Born on August 25, 1964, in Tacoma, Washington, Blair Underwood spent his childhood in bases in the United States and Germany, as his father was a U.S. Army colonel. He was educated at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and soon pursued an acting career upon graduation.
In 1985, Underwood's appearance on The Cosby Show landed him a minor role on ABC's soap opera, One Life to Live
. Later, he was asked to work on L.A. Law, for which he garnered a Golden Globe nomination. Wanting to further his acting career, he ventured into films, working on Set It Off, Krush Groove, Just Cause and Deep Impact. He also played a minor role in the 1997 film, Gattaca. The year 2000 brought him back to television as he played the lead role in the short-lived television series City of Angels. Three years later, he became a guest star on HBO's Sex in the City, where he played Cynthia Nixon's love interest. In 2004, he became the face of Roger De Souza opposite Heather Locklear in NBC's LAX. He also appeared as guest star on CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine
and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Underwood has been recognized for his acting prowess with four NAACP Image Awards for his work on the docudramas Murder in Mississippi and Heat Wave. In 2000, he was voted as one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People and one of TV Guide's Most Influential Faces of the 90s. In 2007, Underwood co-wrote the fiction, "Casanegra: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel" and landed a role on ABC's Dirty Sexy Money as Simon Elder.
Aside from acting, Underwood is engaged in charity work, as he co-founded Artists for a New South Africa (1989), a non-profit organization dedicated to democracy and equality in South Africa. He has been recognized for his work with the Los Angeles chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and was thus awarded the 1993 Humanitarian Award. A decade later, Underwood served as a spokesperson for YouthAIDS with Ashley Judd.
Simon Elder of ABC's Dirty Sexy Money is played by Blair Underwood. Simon is the longtime business rival of Tripp Darling. He is wealthy, powerful and mysterious, as he seems to know more than what he claims about the death of Nick George.
Simon's parents used to work for the Darling family, but were forced to relocate to Russia by Tripp's parents, after an affair between Simon's father and Tripp's mother was uncovered. Simon's parents went through rough times while in Russia, and he blamed the Darlings for driving them out of the country. He is currently involved in antagonizing the Darling family, especially Tripp.
(Photos courtesy of ABC)