Delroy Lindo


Date of Birth: 18 November 1952, Eltham, London, England, UK Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m) Bio:

On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992) is what first attracted attention to Lindo's considerable talents. Since then, his star has slowly been on the rise.

The son of Jamaican parents, Lindo was born and raised in Lewisham, England, United Kingdom, until his teens when he and his mother, a nurse, moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A little later, they moved to the United States, where Lindo would graduate from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. After graduation, Lindo landed his first film role, that of an Army sergeant in More American Graffiti (1979). However, he did not appear in another film for ten years. In the meantime, Lindo worked on stage and, in 1982, debuted on Broadway in "Master Harold and the Boys" directed by the play's author, Athol Fugard. In 1988, Lindo earned a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Harald Loomis in Joe Turner's Come and Gone.

Though he was obviously a talented actor with a bright future, Lindo's career stalled. Wanting someone more aggressive and appreciative of his talents, Lindo changed agents (he'd had the same one through most of his early career). It was a smart move, but it was director Spike Lee who provided the boost Lindo's career needed. The director was impressed enough with Lindo to cast him as patriarch Woody Carmichael in Lee's semi-autobiographical comedy Crooklyn (1994).

For Lindo, 1996 was a big year. He landed major supporting roles in six features, including a heavy in Barry Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty (1995), another villainous supporting role in Lee's Clockers (1995), and still another bad guy in Feeling Minnesota (1996). Lest one believe that Lindo is typecast into forever playing drug lords and gangsters, that year he also played baseball player Leroy "Satchel" Paige in the upbeat Soul of the Game (1996) (a.k.a. Baseball in Black and White), for which he won a NAACP Image Award nomination. Since then, the versatile Lindo has shown himself equally adept at playing characters on both sides of the law. In 1997, he played an angel opposite Holly Hunter in Danny Boyle's offbeat romantic fantasy A Life Less Ordinary (1997) and, in 2009, a vengeful cop in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999).

Lindo graduated from San Francisco State University in 2004 with a degree in Cinema.

Spouse (2) Kathi Coaston (16 May 1978 - ?) (divorced) Neshormeh Lindo (? - present) (1 child) Trivia (13)

Has one son, Damiri.

Is a fan of the London-based football (soccer) team Arsenal.

Was nominated for Broadway's 1988 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."

Still considers himself British, despite having lived in America since his late teens.

Before being able to fully support himself as an actor, he worked a variety of jobs that ranged from busing tables, driving cabs, and selling pesticides over the phone.

Lives in San Francisco.

The son of Jamaican parents (his mother was a nurse; his father held various jobs), Lindo was inspired to act after seeing the production of William Shakespeare's "The Taming of The Shrew" on PBS television.

Took an 8-day tour of South Africa with Danny Glover, Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett, and Alexandra Paul to urge Black people there to participate in that country's first fully democratic national election in 1994.

Went to stunt-driving school to prepare for his role in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000).

Has played two characters named Isaac. Isaac Stubbs in Beauty and the Beast (1987) and, most noticeably, Isaak O'Day in Romeo Must Die (2000).

Lives in Oakland, California.

Rehearsing for his role in August Wilson's new play, "Gem of the Ocean," which is set to open at Huntington College in Boston. [September 2004]

His last name Lindo means pretty in portuguese.

Personal Quotes

"I'm very proud of my roles. I enjoy the ability to touch millions of people and, in some way, connect with them in ways that I cannot connect with them in my normal, everyday life." - On his films.

(On Gone in 60 Seconds) Filming 20 minutes of a car chase took two months of work. And I did a lot of it myself because I went to stunt-driving school. It was great. They were teaching me how to do wheelies, 360s and 180s.

