4 December 1954, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Anthony Tiran Todd
Perhaps best known for his chilling performance as "Candyman", the charismatic 6' 5" actor Tony Todd has consistently turned in compelling performances since his debut in the fantasy film Sleepwalk (1986). Born in Washington, D.C., Todd spent two years on a scholarship at the University of Connecticut, which, in turn, led to a s...
Perhaps best known for his chilling performance as "Candyman", the charismatic 6' 5" actor Tony Todd has consistently turned in compelling performances since his debut in the fantasy film Sleepwalk (1986). Born in Washington, D.C., Todd spent two years on a scholarship at the University of Connecticut, which, in turn, led to a scholarship from the renowned Eugene O'Neill National Theatre Institute. It proved to be the foundation for intense stints at the Hartman Conservatory in Stamford, Connecticut and the Trinity Square Repertory Theatre Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island. Todd appeared in dozens of classical and many experimental plays, yet still managed to find time to teach playwriting to high school students in the Hartford public school system.Todd's extensive credits exemplify his versatility. They include such film classics as The Rock (1996), The Crow (1994), Lean on Me (1989), Bird (1988), Night of the Living Dead (1990), Final Destination (2000), the multiple Academy Award winning Oliver Stone film Platoon (1986) and Le secret (2000), which was nominated and screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Todd's recent films include the independent film Silence (2002) and Final Destination 2 (2003). He has had prominent guest starring roles in numerous critically-acclaimed television series, including recurring on Boston Public (2000), For the People (2002) and The District (2000), as well as NYPD Blue (1993), Smallville (2001), Law & Order (1990), Crossing Jordan (2001), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and The X Files (1993). Todd recurred on three incarnations of "Star Trek" and guest starred on Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) and episodes of CSI: Miami (2002) and Andromeda (2000). His television movies include starring roles in True Women (1997), Black Fox (1995), Butter (1998), Ivory Hunters (1990), Babylon 5: A Call to Arms (1999) and Control Factor (2003).Todd's considerable theatre credits include the world premiere of award-winning playwright August Wilson's "King Hedley II", where he originated the title role in Pittsburgh, Seattle and Boston. Variety commented: "Todd's King Hedley dominates the stage. A sour-faced mix of rage and resolve, anger and vulnerability. Todd's Hedley was a memorable tour-de-force even on opening." He also received a coveted Helen Hayes nomination for his performance in Athol Fugard's "The Captain's Tiger at La Jolla, the Manhattan Theatre Club and the Kennedy Center. Other theatre credits include "Les Blancs", "Playboy of the West Indies", "Othello", "Zooman and the Sign", award-winning playwright Keith Glover's "Dark Paradise", "Aida" (on Broadway), and most recently, "Levee James" for the prestigious Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference and The New Dramatist Guild.
It's very interesting that most of the roles I've gotten are grim, when I'm actually a very well-adjusted man and had a happy upbringing. I ...
It's very interesting that most of the roles I've gotten are grim, when I'm actually a very well-adjusted man and had a happy upbringing. I guess there are some dark shadows somewhere in there, but I'm a big kid.
Night of the Living Dead (1990)' was my first starring role. First lead. And I remember I was in Pittsburgh doing something for HBO/Showtime...
Night of the Living Dead (1990)' was my first starring role. First lead. And I remember I was in Pittsburgh doing something for HBO/Showtime-they were merged at the time, and I remember watching the original at a drive-in, and being really impressed that a) you had a black actor on screen played by Duane Jones, who was carrying the movie, and b) it was genuinely scary. You had the black-and-white, and it looked like a documentary. So I ran into the office-I found the production office-and I grabbed [director]Tom Savini by his lapels, literally, and said, "You got to read me. You got to read me." He tried to tell me I was close, I said, "You got to read me." And I just laid it out, and he gave me the job that day. So that was important for me. Later, my son was born too, during that, and that was significant.
(2010 -- on landing Candyman (1992)) I had just done a film where I had gone to Africa for the first time, so I was all into that. Then I ge...
(2010 -- on landing Candyman (1992)) I had just done a film where I had gone to Africa for the first time, so I was all into that. Then I get a call one day, I was getting a lot of work at this point, a lot of television, we were booking easily twice a month, but I didn't know I was successful yet, because I was worried about my little baby. Anyway, I get a call from my agent saying "This director wants to see you, wants to just meet you about this movie called Candyman (1992)." I thought he was fucking joking. I mean, what is that? A Sammy Davis thing? What is that? He said, "No no no. They won't give us the script, but they said it's a major studio film, and they want to just meet you." I said, "Okay." And I met Bernard Rose, who's a crazy maniacal Englishman who had a habit of twisting his hair between his fingers. He said, "I saw your film that you did in Africa, and you're my guy. The only problem is, we got to convince the studio." So I knew I had his blessings, and he slipped me a copy of the script. I read it, and word leaked out to me, it was the whole thing of the urban mythology, and the fact that this was a possibility of an African-American, I don't know, icon, but a horror figure. 'Cause I was heavy into the whole Dracula, Phantom of the Opera thing. I had to do what they call a "Personality Test," where I had to go to the studio at literally 8 in the morning, in front of a bunch of suits, and display whether I had a personality. So I did my best not to spill the coffee or insult them, and at the end of it, I heard they didn't think I had a personality. They said, "Well, we don't know if he has personality, but if you believe that he can do the film... Okay... Are you sure? He said, "Yeah. That's the guy." And then the last hurdle was meeting Virginia Madsen, who's from the Chicago area, and she just had it in her contract that she had to sign off on me. Then we met, went to lunch, and she said "Yes," and that was it. And I remember we came here to Chicago, and it was my first time in Chicago, we went to the Kingston Mines, me and Bernard, listening to some great blues. Keith Richards stopped by that night, and he was just saying, "This role is going to change your life." And at the time, I'm going "Okay, I've heard this before. I've done some things. I've had some life interruptions, but change my life? I'm going to do the best I can, but I don't know if your ego is stating that this is going to change my life." But in fact, he was right, because not a day goes by, to this day, 17 years later, without people, I mean multiple people, coming up and saying "Candyman!" Which amazes me, because usually film does not have that much of an attention span.
(On shooting The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005) in Romania) It wasn't a great experience for me. I didn't like Romania. It was right after the wa...
(On shooting The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005) in Romania) It wasn't a great experience for me. I didn't like Romania. It was right after the wall came down, and you got wild dogs roaming the street, and everybody's a Gypsy. Everybody's related to Dracula. It was seven weeks there. I just got tired. And I think the whole time, I only saw one other African-American there. Yeah... I was homesick.
Tony Todd's FILMOGRAPHY
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Tony Todd'S roles
Det. Moses Johnson
CIA Director Graham
General Benjamin Juma