Courtney B. Vance

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Courtney B. Vance
Courtney Vance by David Shankbone.jpg
Vance in March 2007
BornCourtney Bernard Vance
(1960-03-12) March 12, 1960 (age 54)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)Angela Bassett (m. 1997)
ParentsConroy Vance (father)
Leslie Vance (mother)
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Courtney B. Vance
Courtney Vance by David Shankbone.jpg
Vance in March 2007
BornCourtney Bernard Vance
(1960-03-12) March 12, 1960 (age 54)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)Angela Bassett (m. 1997)
ParentsConroy Vance (father)
Leslie Vance (mother)

Courtney Bernard Vance[1] (born March 12, 1960) is an American actor. He is notable for his roles in the feature film The Hunt for Red October and the television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent, in which he played Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver. He guest starred on the TNT series The Closer as Chief Tommy Delk, from 2010–2011. In 2013 he won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role in Lucky Guy.[2]

Early life[edit]

Vance was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 12, 1960, the son of Conroy Vance, a grocery store manager and benefits administrator, and Leslie, a librarian.[1] He attended Mumford High School, and later graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts degree. While attending Harvard, Vance was already working as an actor at the Boston Shakespeare Company. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree later at Yale School of Drama where he met future wife and fellow student Angela Bassett.


Vance has earned three Tony Award nominations. He won Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as Hap Hairston in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy at the 67th Tony Awards (2013).[3] He was nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Corey in August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award for Best Play-winning play Fences at the 41st Tony Awards (1987). He was nominated for Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance as Paul in John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation at the 45th Tony Awards (1991). In 1987, he won a Clarence Derwent Award for his role as Cory Maxson in Fences.

Prior to joining the cast of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Vance appeared on the original Law & Order series twice: in a minor role in the first-season episode "By Hooker, By Crook", and in a major role in the fifth season episode "Rage".

His early feature film credits include Hamburger Hill, The Hunt for Red October, The Last Supper, Dangerous Minds, and The Adventures of Huck Finn. More recently, he appeared in Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune, Penny Marshall's The Preacher's Wife, and in Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys. Vance also starred in Love and Action in Chicago, a romantic comedy which he also co-produced. Vance played Black Panther Bobby Seale in the Melvin and Mario Van Peebles docudrama Panther. In 2008 and 2009, he guest starred in the final season of ER, alongside his wife Angela Bassett. He was also in Hurricane Season.

Vance's television credits include such cable movies as:

On December 2, 2008, TV Guide reported that Vance has been cast as the Los Angeles bureau chief of the FBI in the new ABC pilot FlashForward, which is based on a Robert J. Sawyer novel, and is said to be a possible “companion show” to Lost.[4] In 2011, he starred in the American horror film Final Destination 5. Vance is set for the lead in the German-American apocalypse thriller The Divide.

He also appeared in a Disney Channel Original Movie titled Let It Shine, where he played the Pastor Jacob Debarge, the main character's father. Vance co-starred with Tyler James Williams, Trevor Jackson, Coco Jones, Brandon Mychal Smith, and Dawnn Lewis. It was the third time Vance portrayed a pastor in a motion picture (the first being The Preacher's Wife and the second being Joyful Noise).

Vance has also provided the voiceover for the National Football League's "You Want the NFL, Go to the NFL" television spots.[5]

He appeared as Chief Tommy Delk on the TNT series, The Closer from 2010 to 2011 (Season 6–7). Vance also played the role of Attorney Benjamin Brooks on four episodes of ABC's Revenge.[6]

Vance with wife Angela Bassett

Personal life[edit]

Vance is married to Angela Bassett, whom he first met in 1980. Together, they have twins, son Slater Josiah Vance and daughter Bronwyn Golden Vance; the twins were born on January 27, 2006. He and Bassett have authored a book, Friends: A Love Story. The two also participate in the annual Christmas celebration, Candlelight Processional, at Epcot. The family lives in Los Angeles.

Vance is on the Board of Directors for The Actors Center in New York City, and is an active supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He is an alumnus of the Detroit Boys & Girls Club, and was recently inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


1983First AffairMale studentTV movie
1987Hamburger HillSpc. Abraham 'Doc' Johnson
1990The Hunt for Red OctoberSeaman Jones
1991The Emperor's New ClothesScribe (voice)TV short
1992In the Line of Duty: Street WarJustice ButlerTV movie
1993The Adventures of Huck FinnJim
1993Beyond the LawConroy Price
1993Percy & ThunderThunderTV movie
1994Race to Freedom: The Underground RailroadThomasTV movie
1994Holy MatrimonyCooper
1995The Piano LessonLymonTV movie
1995PantherBobby Seale
1995Dangerous MindsGeorge Grandey
1995The Tuskegee AirmenLt. GlennTV movie
1995The Last SupperLuke
1995The AffairTravis Holloway
1996The Boys Next DoorLucien P. SingerTV movie
1996The Preacher's WifeReverend Henry Biggs
199712 Angry MenForemanTV movie
1998Blind FaithJohn Williams
1998AmbushedJerry Robinson
1998Naked City: Justice with a BulletOfficer James HalloranTV movie
1998Naked City: A Killer ChristmasOfficer James HalloranTV movie
1999Cookie's FortuneOtis Tucker
1999Love and Action in ChicagoEddie JonesCo-producer
2000Space CowboysRoger Hines
2002D-ToxReverend JonesAlso known as Eye See You
2002Whitewash: The Clarence Brandley StoryClarence BrandleyTV movie
2008Nothing But the TruthAgent O'Hara
2009Hurricane SeasonMr. Randolph
2010Extraordinary MeasuresMarcus Temple
2011The DivideDelvin
2011Final Destination 5Agent Jim Block
2012Joyful NoisePastor Dale
2012Let It ShinePastor Jacob DeBargeTV movie
2013Book of the YearProducer; pre-production


TV series
1987The 41st Annual Tony AwardsHimselfPerformer
Nominated—Best Featured Actor in a Play
1990–1995Law & OrderBenjamin "Bud" Greer / Mayor's AssistantEpisode: "By Hooker, by Crook" (1990), "Rage" (1995)
1994Race to Freedom: The Underground RailroadThomas
1995The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy AwardsHimself
1995Picket FencesWarren GrierEpisodes: "Without Mercy", "Final Judgement"
1998Any Day NowMr. James JacksonEpisode: "Unfinished Symphony"
1998The Wild ThornberrysMakai (voice role)Episode: "Naimina Enkiyio"
2000Boston PublicWalter Harrelson
2002–2004American ExperienceDr. Vivien Thomas / NarratorTV series/documentary
Episodes: "Partners of the Heart", "The Fight"
2001–2006Law & Order: Criminal IntentA.D.A. Ron Carver
2007State of MindWilliam Banks
2008–2009ERRussell Banfield
2009The Spectacular Spider-Man (TV series)Kingsley
2009–2010FlashForwardStanford Wedeck / Narrator
2010–2011The CloserChief Tommy Delk
2012RevengeBenjamin Brooks
2013GracelandSam Campbell


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Semuels, Alana (June 9, 2013). "Tony Awards 2013: Courtney B. Vance glad he took a chance on 'Lucky Guy'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Purcell, Carey (2013-06-09). "Kinky Boots, Vanya and Sonia, Pippin and Virginia Woolf? Are Big Winners at 67th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved 2103-06-10. 
  4. ^ Who's on board for ABC's new sci-fi thriller?" TV Guide. December 2, 2008. Retrieved on December 3, 2008.
  5. ^ For N.F.L., Split Seconds Become 30-Second Spots" New York Times. August 6, 2009. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  6. ^

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