(2011 quote on making Soul of the Game) One of my favorites! But let me say I'm hugely proud of that film, hugely proud. And I feel really, really... oh God. To use a hackneyed term-no, I'm not going to say "blessed," but I was blessed. It was just a fantastic opportunity, and I was really, really thrilled to get the opportunity to play Satchel Paige. The way it happened was the way these things always happen. I got a call from my representatives saying "There's a script, they're interested in you for this." At the time actually, there was word that some people from HBO were really interested in me for the part, some people thought I might be too old. I vaguely remember that. The script was sent to me, I read it, by the time it was sent to me, it was called Baseball In Black And White, and during the time we were shooting, that's what the title was. It was wonderful. I read the script and just fell in love with it. It was beautifully written, beautifully. There was a scene in the beginning which unfortunately we did not get to shoot which was just really, really rich. It was a scene between my character, Satchel Paige, and Josh Gibson. I said "Of course I want to do this." I had actually been offered something else at the same time that we had been negotiating, preliminarily negotiating, but Kevin Sullivan came to New York. Kevin and I met and we talked for some while. I remember being in Central Park, throwing the baseball, and I don't play baseball, I hadn't played baseball, but I threw as best as I could. At the end of the meeting, he said, "Yeah, I'd really like you to do this," and I said, "I'd love to do this, but the one thing, playing Satchel Paige, I want to be sure that I'm gonna have lots of time to get with a pitcher and work on that aspect." He assured me that it could happen, and that is what happened. Very shortly after having met Kevin, I got the official offer, and I was thrilled to do it. It was a difficult shoot because I would have loved to have had more time. But I'm really proud of it. What I could tell you that the biggest challenge for me going into that project, that I was aware of, is that Satchel Paige, based on everything that I read, and I read a lot of material about him, he was someone that used humor as a defense, as his weapon, as his coping mechanism. Humor was a great part of Satchel Paige's life, and that was very challenging. I was afraid of that. Humor doesn't function that way in my life personally. I think it's a brilliant tool to have, not only to have a sense of humor, but to be able to use humor to help one navigate life, and I tend not to be that type of person. I wish I were. But having said all that, I was aware of that about Satchel Paige, and I wanted very much to portray that element. A lightness of touch, a lightness of being, a humorous way of responding to things, even when one is feeling devastated. That was the aspect of his personality that I wanted very much to nail down.

(2011 quote on landing Get Shorty) I think they couldn't work it out with Sam [Jackson]. I don't think I'm misremembering that. Sam and John [Travolta] had had that huge success on Pulp Fiction, and I think they tried to cast Sam in that part, but they couldn't work it out. They came to me. I guess, arguably, one could say that was my first all-out major studio venture. I didn't think of it in those kinds of terms; I think I'm thinking of it in those kinds of terms in retrospect. For me at the time, if I'm remembering, it was another really interesting job. I was thrilled to be there-great part. I remember reading the script, and thinking, "Damn, this is really well-written." When I read Elmore Leonard's book, Bo Catlett is actually written as a light-skinned black man. Thankfully, that was not a concern to the producers, and they hired me. I had a really, really good time, and the script was so well-written. I used the book as source material-just a well-constructed piece of storytelling. I was really happy to be there, and very much in my element.

(2011 quote on The Simpsons) When I did The Simpsons, that got me instant cred with my nieces and nephews in Philly. That is when I became aware of the power of The Simpsons. They were like "Oh wow, Uncle Delroy did The Simpsons, oh wow, man." I was not on that Simpsons phenomenon. I had never really watched it, and it was not on my radar, so to say. After I did that voiceover, I was very aware of the power of The Simpsons, because in certain quarters, I got instant credibility. So there you go.

Known For


Cast Credits

Blood & Oil (2015)
Starring as Tip Hamilton (9 episodes)
Believe (2014)
Starring as Dr. Milton Winter (12 episodes)
The Chicago Code (2011)
Starring as Ronin Gibbons (13 episodes)
Mercy (2009)
Starring as Dr. Alfred Parks
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)
Guest starring as Detective Victor Moran
  • Episode 10x18: Baggage (Apr 7, 2009)
The Late Show with David Letterman (1993)
Guest starring as Delroy Lindo
The Simpsons (1989)
Guest starring as Gabriel