Who is Courtney B. Vance?
American actor Courtney Bernard Vance was born in Detroit, Michigan USA on 12 March 1960, making his zodiac sign Pisces. He’s had roles in over 70 movies and TV series, and is perhaps still best known for his playing of Seaman Jones in the critically acclaimed 1990 action adventure thriller movie “The Hunt for Red October”, which John McTiernan directed, and which starred Scott Glenn, Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery. Set in 1984, the film follows a Soviet Union’s captain who’s violated his superior’s orders and is heading towards the USA in an undetectable submarine; the movie won four of its 12 award nominations, including an Oscar win for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing.
Courtney’s still highly active in the film industry, and is today shooting for the crime thriller series “61st Street”, in which he’s portraying the lead character Franklin Roberts, and he’s also shooting for the upcoming crime movie “Heist 88”, set to be released in 2023.
Education and early life
Courtney was raised in Detroit alongside his sister Cecilie by their father Conroy Vance who was a benefits administrator and grocery store manager, and their mother Leslie Anite (nee Daniels) who was a librarian.
Courtney became interested in acting while attending Detroit Country Dan School, but was also focused on his education, having promised his parents that he would be pursuing a college degree. He matriculated in 1978, and then enrolled at Harvard University; during his four years at Harvard, Courtney was a member of the Boston Shakespeare Company and appeared in many theatre plays.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982, and then enrolled at Yale School of Drama, from which he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1984.
Roles in movies
Courtney’s debut film role was his playing of Male Student in the 1983 romantic drama “First Affair”, and some of his following roles were in the 1987 action thriller drama “Hamburger Hill”, the 1991 animated family drama “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (voice role), and the 1992 family drama “Nonesense and Lullabyes: Nursery Rhymes”.
The year 1993 saw him play Jim, one of the lead characters in the comedy drama “The Adventures of Huck Finn”, based on Mark Twain’s novel, and which Stephen Sommers directed. It also starred Robbie Coltrane and Elijah Wood, and follows Huck Finn who’s left his foster family and has joined the runaway slave Jim on his adventures. Some of Courtney’s notable performances in the remainder of the ‘90s were in the 1995 musical drama “The Piano Lesson”, the 1997 crime drama “12 Angry Men”, and the 1999 comedy drama “Cookie’s Fortune”.
The year 2000 saw him portray Roger Hines in the critically acclaimed action adventure thriller “Space Cowboys”, directed by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in it alongside Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland. It follows retired engineer Frank Corvin who’s been asked to help save a failing satellite, and the film won four of its 14 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Sound Editing. Courtney appeared in only three other movies in the decade: the 2002 crime thriller “Eye See You”, the 2008 crime thriller drama “Nothing But the Truth” and the 2009 sports drama “Hurricane Season”.
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In 2011, he portrayed Delvin in the science fiction horror drama “The Divide”, directed by Xavier Gens, and which starred Lauren German, Michael Biehn and Milo Ventimiglia. It follows a group of nuclear attack survivors who’ve hidden in the basement of their building, and the movie won one of its six award nominations. The same year saw Courtney play Agent Block in the hit horror thriller “Final Destination 5”, while the following year saw him play Pastor Dale in the musical comedy drama “Joyful Noise”, and Jacob in the musical family drama “Let It Shine”.
In 2015, Courtney portrayed Miles Dyson in the action science fiction adventure “Terminator Genisys”, directed by Alan Taylor, and which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke and Emilia Clarke. It follows the leader of human resistance John Connor, who’s sent Sergeant Kyle Reese to the year 1984 to protect Sarah Connor, and the film was nominated for 10 awards.
Courtney’s three most recent film roles have been in the romantic drama “The Photograph”, the drama “Unlocked”, and the action science fiction crime “Project Power”, all released in 2020.
Roles in TV series
Courtney’s debut TV series role was his playing of Curtis in the 1989 episode “Trust Me” of the romantic drama “Thirtysomething”, while some of his following roles were in the 1990 episode “By Hooker, By Crook” and the 1995 episode “Rage” of the mystery crime drama “Law & Order”, the 1995 episode “Final Judgement” of the family crime drama “Picket Fences”, and the 1998 episode “Unfinished Symphony” of the drama “Any Day Now”.
