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David Alan Grier is an American actor who plays Hal in the Netflix Adaption of A Series Of Unfortunate Events.


David Alan Grier was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Aretas Ruth (Dudley), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Grier, a psychiatrist and writer. He trained in Shakespeare at Yale University, where he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Grier began his professional career on Broadway as Jackie Robinson in "The First", for which he earned a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and won the Theatre World Award (1981). He then joined the Broadway cast of "Dreamgirls", before going on to star opposite Denzel Washington in "A Soldier's Play", for which both actors reprised their roles in the film adaptation titled A Soldier's Story (1984). He appeared in Robert Altman's Streamers (1983) as "Roger", a role for which he won the Golden Lion for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival (1983).

His television work is highlighted by a turn as a principal cast member on the Emmy Award-winning In Living Color (1990) (1990-1994), where he helped to create some of the show's most memorable characters, "DAG" (2000-2001) and "Life with Bonnie" (2002-2004), for which he earned Image and Golden Satellite nominations. David also created, wrote and executive-produced a show for Comedy Central called Chocolate News (2008). Grier also won America's votes as a smooth, debonair, and outrageously irreverent contestant on ABC's smash hit, Dancing with the Stars (2005), in 2009. But Grier didn't hang up his dance shoes just then - he later appeared in the Wayans Brothers' spoof movie, Dance Flick (2009), which hit theaters in May 2009.

In Grier's first book, "Barack Like Me: The Chocolate Covered Truth" (Touchstone / Simon & Schuster; October 6, 2009), the acclaimed comedian expounds on politics, culture and race while recounting his own life story in this edgy, timely, timeless, and hilarious memoir and look at all things Barack Obama.

Grier returned to his theatrical roots 2009/2010; he starred in David Mamet's acclaimed play, "Race", opposite James Spader and Kerry Washington, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway for which he received a Tony Award nomination.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Steramers Roger
1984 A Soldier's Story Corporal Cobb
1985 Beer Elliott Morrison
1987 From the Hip Steve Hadley
1987 Amazon Women on the Moon Don "No Soul" Simmons
1988 Off Limits Rogers
1988 Me and Him Peter Conklin
1988 I'm Gonna Git You sucka Newsman
1990 Loose Cannons Drummond
1990 Almost an Angel Det. Bill
1992 The Player David Alan Grier
1992 Boomerang Gerard
1994 In the Army Now Fred Ostroff
1994 Blankman Kevin Walker
1995 Tales from the Hood Carl
1995 Jumanji Bentley
1995 Goldilocks and the Three Bears Spike
1997 McHale's Navy Ensign Charles Parker
1997 Top of the World Detective Augustus
1999 Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby Mr. Butz
1999 Stuart Little Red Voice
2000 3 Strikes Detective Jenkins
2000 East of A Brother James
2000 Return to Me Charlie Johnson
2000 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Measures
2000 Damned If You Do The Devil Short
2001 15 Minutes Mugger in Central Park
2001 I Shaved My Legs for This Strip Club Owner
2002 King of Texas Rip
2003 Baadasssss! Clyde Houston
2003 Tiptoes Jerry Robin Jr.
2003 Rock Stars Do the Dumbest Things
2004 The Woodsman Bob
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Uncle Henry
2005 Bewitched Jim Fields
2005 The Davey Gee Show Various
2006 Little Man Jimmy
2006 Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness Principal Eyeverson / The Man Upstairs / Africans Voice
2006 Thugaboo: A Miracle on D-Rock's Street Principal Eyeverson / The Man Upstairs Voice
2008 Kissing Cousins The Griller
2008 The Hustle Rev. Isaac Montgomery Paid
2008 The Poker House Stymie
2008 Gym Teacher: The Movie Shelly Bragg
2008 An American Carol Rastus Malone
2009 Dance Flick Sugar Bear
2009 Astro Boy Mr. Squirt / Math Cowboy / Boxer Robot Voice
2010 Something Like a Business 3D
2011 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil Moss the Troll Voice
2011 Thugs, the Musical! Peppermint Short
2013 Peeples Virgil Peeples
2013 The Watsons Go to Birmingham Mr. Robert
2014 An En Vogue Christmas Marty
2015 Road Hard Michael Gerard
2015 The Wiz Live! The Cowardly Lion
2016 Jingle Ballin' Collin
2017 The Big Sick Andy Dodd
2017 A Christmas Story Live! Santa Claus
2018 Arizona Coburn
2018 Sprinter Coach
2019 Native Son Marty
2020 Clifford the Big Red Dog
2020 Coffee & Kareem


Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Equalizer Desk Sergeant One Episode
1986 All Is Forgiven Oliver Royce
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Deter Philbin One Episode
1987 A Different World Prof. Byron Walcott One Episode
1988 Tour of Duty Harold One Episode
1988 Duet Gordon One Episode
1988 Tanner '88 Secret Serviceman
1988 Baby Room One Episode
1988 The Dictator One Episode
1989 ALF FBI #1 One Episode
1990 Equal Justice Stone One Episode
1995 Saturday Night Live Antoine Meriweather One Episode
1995 Dream On Marshall One Episode
1995 The Preston Episodes David Preston
1995 Pinky and the Brain Marlon Voice

One Episode

1993-1997 Martin Rev. Leon Lonnie Love
1998 Damon Bernard
1998 Cosby Gil One Episode
1998 Hercules Voice

One Episode

1999 The '60s Fred Hampton
1999 Random Acts of Comedy Host
1995-2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child King Maynar / Dudley Bear / Bongo
1999-2000 The Wonderful World of Disney Bob Bugler / Dan Anderson
2000 The X-Files Cinema Audience One Episode
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Tubunch Voice

One Episode

1990-2001 In Living Color Various
2000-2001 DAG Jerome Daggett
2002 Sesame Street Aladdin One Episode
2002 Boston Public Laurence Williams One Episode
2002 The Proud Family Reuben One Episode
2003 Cedric the Entertainer Presents One Episode
2003 Samurai Jack Da Samurai / Junk Monster Voice

One Episode

2002-2004 Life with Bonnie David Bellows / Jazz Moe
2003-2005 My Wife and Kids Jimmy
2010 Bones Professor Bunsen Jude One Episode
2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jeremy Swift One Episode
2013 Happy Endings Terry Chuckles One Episode
2013 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Rudd Rhymez Voice

One Episode

2014 The Soul Man Jesse One Episode
2014 Bad Teacher Principal Carl Gaines
2014 Black Dynamite Doctor Voice

One Episode

2014-2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Network President
2015 The McCarthys Dr. Hugh Morris One Episode
2015 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Ben Carson One Episode
2016 Celebrity Conversations One Episode
2015-2017 The Carmichael Show Joe Carmichael
2018 Snap Decision Host, Himself One Episode
2018 A Series of Unfortunate Events Hal
2019 Catastrophe Tim Cabot One Episode
2018-2019 The Cool Kids Hank
2019 A Black Lady Sketch Show Preacher
2019 Queen Sugar Jimmy Dale
2002-2019 Crank Yankers Landalious "The Truth" Truefield / Various
2019 The Resident Lamar Broome


Behind the Scenes