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Danny Glover: Acclaimed Actor and Passionate Activist

Full Name Danny Lebern Glover
Birthday July 22, 1946
Birthplace San Francisco, CA
Age 77
Height 6‘ 4"
Net Worth $40 million
Relationship Status Divorced Eliane Cavalleiro (2000)
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Danny Glover is an award-winning American actor, producer and political activist best known for his leading roles in blockbuster hits like the Lethal Weapon franchise and The Color Purple. With a career spanning over 40 years, Glover has left an indelible mark in Hollywood with his powerful on-screen performances and off-screen activism.

Early Life in San Francisco

Danny Lebern Glover was born on July 22, 1946 in San Francisco, California to James and Carrie Glover. His parents were postal workers and community activists. Glover has cited his parents as major influences who instilled in him strong social justice values from a young age.

He grew up in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco, graduating from George Washington High School in 1964. Glover was a popular student who excelled at sports like track and basketball.

Attending San Francisco State University during the turbulent 1960s shaped Glover‘s worldview and future activism. He participated in the historic five-month SFSU strike in 1968 that birthed the first ethnic studies program.

The strike at San Francisco State was about more than obtaining an ethnic studies department. It was about self-determination, the right to be involved in processes and decisions that determine the quality of our lives. – Danny Glover

Discovering His Passion for Acting

After graduating from SFSU in 1971, Glover enrolled in the Black Actors Workshop at the American Conservatory Theater. There he flourished as an actor in theatrical productions like Suicide in B Flat.

Glover got his first film role in 1983 with a bit part as an inmate in Escape from Alcatraz. Though starting slowly in minor roles, Glover‘s talent was undeniable and his major breakthrough came in 1985 with a starring role in Steven Spielberg‘s The Color Purple.

"When I read the part of Mister, it resonated so deeply with me I knew I had to play that role. It felt like inhabiting someone‘s soul." – Danny Glover on landing the role of Albert in The Color Purple.

The complexity Glover brought to the abusive husband Albert earned him widespread acclaim and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. After that star-making performance, the exciting parts kept coming for Glover.

Blockbuster Success with Lethal Weapon

In 1987, Glover struck box office gold playing LAPD Sergeant Roger Murtaugh opposite Mel Gibson in the mega-hit Lethal Weapon. Their characters reinvented the buddy-cop genre spawning 3 hugely popular sequels.

Fun fact: Glover‘s Murtaugh was deemed "too old for this shit" in the films. But Glover performed all his own intense stunts in the role defying his character‘s age!

The four Lethal Weapon films cemented Glover as a major star able to carry big-budget Hollywood productions with ease. He brought such depth and likability to Murtaugh that the character became etched in popular culture forever.

Acclaim for Dramatic Roles

While dominating the action genre, some of Glover‘s best work has been in serious dramas tackling racism and social issues.

In the 1950s set A Rage in Harlem (1991), Glover delivered a powerful performance capturing the complexities facing black professionals in that era.

As the conflicted South African cop in anti-apartheid film Bopha! (1993), Glover peeled back the human toll of systemic racism.

Bringing the role of Micah to life in Bopha! gave me insight into how good people get caught up in the madness of apartheid and oppression."

And Glover earned rave reviews for his heart-wrenching portrayal of Nelson Mandela‘s lawyer in the TV movie Mandela and de Klerk (1997).

Esteemed Director and Producer

In addition to acting, Glover has established himself as an accomplished director and producer making independent films focused on issues important to him.

He co-founded Alphaville Films expressly to develop socially relevant movies often overlooked by Hollywood.

Glover directed the apartheid drama Mandela and de Klerk (1997), which he calls one of his proudest achievements.

He has produced documentaries like The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) and dramas like Mooz-lum (2010) spotlighting Muslim American experiences post 9/11.

Lifetime of Activism and Humanitarian Work

Danny Glover‘s activism and humanitarian work is as essential to who he is as his acting. He has been deeply engaged in social justice issues his entire career.

He campaigned vigorously for Rev. Jesse Jackson‘s presidential bids in 1984 and 1988. He was also visible in the anti-apartheid movement, getting arrested protesting South Africa.

I got involved in the anti-apartheid movement because how could you not? We all have a responsibility to speak out against injustice."

Appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Development Programme in 1998, Glover has spearheaded poverty reduction and sustainability programs across Africa.

He co-founded Louverture Films to support documentaries exposing human rights violations globally. Glover‘s activism covers everything from union rights to climate justice to HIV/AIDS research. Now in his 70s, he remains as passionate as ever about fighting oppression everywhere.

Recent Work and Looking Ahead

Even after an amazing career, Glover continues to take on exciting roles in his later years. Recently, he has had cameos in hit shows like Atlanta and Dear White People introducing him to younger audiences.

Upcoming films for Glover include I Want to Dance For You portraying an aging music teacher, which speaks to his lifelong love of music and mentorship.

There are also rumors of Lethal Weapon 5 which would see Glover reprise the beloved role of Murtaugh one more time. At 77, Glover‘s passion for acting and activism continues unabated.

Why Danny Glover is an Icon

What makes Danny Glover so special? For starters:

  • His amazing range from action icons like Murtaugh to dramatic roles like Mandela
  • Longevity at the top with memorable performances in over 150 film and TV credits
  • Using his platform as a star for tireless humanitarian work across the globe
  • Co-founding companies like Alphaville Films to produce social impact movies
  • Remaining dedicated to equal rights and justice even into his late 70s

Danny Glover is the rare artist who has succeeded enormously in Hollywood but remained committed to his principles. He has entertained millions while also working to make the world a little more just. That‘s what makes Danny Glover a true icon whose legacy shines bright.