Roger Guenveur Smith

Roger Guenveur Smith

Highest Rated: 100% Rodney King (2017)

Lowest Rated: 0% Cover (2007)

Birthday: Jul 27, 1959

Birthplace: Not Available

An esteemed African-American playwright and actor whose roles almost invariably contend with the politics and dynamics of race (frequent collaborator Spike Lee once famously described him as a "racial cheerleader"), thespian Roger Guenveur Smith grew up in Berkeley and debuted onscreen in the late '80s. Over the ensuing years, Smith cultivated and sustained a reputation for tackling demanding, challenging, and thought-provoking assignments with immense aplomb. He achieved much of his success thanks to repeated collaborations with Lee, who cast him as Yoda in the musical School Daze (1988) and Smiley, the hipster street philosopher in Do the Right Thing (1989); in fact, Lee later noted that Smith was the one who devised the idea for the juxtaposed photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in one of Thing's pivotal scenes. Meanwhile, Smith remained extremely active in regional theater, both by authoring his own efforts (such as a musical about Christopher Columbus that painted commonly accepted versions of the man's life story as historical revisionism) and by teaching drama to juvenile delinquents. As the years passed, Smith's onscreen activity crescendoed; he signed for plum roles in such contemporary classics as King of New York (1990), Deep Cover (1992), and Eve's Bayou (1997), and, significantly, extended his professional relationship with Lee to many additional projects. The celebrated director cast Smith in such features as Malcolm X (1992), Get on the Bus (1996), He Got Game (1998), and Summer of Sam (1999), all of which received considerable acclaim. Their actor-director working relationship culminated in the little-seen (but arguably brilliant) A Huey P. Newton Story (2001) -- a Lee-directed film of Smith's one-man stage show on the life of controversial Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton. The film preserves the original Smith-authored play, and stars the thespian as Newton; Lee augments the film with visual pyrotechnics and interpolates archival footage to give the feature depth and dimension. Unfortunately, the project failed to receive even a limited theatrical release, and premiered instead on the Black Starz cable network. Thereafter, Smith continued his theatrical work (albeit very infrequently) with such plays as the 2003 Iceland, a psychological drama about four unrelated characters that debuted in Philadelphia. He also continued his frequent film roles, with assignments including Shade (2003), God's Waiting List (2006), Confessions of a Call Girl (2006), and Ridley Scott's American Gangster (2007).

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Carl Weber's Influence Bradley Hudson 2020
No Score Yet I'll See You Around Michael Gomez 2019
No Score Yet Dr. Brinks & Dr. Brinks Paul Sydney 2018
No Score Yet The Queen of Hollywood Blvd Duke 2018
No Score Yet Behind the Movement: The Rosa Parks Story Actor 2018
80% Marshall Walter White $9.5M 2017
100% Rodney King Rodney King 2017
73% The Birth of a Nation Isaiah $15.9M 2016
No Score Yet Dirty Detective Berg 2016
No Score Yet Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner Actor 2016
No Score Yet Dirty Actor 2016
89% Dope Austin Jacoby $11.7M 2015
No Score Yet But Not For Me Actor 2015
No Score Yet Supermodel Max 2015
No Score Yet Water & Power Actor 2014
No Score Yet Better Mus Come Prime Minister 2013
No Score Yet In The Hive Paris 2012
16% The Son of No One Hanky $29.4K 2011
No Score Yet Joy Road Charles Blocker 2011
5% Abduction Mr. Miles $27.7M 2011
78% Mooz-lum Hassan 2011
No Score Yet Salvation Road Actor 2010
No Score Yet Applause for Miss E Buddy Felton 2009
40% Fighting Jack Dancing $23.1M 2009
80% American Gangster Nate $130.2M 2007
0% Cover Kevin 2007
85% The Take Dr. Reese 2007
No Score Yet Confessions of a Call Girl (Confessions) Actor 2006
No Score Yet Mercenary for Justice Chapel 2006
No Score Yet God's Waiting List Solomon Corbin 2006
No Score Yet Fatwa Samir Al-Faied 2006
No Score Yet Lesser of Three Evils (Fist of the Warrior) (Blood Money) Det. Craig Barnes 2006
No Score Yet I Believe in America Actor 2006
67% Justice Carter 2004
67% Shade Marlo 2003
30% All About the Benjamins Julian $25.5M 2002
No Score Yet Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives Actor 2002
100% A Huey P. Newton Story Screenwriter Actor 2001
70% Hamlet Laertes 2000
34% Final Destination Agent Schreck 2000
51% Summer of Sam Detective Atwater 1999
No Score Yet Death Valley Henson 1999
No Score Yet Incognito Quinn Mathis 1999
81% He Got Game Big Time Willie 1998
No Score Yet The Color of Courage Mac McGhee 1998
88% Get on the Bus Gary 1996
81% Eve's Bayou Lenny Mereaux 1996
47% Tales From the Hood Rhodie 1995
27% Panther Pruitt 1995
No Score Yet The O.J. Simpson Story Professor Ford 1995
37% Poetic Justice Heywood 1993
88% Malcolm X Rudy 1992
86% Deep Cover Eddie 1992
72% King of New York Tanner 1990
93% Do the Right Thing Smiley 1989
58% School Daze Yoda 1988


No Score Yet Tavis Smiley
Guest 2016
54% K Street
Francisco Dupre Francisco 2003
20% City of Angels
Terry Pennington 2000
No Score Yet New York Undercover
Forbes 1997
No Score Yet Murphy Brown
Man in Gallery 1991
No Score Yet A Different World
Prof. Randolph Prof. Howard Randolph 1990


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