- April 13, 1973 (age 47)
- Actor, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Martial artist
- Mahiely Woodbine
Bokeem Woodbine (born April 13, 1973) is an American film and television actor.
Woodbine was born in Harlem, New York to an actress mother. He attended the prestigious Dalton School in New York before transferring to the also prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in the city. He was an Instrumental Music Major, and the lead singer for the band, Mazard.
Bokeem, nicknamed Bo, is also a talented rock musician who both composes songs and plays the guitar for his band, 13 Purple Dragons. A formidable martial artist, he keeps his physique up practicing Shaolin Kung Fu under Shifu Shi Yan Ming, who is a 34th generation Shaolin Temple Warrior Monk. He has a wife named Mahiely Woodbine.
With the encouragement of his actress mother, Woodbine entered show biz at age 19 as a stand-in and extra in Ernest R. Dickerson's directorial debut, the hip-hop classic "Juice" (1992), starring Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. In the following year, he made his TV acting debut in the "CBS Schoolbreak Special" entitled "Love Off Limits." His appearance was noticed by casting director Jaki Brown-Karman who later recommended him to Forest Whitaker for the latter's directorial effort, "Strapped" (HBO; 1993), in which he co-starred with Michael Biehn.
After playing a small part in Spike Lee's semi-biographical film "Crooklyn" (1994; with Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly and Zelda Harris), Woodbine landed a featured role in Doug McHenry's romantic drama film "Jason's Lyric" (1994), as the title role's (played by Allen Payne) bad brother Joshua, who obviously bound for a violent end, dealing drugs for short-term cash and joining a gang plotting a bank robbery. In the following year, he secured breakthrough screen roles in writer/director Mario Van Peebles' semi-historic film about the origins of The Black Panther Party of Self-Defense, "Panther," portraying a Panther member named Tyrone, and in the Hughes Brothers' fact-based action/thriller film "Dead Presidents," as Cleon, a religious yet deadly Staff Sergeant.
Woodbine subsequently co-starred with Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields in writer/director Matthew Bright's dark comedy/thriller film "Freeway" (1996), a modern riff on the Little Red Riding Hood story, and was cast alongside Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris for Michael Bay's blockbuster action movie "The Rock" (1996), as Sergeant Crisp. That same year, he also appeared in the music video for 2Pac (Tupac Shakur), "I Ain't Mad Atcha."