Roy Hines
  • Resurrection Blvd. (2000-2002) as Bobby Davis (6 episodes)
  • JAG (2001) as Sub Captain
  • Air Rage (2001) as Ted Bigelow (video)
  • Big Apple (2001) as Ted Olsen (8 episodes)
  • Fire & Ice (2001) as Robert Aimes, Sr.
  • Touched by an Angel (2000) as Sheriff Guthrie
  • Men of Honor (2000) as Chief Floyd
  • The Visit (2000) as Parole Board Member Reingold
  • Freedom Song (2000) as T-Bone Lanier
  • Strange World (1999) as Wade Beecher
  • Light It Up (1999) as Principal Allan Armstrong
  • The Magnificent Seven (1999) as Achilles Thompson
  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) as Dr. Shakespeare
  • Buffalo Soldiers (1997) as Sgt. Joshua "Joyu" Judges Ruth
  • Millennium (1997) as James Glen
  • Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault (1996) as Coach Powell
  • Subterfuge (1996) as Stallworth Hubbs
  • Someone Else's Child (1994) as Judge Roullard
  • The Inkwell (1994) as Spencer Phillips
  • Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad (1994) as Solomon
  • A Different World (1988-1993) as Col. Bradford "Brad" Taylor (45 episodes)
  • Deep Cover (1992) as Russell Stevens Sr.
  • Freddy's Nightmares (1990) as Dr. Redman
  • Murder, She Wrote (1985-1989) as Earl Browder/Stan Lassiter/Ben Coleman (3 episodes)
  • J.J. Starbuck (1987) as Lt. Caspersons
  • CBS Summer Playhouse (1987) as Roger Donnely
  • Matlock (1987) as Maj. Dennis Orlando (2 episodes)
  • Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1986) as Lloyd Lyman
  • Out of Bounds (1986) as Lieutenant Delgado
  • The Redd Foxx Show (1986) as Rod Tyler
  • The Twilight Zone (1985) as Billy Kinetta (segment "Paladin of the Lost Hour")
  • Hail to the Chief (1985) as LaRue Hawkes
  • American Playhouse (1985) as Joshua
  • Riptide (1985) as Tyrone Diamond
  • Hot Pursuit (1984) as Mitch Simpson
  • T.J. Hooker (1984) as Norman Powell
  • Secrets of a Married Man (1984) as Jesse
  • Gremlins (1984) as Roy Hanson
  • The Love Boat (1984) as Tyrone
  • Manimal (1983) as Ty Earl
  • Fame (1982) as Ben Pettit
  • Penitentiary II (1982) as Charles Johnson
  • The Greatest American Hero (1982) as Captain Le Clerc
  • Thornwell (1981) as James Thornwell
  • The White Shadow (1980) as Ron Taylor
  • Attica (1980) as Raymond Franklin
  • Centennial (1978-1979) as Nate Person (TV miniseries, 5 episodes)
  • The Paper Chase (1978) as Raymond Livingston
  • Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold (1978) as Preston de Cordiva
  • Visions (1976-1978) as Axis (2 episodes)
  • ABC Afterschool Specials (1978) as Lenny Johnson
  • A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich (1978) as Nigeria
  • The Tony Randall Show (1977) as William
  • The Serpent's Egg (1977) as Monroe
  • The Richard Pryor Special? (1977) as Booster Johnson
  • Minstrel Man (1977) as Harry Brown, Jr.
  • J.D.'s Revenge (1976) as Isaac
  • The River Niger (1976) as Jeff Williams
  • Cooley High (1975) as Preach
  • The Blue Knight (1975) as Edwin Beall
  • Ceremonies in Dark Old Men (1975) as Theo
  • Together Brothers (1974) as Dr. Johnson
  • Thomasine & Bushrod (1974) as Jomo J. Anderson
  • The Rookies (1973) as Jimmy
  • Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) as Gideon
  • Hawaii Five-O (1973) as Harley Dartson
  • Cannon (1973) as Jamal
  • The Doris Day Show (1972) as Chris Davis
  • A.W.O.L. (1972) as Mohammed G.
  • Mod Squad (1972) as Lonnie
  • Insight (1971) as Sam
  • In Search of America (1971) as Bodhi
  • Room 222 (1970-1971) as Vic (2 episodes)
  • Carter's Army (1970) as Pvt. George Brightman
  • CBS Playhouse (1969) as Jackson
  • Julia (1969) as Jimmy James (2 episodes)
  • Peyton Place (1968-1969) as Lew Miles (33 episodes)
  • Daktari (1968) as Usumbu


  • The Wayans Bros. (1996-1997) - 7 episodes
  • Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (1997) - 1 episode
  • The Parent 'Hood (1995-1996) - 7 episodes
  • A Different World (1991-1993) - 4 episodes
  • Dynasty (1983) - 1 episode (credited as Glynn R. Turman)


  • Peyton Place (1969) - Writer - 1 episode


For an up-to-date filmography, see here.

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