plays Jim Gardner
Harry Joseph Lennix III was born in 1964, the youngest of four siblings on Chicago's south side. He attended Northwestern University, where he majored in Theater. After graduation he taught Music and English for several years while maintaining an active stage career and even fitting in a bit of Hollywood, starring in "The Five Heartbeats" and "The Mary Thomas Story."
In 1989 Lennix founded Legacy Productions with renowned Chicago director Chuck Smith, dedicated to mounting historically significant plays about the African American experience. He and Smith are currently on staff at the Goodman Theatre.
Following the advice of his former classmate and current manager, Lennix moved to New York to build his acting career, which he has done very successfully. Recent film credits include "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix: Revolutions," and the Oscar-winning "Ray." He performed opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins in "The Human Stain" and "Titus," under director Julie Taymor, and has worked with many other well known directors, including Robert Townsend on "The Five Heartbeats" and Spike Lee with "Get on the Bus." Other film credits are "Barbershop 2," "Suspect Zero" (with Sir Ben Kingsley), "Chrystal" (with Billy Bob Thornton) and "Love and Basketball." He also starred as the legendary Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in Showtime's "Keep the Faith, Baby." Television credits include recurring roles on "ER" and "Diagnosis Murder," and guest starring roles on "House: MD," "The Second Time Around," "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal."
Lennix has directed and appeared in many theatre productions across the country. He received the first annual Ollie Award for his performance of Malcolm X at the Goodman, and two Joseph Jefferson Citations for his roles in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Caught in the Act." He directed the stage version of Townsend's "The Five Heartbeats," which received three NAACP Theater Award nominations, and also starred as "King Hedley II" at the Mark Taper Forum. In 2001 Lennix was part of the first American company to be invited to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the production of "Cymbeline." For Steppenwolf he directed "The Glass Menagerie."
Other awards include a Black Reel Award for Best Actor for "Keep the Faith, Baby" -- and for which he received nominations for an NAACP Image Award and Golden Satellite Award. He also received a Golden Satellite for Best Supporting Role in a Drama for "Titus," and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Ray."
Lennix serves on the advisory boards of Chicago's Congo Square Theater and The Robey Theater in Los Angeles. He is active in civic groups and sits on the Northwestern University Advisory Council.
HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL
BIRTHDATE: November 16