Harry Lennix is an award winning film, television, and stage actor who was born and raised in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. Growing up, Harry (the youngest of four children of a widowed mother) was active in little league baseball and his local Catholic Church as an altar boy. Harry decided at a young age that he wanted to become a Dominican Priest, but not just any priest: Harry wanted to be the first black Pope. Harry studied and attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary. Given the all-male scenario, Harry seized upon an opportunity to interact with the local girls by signing up to perform in the annual school play. This ploy backfired, resulting in a life-long devotion to art of performance and production.
As a “work-study” student, Harry received various scholarships to Northwestern University, where he majored in Communications. His studies involved a wide range of the Humanities: Theater, History, Political Science, Sociology, Music, and Literature. At Northwestern Harry was the coordinator of the black student union For Members Only, and performed in and directed several productions. He also began acting professional theater, receiving increasing amounts of recognition.
Post-university Harry maintained an active artistic career in Chicago and worked simultaneously as a Civics and Music teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. Harry won his firm film role in The Package in 1989, and his second role in the perennial favorite “The Five Heartbeats” in 1991. Harry moved to Los Angeles where he has enjoyed a distinguished career as an actor on the big and small screens as well as on the international stage.
His film career includes leading roles in Ray, The Matrix sequels, TITUS, Barbershop 2, The Human Stain, Stomp the Yard, Bob Roberts, and State of Play. His television career includes roles in the Golden Globe nominated ABC television series Commander in Chief, 24, ER, House, and recently Undercovers, and Dollhouse. Among the stage productions he has starred in, directed, or produced across the country are credits at The Kennedy Center, The Steppenenwolf and TheGoodman Theaters in Chicago, and the Mark Taper Forum. In 2001, he was part of the first American company to be invited to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the production of “Cymbeline”. Harry made his Broadway debut in 2007 as the central figure in August Wilson’s final play, “Radio Golf”, which was nominated for a Tony Award.
Harry remains very committed to the Los Angeles and Chicago communities, participating in various programs and events. Harry holds staff, board, and advisory positions with the following entities: The Goodman Theater Company, Northwestern University School of Comminucations, Congo Square Theater, The Robey Theater Company and The Northlight Theater of Skokie.
At present, Harry has shown a marked interest in academia, and has been a frequent lecturer at Universities and colleges. He has also recently been published in scholastic journals on the subject of William Shakespeare and August Wilson (see, for example, volume 27 of the Shakespeare Bulletin, and Transitions Magazine in an interview with esteemed scholar Peter Erickson). He has most recently completed production of his first feature film, Mr. Sophisitication, as executive producer and lead actor and as the executive producer of H4: a modern rendering of Henry IV parts 1 and 2 by William Shakespeare. Harry lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Djena.