Between 2001 and 2006, Courtney starred as Assistant District Attorney Ronald ‘Ron’ Carver in the mystery crime drama “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, which Dick Wolf and Rene Balcer created, and which also starred Jamey Sheridan, Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe. The series follows the work of New York Police Department’s Major Case Squad, it aired from 2001 to 2011, and won five of its 24 award nominations.
What also marked the 2000s for Courtney was his playing of Russell Banfield in eight episodes of the critically acclaimed romantic drama “ER” in 2008 and 2009; Michael Crichton created the series, which starred George Clooney, Anthony Edwards and Julianna Margulies, and follows various people who’ve found themselves at the County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. It aired from 1994 to 2009, and won 179 of its 549 award nominations.
In 2011, Courtney played Chief Tommy Delk in the mystery crime drama “The Closer”, and the following year saw him play Benjamin Brooks in four episodes of the mystery thriller drama “Revenge”. In 2016, he was cast to play Johnnie Cochran in the popular biographical crime drama “American Crime Story”, created by Sarah Burgess, Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, and which starred Sterling K. Brown, Annaleigh Ashford and Sarah Paulson. It covers the most notorious crimes committed in the USA, and won 120 of its 465 award nominations.
Courtney’s two most recent TV series roles have been in three episodes of the 2021 fantasy horror drama “Lovecraft Country”, and eight episodes of the 2021 biographical historical drama “Genius”.
Courtney co-produced the 1999 romantic comedy movie “Love and Action in Chicago”, and is the producer of the upcoming crime movie “Heist 88”.
He received special thanks for the 2010 episode “What Did You See?” of the mystery science fiction series “Flashforward”.
Courtney sang the song “Another Day of Sun” in the 2017 TV special “The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2017”, and sang “I Will Trust in the Lord” in the 2021 episode “Aretha: Respect” of the biographical historical series “Genius”.
Some of the talk-shows in which he’s made a guest appearance include “Tamron Hall”, “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Talk”.
Awards and nominations
Courtney’s won 15 of his 39 award nominations, with his two most notable wins having been a 2016 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie, for his performance in “American Crime Story”, and a 2021 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for “Lovecraft Country”.
Some of his other wins include a 2013 Black Reel Award for Network/Cable – Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in “Let It Shine”, a 2016 Critics Choice TV Award for Best Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series, for “American Crime Story”, and a 2021 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Guest Actor, Drama Series for “Lovecraft Country”.
Love life and wife
Courtney met his future wife, famous American actress Angela Evelyn Bassett while they were both attending Yale School of Drama.
They married in a large ceremony on 12 October 1997, attended by over 400 of their family members and friends. Angela’s appeared in more than 100 movies and TV series, and is perhaps best known for her playing of Ramonda in the 2018 action science fiction adventure movie “Black Panther”, as well as for her portrayal of Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason in the 1995 science fiction crime movie “Strange Days”; for her performance in the 1993 biographical musical movie “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, Angela was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
On 27 January 2006, Angela gave birth to their twin son and daughter.
Courtney hasn’t mentioned other women whom he’s perhaps been with, he’s married to Angela Bassett as of November 2022, and they have two children together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Courtney’s a supporter of the national organization Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and today sits on The Actors Center’s Board of Directors.
Courtney’s active on Instagram, and has uploaded nearly 200 pictures and videos onto the social media network, of which there are today over 75,000 people following him; he mostly uses the network to promote his upcoming movies and TV series.
Courtney loves comedy, and some of his favorite comedians are the late Robin Williams, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.
He was physically highly active in his 30s and 40s, as he worked out at the gym nearly every day, while Courtney still today occasionally goes to the gym.
His favorite actors are Will Smith and Morgan Freeman, and some of his favorite movies are “Focus”, “After Earth” and “Concussion”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Courtney’s age is 62. He has brown eyes and short black hair, he weighs around 160lbs (72kgs) and is 5ft 9ins (1.75m) tall.
Courtney’ net worth’s been estimated at over $25 million, as of November 2022.