Anthony Anderson is an actor known for both comedic and dramatic fare, including films like ‘Barbershop’ and the series ‘K-Ville,’ ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Black-ish.’
Who Is Anthony Anderson?
Born on August 15, 1970, in Los Angeles, California, Anthony Anderson has appeared in films like Life, Big Momma's House, Barbershop, The Departed and Transformers. Known for his comedic flair, he also starred on his own sitcom for a season and was later featured in more serious fare, including the cop series K-Ville and Law & Order. In 2014, Anderson began starring in the hit sitcom Black-ish, for which he earned numerous award nominations.
Background and Education
Anthony Anderson was born on August 15, 1970, with most reports citing his place of birth as Los Angeles, California. He was raised in the area of Compton, with his mother working as a telephone operator and background actor in various productions, while his stepfather (whom Anderson cites as his "real" father) ran a clothing chain. Anderson discovered his passion for acting via his mother and attended a performing arts high school, subsequently earning a scholarship to attend Howard University. He graduated with a theater arts degree in 1993.
Launches Screen Career
Anderson worked in television for a while, making guest appearances on various programs and starring in the Saturday morning teen sitcom Hang Time, before landing his big break in film with a role in Life (1999), starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.
Over the next decade, Anderson scored roles in an array of movies; many were humorous outings, yet he also took on action and dramatic fare as well. Some of his most prominent projects include Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Romeo Must Die (2000), Kingdom Come (2001), Barbershop (2002), Kangaroo Jack (2003), The Departed (2006) and Transformers (2007).
After a series of meetings with WB Network executives, Anderson got the opportunity to star in a TV sitcom partially inspired by his own life—All About the Andersons, which ran from 2003 to 2004, and on which he also served as a writer and producer.
More television work soon followed. In 2007, Anderson starred on the police drama K-Ville, with Cole Hauser. The show was set in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. While that show only lasted a season, Anderson joined one of TV's most successful crime dramas, Law & Order, in 2008. He played Detective Kevin Bernard until the series ended in 2010.
After Law & Order, Anderson continued to work steadily in television. He made numerous guest appearances in such shows as Soul Man, Raising Hope and Rake. In 2012, Anderson starred as a Gary, a 30-something father in Guys with Kids, which ran for one season.
On the big screen, Anderson appeared in the fifth installment of the Scary Movie franchise and the boxing flick Grudge Match, both from 2013. The following year, he demonstrated his passion for food as the host of the Food Network's Eating America series.
In 2014, Anderson made a return to prime-time programming with Black-ish. The sitcom proved a hit with audiences, who responded to Anderson's character as the successful head of an African-American family who struggles with his family's assimilation into a mostly white environment.
Unafraid to wade into controversial issues, including homosexuality and police brutality, Black-ish and its lead actors quickly generated major awards buzz. Anderson earned the first of three straight Emmy nominations in 2015, and the first of consecutive Golden Globe noms the following year.
Along with his acting work, Anderson has served as a health and fitness role model. He took on a more active exercise regimen after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, along with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He has lost weight and utilized social media to inspire others to maintain fitness with the group Weight No More, with his wife, Alvina, and his children enjoying exercise as well.
Anderson has also been known to return to his Compton neighborhood to inspire youth to reach for something else outside of the streets and tough urban life.