Childhood & Early Life
Harold Perrineau was born on August 7, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York to Harold Williams Sr. and Sylvia Perrineau.
His name was changed to Williams at the age of seven. However, after becoming an actor, he legally adopted his birth name, as another actor named Harold Williams was registered with the 'Screen Actors Guild' union.
Growing up, Harold used the surnames of both his parents, as they were not legally married. He studied music and theater at the 'Shenandoah Conservatory', but dropped out before graduation.
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Harold Perrineau ventured into the field of acting with the 1988 revival of 'Godspell' in New York. He then starred as Tyrone Jackson in the 1989 musical 'Fame', staged at the 'Walnut Street' theatre in Pennsylvania. It was a stage adaption of the 1980 movie of the same name.
In 1988, he made his screen debut with a brief role in the crime drama action film 'Shakedown.' Next, he landed the part of Scott in an episode of the NBC sitcom 'The Cosby Show.'
Following an appearance on the police procedural show 'Law & Order' as Jordan Hill, Harold landed his first recurring role as Robert Evans in the NBC drama 'I'll Fly Away,' appearing in eight episodes.
He featured on 'Law & Order' for the second time in 1993, playing the role of Kenny Rinker. Two decades later, he played Brian Tremore in 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' (2013). In the late 1990s, he made single-episode appearances on shows like 'ER' and 'Living Single.'
Just like 'Law & Order,' Harold played different characters on several episodes of the 'CSI' franchise. He first appeared as Rev. Rhodes in 2007 and then as Reggie Tifford in 'CSI NY' in 2010.
He earned an 'Independent Spirit Award' nomination in the best supporting actor category for his performance as Thomas 'Rashid' Cole in the 1995 film 'Smoke.' In 1996, he essayed the character of Mercutio, Romeo’s good friend, in a film adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet.'
Harold had a significant role as Stephen, a photography assistant, in the 1997 survival film 'The Edge.' In the same year, he began his 55-episode run in the HBO series 'Oz.' He played the show's narrator, Augustus Hill.
The actor was nominated for Image's Outstanding supporting actor award for his role as Julian Murch in the 1999 romcom 'The Best Man.' He reprised his role in the movie’s sequel 'The Best Man Holiday', released in 2013.
Harold was seen as an Afro-Brazilian transsexual named Monica Jones in the 2000 fantasy romcom 'Woman on Top.'
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He was one of the two leads in the 2002 drama movie 'On_Line.' In the movie, his character Moe Curley along with his friend John Roth, played by Josh Hamilton, start an adult internet site, where Jordan Nash, played by Vanessa Ferlito, is one of their top actors.
In 2003, Harold was seen as the 'Matrix' character Link in the first and second editions of the 'Matrix' franchise: 'The Matrix Reloaded' and 'The Matrix Revolutions.' He later voiced for the same character in the movie’s video game version 'Enter the Matrix.'
His next prominent television project was the ABC drama 'Lost.' He was cast to play Michael, one of the 'Oceanic Flight 815' crash survivors, for 47 episodes. He along with his cast members won the 'Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.’
In December 2007, Harold tried his hands at music. He penned the lyrics of the song 'STAY STRONG' as a token of gratitude for the US soldiers and their selfless service to the nation. The money earned from the video and the CD sales was donated to the 'Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury.'
He played a real-life character in the 2008 fantasy biopic 'Your Name Here' (formerly 'Panasonic'), which was based on the life of the American science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. Harold was cast as former model and actor Richard Roundtree, known as the first black action hero, in the movie.
In 2009, Harold was seen on the ABC comedy-drama 'The Unusuals' as Detective Leo Banks. He collaborated with music producer Tomo in der Muhlen for his debut album 'Seeker.' The first single from the album 'Moving On' was released on October 15, 2011.
Harold voice acted for the character of Blade, a fictional 'Marvel' character, for 12 episodes of the TV miniseries ‘Blade’. He played an Oakland-based gangster, Damon Pope, in eight episodes of the FX crime tragedy 'Sons of Anarchy.’
He was a series regular on the TBS comedy-drama 'Wedding Band,' in which he appeared as Stevie. He made a plot-twisting cameo as Wiley in the 2013 crime drama 'Go for Sisters.'
In 2016, he made his Broadway debut in the 'Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'The Cherry Orchard.'
Recently Harold played several recurring roles on TV, including 'Constantine,' 'Goliath,' 'Criminal Minds' and 'Star'. Currently, he is appearing in the lead role of an autistic character named Dean Simms in the TNT drama 'Claws.'