We're proud to highlight on this day in Black History Month the achievements of the legendary Danny Glover, who's diversity of performances and causes he's championed have made him a true standout in Hollywood.
How You Know Him
Danny Glover fans have all kinds of Danny Glover favorites. He's probably still best known for his portrayal of family man lead detective Roger Murtaugh in the "Lethal Weapon" film series, with movies under his belt in the franchise (note – he was supposedly turning 50 in the first film that came out in 1987…so he's definitely looking good still here in 2021).
Modern audiences know him playing opposite Danny DeVito and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in "Jumanji: The Next Level" and co-starring in worthy indie awards winners "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," "The Old Man & the Gun" with Robert Redford, and director Boots Riley's fantastical social drama "Sorry to Bother You."
Others, though, know him from his long history of activism. The son of postal workers who were active in the NAACP, Glover's been an activist his whole life. Among the causes he's championed (and sometimes, during protests, been willing to be arrested): the United Farm Workers, the American Federation of Teachers, Occupy Oakland, the TransAfrica Forum, The Black AIDS Institute, The Algebra Project and countless other advocacy groups. He's served as a UN Goodwill Ambassador to Brazil in 2018 and has been awarded multiple honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters.
Their Life So Far
Glover grew up in San Francisco and suffered from epilepsy throughout his teen years and up until his mid-30s. He also suffered from dyslexia. He attended San Francisco State University, and originally was going to go into city administration before switching to theater.
After work at the American Conservatory Theater, Glover eventually relocated to Los Angeles and worked in theater, television and started to land roles in films (he also founded his own theater company, the Robey Theatre Company, with fellow actor Ben Guillroy, in 1994).
Early roles included "Escape from Alcatraz" (his debut) with Clint Eastwood; "Places in the Heart" with Sally Field; director Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple"; "Witness" with Harrison Ford; and the western classic "Silverado" with Kevin Costner, Scott Glenn and Kevin Kline.
While the "Lethal Weapon" films shot him to superstardom, Glover's appeared in a variety of films since that speak to his range – the social drama "The Saint of Fort Washington"; John Grisham's "The Rainmaker" directed by Francis Ford Coppola; the animated films "Antz" and "The Prince of Egypt"; and an amazing role as the humble Henry Sherman in Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums."
The Movie to Watch
The list of incredible Danny Glover performances and films is long and distinguished, but we're recommending movie fans check out the highly underrated 1991 drama set in the City of Angels, Lawrence Kasdan's "Grand Canyon." It tells multiple stories that cover the diversity of the city itself, but at its heart is Danny Glover's Simon, a tow truck driver with a college-aged daughter who's deaf and a new girlfriend played by Alfre Woodard. Glover is wise, strong, funny and human…and he gives an amazing and still relevant speech about the Grand Canyon.
Drama / 1991 / R
What's Up Next
Nothing's been announced yet as far as upcoming Danny Glover projects, but we'll be keeping an eye out for what's next for this incredible icon, still going strong in the industry at age 74…so no, he wasn't really 50 in 1987's "Lethal Weapon."
More Black History Month Highlights:
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.