January 15th, 2019
Profiles in Innovation: SF Native Danny Glover
With the San Francisco International Film Festival just around the corner, it’s time to spotlight a SF native and longtime resident in the biz who was probably in your favorite movie of the ‘90s: actor and film director Danny Glover.
Glover has been on screen for 40 years, playing a diverse range of roles in films across all genres, from indie films to blockbusters. Not one to lay low, this year he’ll appear in the highly anticipated film, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” set to make its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 26.
Details have been kept under wraps, but since the film's inception it has garnered swift public support, quickly raising $80,000 on Kickstarter in 2015. Glover’s role in the film seems only customary, as a veteran actor with San Francisco roots.
Born in 1946 to postal workers who were active in the civil rights movement, Glover graduated from George Washington High School in the Richmond District. He was a human rights activist from an early age and a member of the Black Students’ Union during his time at San Francisco State University. The group’s historic five-month strike in the late 1960s yielded the first university department of Black studies in the United States.
Glover briefly worked in city administration in the 1970s before leaving his job to pursue theatre acting, which soon burgeoned into an on-screen acting career.
It’s more than likely you’ve seen a film or television show with the towering presence. He is best known for his starring role in action comedy franchise “Lethal Weapon” alongside Mel Gibson. Glover has played a character for every audience, from a leading role in “The Color Purple” to starring in ‘90s kids’ movie “Angels in the Outfield.”
Notable supporting roles include Henry Sherman in indie film “The Royal Tenenbaums” and Detective Tapp in the low-budget but wildly popular horror movie, “Saw.”
Offscreen, Glover is praised for his participation in fighting for humanitarian rights. He has acted as an Ambassador of the United Nations Development Program, focusing on issues of poverty, disease and economic development in Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. He currently serves as a UNICEF ambassador.
Locally, he focuses on issues of poverty, labor and race.
Glover maintains a dynamic presence, not only in films but as a voice of change in the SF community and around the globe. Keep an eye out for the veteran actor in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” which is expected to offer a particular scope on the city that has been greatly impacted by the tech boom. The movie was conceived by SF natives Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails and will feature actors Mike Epps, Thora Birch, and Finn Wittrock.
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