Obba Babatundé (born December 1, 1951) is an American stage and movie actor.
A native of Queens, New York, Babatundé has appeared in more than seventeen stage productions, thirty theatrical films, sixty made-for-television movies, and two prime-time series.Some of his feature film appearances include The Celestine Prophecy, Material Girls, After the Sunset, The Manchurian Candidate, The Notebook, John Q, Philadelphia, The Last Fall, If I Tell You I Have To Kill You, The Fallen Faithful, Trapped, Tension, and Kinky.
He also played Harvard college Dean Cain in the movie How High, as well as the role of Willie Long in the movie Life, the role of Lamar, the hotel concierge in the film That Thing You Do!, co-starred as an attorney in the 1993 film Philadelphia, as a SWAT captain in John Q, as a senator in the 2004 reprise of The Manchurian Candidate, and in Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups, he played Mayor Denny.
Babatundé completed filming three prime-time series: CBS’ Madam Secretary, the Showtime's I’m Dying Up Here, and Netflix's Dear White People.
Babatundé appeared in a recurring role on Kingdom and Amazon's Hand of God, as Bishop Bruce Congdon. He also appeared in Half & Half, as well as appearances on The Bold and the Beautiful, Boston Legal, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, Cold Case, Strong Medicine, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Touched by an Angel, Chicago Hope, Any Day Now, Karen Sisco, Dawson's Creek, and Friends. In the 1998 miniseries, The Temptations, he played the founder of Motown Records Berry Gordy.
Babatundé's voice acting roles in animated movies and games includes Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, and Disney Infinity 3.0 as well as Conroy in Rocket Power. In the animated feature The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Babatundé voiced the character of Boko, and in the 2016 Air Bud Entertainment movie Pup Star, he played the soul-singing Basset Hound, Big Ears.
Producer and director
Babatundé was co-producer and director of Oscar's Black Odyssey, co-producer of Dorothy Dandridge: An American Beauty, and co-producer of TV in Black: The First 50 Years. He is associate producer of the horror film Voodoo Dolls and executive producer of Journey. Most recently, Babatundé directed and co-stars with Katt Williams in the Lionsgate Home Entertainment feature film American Bad Boy, and he produced and directed the short film Clarissa's Gift.
Babatundé also directed a version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, and he co-authored, directed, and produced In the Blink of an Eye.
Some of his recorded works include the singing of the title track on the Onaje Allan Gumbs album Sack Full of Dreams and The Gal That Got Away on Over The Rainbow the Harold Arlen soundtrack.
Awards and nominations
In 2016, Babatundé received the Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series" as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Peachtree Village International Film Festival.
In 2010, Babatundé won NAACP Theatre Awards' "Best Lead Male" for his portrayal of Sammy Davis, Jr.in the Old Globe production of the musical Sammy.
Babatundé was nominated for an Emmy in the HBO movie Miss Evers' Boys, an NAACP Image Award in the HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, and an Ovation Award and a Tony Award for his role as C.C. White in the original Broadway cast of Dreamgirls. He won an NAACP Image Award as “Best Actor” for his role as Sarge in A Soldiers Play.