Malik Yoba - Rotten Tomatoes

Malik Yoba

Highest Rated:   93% Smoke (1995)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Bronx, New York, USA
Despite the phenomenon of many young actors struggling for years to break into Hollywood -- driving taxicabs and waiting tables until determination, persistence, and raw ability reel in a breakthrough -- a select few stumble into acting and celebrity by sheer happenstance. Malik Yoba epitomizes this idea. While working in a field with virtually no connection to the entertainment industry, Yoba decided, simply for fun, to attend a casting call session for a forthcoming Disney comedy called Cool Runnings. When his phone rang one month later, that single call changed Yoba's life forever.Born September 17, 1967, in New York City, Yoba came of age in the crime-ridden ghettoes of the Bronx and Harlem -- so crime-ridden and dangerous, in fact, that he found it impossible to escape the reach of violence. He fell into the path of a bullet at age 15, which hit him in the neck but (fortunately) did not inflict permanent injury or disability. A self-described "misunderstood child," Yoba empathized deeply, as a young man, with troubled inner-city youth, and regarded many as the victims of widely held racial and social misperceptions. Yoba thus opted to devote himself to volunteering, and later (in his early twenties) to full-time counseling, with endless exhaustive hours spent in NYC youth organizations. His specialties and passions in this role included teaching music and acting to school-age children and adolescents, and he would often organize teenagers around a specific cause, to pass on the flame of activism -- encouraging them to mount their own grass-roots social activism. These years found Yoba paying fervent and frequent visits to such institutions as secondary schools, homeless shelters, and penitentiaries.The open casting call for Cool Runnings arrived in late 1991, and Yoba reportedly only sought it out on a lighthearted note, at a friend's request. By all accounts, he auditioned and then promptly forgot about it, only to be astonished one month later by the studio's callback and invitation to co-star in the picture alongside John Candy, Leon, and Doug E. Doug. Released in October 1993, the comedy stars Candy as the out-of-shape Olympic gold medalist Irv Blitzer, recruited by a bunch of happy-go-lucky Jamaicans to coach their bobsledding team in the 1988 Olympic Games; Yoba played irascible and cantankerous team member Yul Brenner. Critics responded coolly to the film (many attacking it as yet another in a seemingly endless string of formula sports pictures), but audiences disagreed, and Cool Runnings shot up to break the 68-million-dollar mark at the domestic box office.Yoba then landed one of the two highly coveted lead roles in the first season of the Fox series drama New York Undercover. Something of an ethnic update of ABC's controversial smash hit NYPD Blue (which had premiered exactly one year earlier), the gritty program co-starred Yoba and Michael de Lorenzo as, respectively, J.C. Williams and his partner, the Puerto Rican detective Eddie Torres, assigned to the Harlem beat and juggling personal difficulties (including extramarital parenthood, the ups and downs of "playing the field," and family members with substance-abuse problems) with routine drug busts and criminal pursuits. Critics heavily lauded the series for its intense, take-no-prisoners realism, high-voltage street slang, and careful reliance on hip contemporary music (via a slew of pop and R&B guest stars who turned up, one per week, for a live musical performance at the end of each episode).New York Undercover lasted four seasons and wrapped in late June 1998; in the meantime, a brief supporting role as cigar-store patron named The Skunk in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's beautifully wrought and understated slice-of-life drama Smoke (released stateside in the late summer of 1995) reunited Yoba with occasional Undercover co-star Giancarlo Esposito. A turn in Wang's improvisational follow-up (and semi-sequel), Blue in the Face, ensued that fall.At around the sa

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet 'Til Death Do Us Part
  • Rob
$2.7M 2017
No Score Yet Paradox
  • Mr. Landau
2016
No Score Yet The Secret She Kept
  • Actor
2016
No Score Yet Bad Dad Rehab
  • Actor
2016
No Score Yet Restored Me
  • Agent Thurmond
2016
No Score Yet The Assault
  • Coach Miller
2015
No Score Yet Other Plans
  • Harold
2015
No Score Yet Brotherly Love
  • Overbrook Coach
$46.8k 2015
No Score Yet Lucky Girl
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet Betty and Coretta
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
2013
No Score Yet Caught on Tape
  • Detective Roberts
2013
29% Allegiance
  • Hart
2012
27% Why Did I Get Married Too
  • Gavin
$48.6M 2010
No Score Yet My Girlfriend's Back
  • Derek
2010
46% Why Did I Get Married?
  • Gavin
$55.2M 2007
12% Feel the Noise
  • Mayor
$5.9M 2007
No Score Yet Rockaway
  • Case
2007
0% They're Just My Friends
  • Pat Black Sr.
2006
17% Kids in America
  • Will Drucker
$0.5M 2005
69% Criminal
  • Frank Hill
$0.8M 2004
No Score Yet C-Walk: It's a Way of Livin'
  • Actor
2003
10% Harlem Aria
  • Luke
1999
No Score Yet Hook'd Up
  • Keith Parker
1999
No Score Yet Ride
  • Poppa
1998
80% Soul Food
  • Studio Engineer
1997
73% Cop Land
  • Det. Carson
1997
43% Blue in the Face
  • The Creeper
1995
93% Smoke
  • The Creeper
1995
75% Cool Runnings
  • Yul Brenner
1993

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
85% Designated Survivor
2016
  • Jason Atwood
  • 2017
  • 2016
No Score Yet Blue Bloods
2010
  • Det. Darryl Reid
  • 2015
85% Empire
2015
  • Vernon Turner
  • 2015
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest
  • 2015
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Jim Carroll
  • 2014
69% Revolution
2012-2014
  • Hudson Jim Hudson
  • 2013
95% The Good Wife
2009-2016
  • Eddie
  • 2013
  • 2009
87% Alphas
2011-2012
  • Bill Harken
  • 2012
  • 2011
85% Nikita
2010-2013
  • Actor
  • 2011
97% Justified
2010-2015
  • Toby
  • 2010
83% Arrested Development
2003-2013
  • Ice Hawk
  • 2004
  • 2003
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
2002-2003
  • Sean
  • 2003
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • Pat Williams
  • 1994
No Score Yet CSI: Miami
2002-2012
  • Reggie Wallace

Quotes from Malik Yoba's Characters