Magazine article Variety

Blair Underwood

Magazine article Variety

Blair Underwood

Article excerpt

MY FIRST TIME IN VARIETY

"My junior year became very tough financially and I couldn't afford to stay in school. It turned out well, though, because I literally was able to be a walk-on on 'The Cosby Show' my second day in New York. "

Blair Underwood solidified his place as an industry mainstay with his role as attorney Jonathan Rollins on the NBC legal drama "L.A. Law" from 1987-1994. Since then, he's gone on to have notable turns in shows including "Sex and the City" "The New Adventures of Old Christine," and "Dirty Sexy Money" He recently joined the cast of "Quantico." Underwood has been helping to bring nonprofits to reality TV by executive-producing the daytime show "Give"-which he describes as " 'Undercover Boss' meets 'Extreme Makeover' " - through his production company, Intrepid, along with Bungalow Media and Litton Entertainment. He got his first mention in Variety on April 18, 1984, for a Carnegie Mellon University production of "Guys and Dolls" led by Billy Wilson, who directed and choreographed Broadway's "Bubbling Brown Sugar."

Did you know that your college production was covered in Variety?

I never saw that article when it was published. I sent it to all my college buddies, and we were all blown away by it. I remember well: We were sophomores, and as [underclassmen], it was kind of rare to be on the main stage. There were a lot of us - maybe seven or eight - that were in "Guys and Dolls." So it was very exciting and kind of unusual to be part of a production. I played Harry the Horse. I remember, of course, it was directed by Billy Wilson. In many ways, I owe Billy my career.

How so?

Right after "Guys and Dolls," he told me whenever I moved to New York to let him know and he would introduce me to his agent. My junior year became very tough financially and I couldn't afford to stay in school. It turned out well, though, because I literally was able to be a walk-on on "The Cosby Show" my second day in New York. …

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