Dennis Haysbert

Born:     June 1, 1954
Place of Birth:    San Mateo, CA
Zodiac Sign:  Gemini

Dennis Dexter Haysbert is an American actor. He is known for his roles as baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the Major League film trilogy, Secret Service agent Tim Collin in the political thriller film Absolute Power, Sergeant Major Jonas Blane on the CBS action drama series The Unit, and President David Palmer on the first five seasons of 24. He has also appeared in the films Love Field, Heat, Waiting to Exhale, and Far from Heaven, as well as the science fiction series Incorporated.  

Since 2003, Haysbert has appeared as the official spokesman for Allstate insurance, and is known for his distinctive deep voice.

Haysbert has been acting in film and television since 1978, starting with a guest role in The White Shadow. His television guest starring roles include Lou Grant, Growing Pains, Laverne & Shirley, The A-Team, Night Court, Dallas, The Incredible Hulk, Magnum, P.I., Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Duckman. In 1993, he had a featured role in Return to Lonesome Dove as outlaw Cherokee Jack Jackson. In 1999, Haysbert starred with Eric Close in Now and Again, which was cancelled after one season.

In 2001, Haysbert rose to prominence when he was cast in 24 as U.S. Senator David Palmer, who served as the first black U.S. President (in the context of the show) during the second and third seasons. He also returned as a guest star in the last six episodes of season 4 and the first episode of season 5. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and for a Golden Satellite Award in 2002 for this role. Haysbert stated in an interview for the show that the three men he admires most—Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Colin Powell—collectively embody his idea of what a President should be. Haysbert believes that his playing of David Palmer on 24 helped Barack Obama—whom Haysbert supported—to win the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Haysbert was the first actor to portray DC Comics character Kilowog, a member of the Green Lantern Corps, in a medium outside of comics. He provided the voice of Kilowog on various episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. On March 4, 2006, Haysbert guest-starred on the Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Natalie Portman as the host of a live-action/animated TV Funhouse cartoon called "Belated Black History Moment". In his role, Haysbert paid homage to fictional short-lived Saturday morning cartoons featuring black characters, such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo in Outer Space. He also portrayed Nelson Mandela in Goodbye Bafana (also released under the name The Color of Freedom). Haysbert portrayed the lead character Jonas Blane in the CBS military action-drama The Unit. He hosted and narrated the Military History Channel presentation of Secrets of Pearl Harbor, which documented his scuba dives with a film team on World War II-era Japanese and American warships in the Pacific Theater. In March 2013, Haysbert narrated the documentary The World According to Dick Cheney on the Showtime television channel. May 19, 2014, Haysbert also featured in the fifth episode of the fourth season of Boondocks as Reverend Sturdy Harris. In 2015, Haysbert played Detective John Almond in Backstrom.

Since September 6, 2015, Haysbert has been the opening voice introducing NBC's Meet The Press.

In November 2016, Haysbert began his co-starring role in Incorporated. Set in a dystopian future run by corporations, Haysbert plays Julian, a ruthless security head working for one of the larger corporations. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are co-executive producers on the series, which was shot in British Columbia, Canada, and airs on Showcase in Canada and Syfy in the U.S.

He had also been cast to play "God" for the final episode of the 5th season of Lucifer.

 

In 1989, Haysbert made his first major role as Pedro Cerrano, a voodoo-practicing Cuban refugee baseball player, in Major League. Haysbert followed that up with a role in 1990's Navy SEALs, which also starred Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn, before moving on to another baseball movie, Mr. Baseball with Tom Selleck. In 1991, he also starred in K-9000, where he played a police officer named Nick Sanrio. In 1992, he co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in Love Field, a film about a series of events occurring contemporaneously with the assassination and funeral of President John F. Kennedy. In 1994, Haysbert reprised his role as Cerrano in Major League II. This was followed by minor appearances in Waiting to Exhale, Heat, and Absolute Power. In 1998, Haysbert made another appearance as Cerrano in Major League: Back to the Minors. In 1999, Haysbert played a police detective in three films: The Minus Man, The Thirteenth Floor, and Random Hearts. In 2000, Haysbert played the role of Zeke McCall in Love & Basketball.

In 2002, Haysbert played the role of gardener Raymond Deagan in Far From Heaven. He won three awards (Satellite Award, Black Reel Award, and Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award) for Best Supporting Actor for that role. In 2005, he had a supporting role in Sam Mendes's film, Jarhead. In 2007, Haysbert returned to the big screen to portray Nelson Mandela in Goodbye Bafana and an FBI agent in Breach. In 2012, he voiced General Hologram in Wreck-It Ralph and served as an official judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival. He replaced the deceased Michael Clark Duncan as Manute in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014). In 2014, Haysbert played the role of Dean Fairbanks in Dear White People and General Lyons Dead Rising: Watchtower.

In December 2018, it was announced that Haysbert will star in the Netflix psychological thriller Secret Obsession. The film was released on July 18, 2019.

Since 2003, Haysbert has appeared as the official spokesman for the Allstate Insurance Company. His commercials typically end with one of the two Allstate Corporation official slogans, either "Are you in good hands?" or "That's Allstate's stand." However, his commercials have combined the two with "That's Allstate's stand. Are you in good hands?". He has also appeared in Spanish-language commercials with the line "Con Allstate, Estás En Buenas Manos." (With Allstate, you're in good hands.) In 2009–2010, Allstate used the Neil Sedaka song "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" in television commercials to promote Allstate's car insurance. Breaking up is hard to do, the ads averred, unless one has an Allstate agent to undertake the deed for the customer (switching from another insurer to Allstate). The viewer learned that "breaking up is easy to do" as reassured on the screen by Haysbert. In his role as spokesman for Allstate, Haysbert officiated the coin toss prior to the 2007 Sugar Bowl between LSU and Notre Dame.

In 2008, Haysbert was featured in national television ads to raise public awareness about lending discrimination. The ads were commissioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. In one of these ads, Haysbert warns consumers about lenders' targeting minorities for inferior loan products. Source.