Blair Underwood (born August 25, 1964) is an American television
and film actor. He was born in Tacoma, Washington, the son of Marilyn,
an interior decorator, and Frank Underwood, a United States Army
colonel. As a result of his father's military career, Underwood
lived on bases in the United States and Germany during his childhood.
Petersburg High School in Petersburg, Virginia. He went on to attend
the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
and is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.
1985 appearance on The Cosby Show landed him a short stint on the
ABC soap opera One Life to Live, which eventually led to his Golden
Globe-nominated performance on the TV series L.A. Law. Underwood
broke into film with roles in Set It Off, Krush Groove, Just Cause,
and Deep Impact. He also had a supporting role as a geneticist in
In 2000, he
played the lead role in the short-lived television series City of
Angels. In 2003, he guest starred in four episodes on the popular
HBO series Sex and the City playing Cynthia Nixon's love interest.
In 2004, he
played the role of Roger De Souza opposite Heather Locklear in NBC's
LAX. He also has appeared in a guest role as a grade-school teacher
on the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine.
In 2007, he
guest starred in an episode of the NBC series Law & Order: Special
Victims Unit. Underwood has received four NAACP Image Awards for
such roles as in the docudramas Murder in Mississippi and Heat Wave.
Underwood was voted one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People" in
2000, and one of TV Guide's "Most Influential Faces of the 90s".
In 2007, Underwood
co-authored the fiction novel Casanegra: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel
with husband-and-wife team Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due.
In 1989, Underwood
co-founded Artists for a New South Africa, a non-profit organization
dedicated to democracy and equality in South Africa. Underwood is
a part of several charitable organizations. He won the 1993 Humanitarian
Award for his work with the Los Angeles chapter of the Muscular
In 2003, along
with Ashley Judd, he served as the spokesperson for YouthAIDS. Underwood
also appeared in a 2004 public service announcement for The Fulfillment
Fund. He is a Trustee for the Robey Theatre Company in Los Angeles,
a non-profit theatre group founded by Danny Glover, focusing on
plays about the Black experience.
17, 1994, he married Desiree DaCosta, with whom he has three children:
sons Paris and Blake, and daughter Brielle.