Best known for his roles as Michael Dawson on the TV series Lost, Link in the Matrix films, and Augustus Hills on the series Oz, Harold Perrineau Jr. is a versatile actor who began his acting career in the late 1980s, taking on minor roles on screen while dabbling on theater roles.
Born on August 7, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York City, Perrineau was known during his childhood with the surname Williams in honor of his father but later changed his name back to his birth name after realizing that a namesake already exists as a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild.
Perrineau first gained a semblance of prominence in the critically-acclaimed drama I’ll Fly Away, which premiered in 1991; there he took a recurring role throughout the show’s two-year run. He took roles in several films, including Flirt, Smoke (which earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination in 1996) and Romeo Juliet, before taking a major role in the acclaimed HBO prison drama Oz. He appeared as Augustus Hill, an inmate at the Emerald Hill unit of Oswald State Correctional who was charged of selling drugs. His role is also crucial as he narrated the series throughout its six years on air, continuing the duty even if his character was killed off at the end of the fifth season.
In 2003, Perrineau took on another of his more memorable roles, as ship operator Link in the final two Matrix films. Taken in after actor Marcus Chong was fired over financial differences, he appeared in both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He then took a role in the popular ABC series Lost, appearing as former construction worker and Oceanic Flight 815 survivor Michael Dawson. His character received positive comments from critics throughout his run in the show—he won a Screen Actors Guild award as part of the show’s cast in 2004—but he was killed off in the fourth season.
In 2009, Perrineau was cast on the ABC crime drama ,The Unusuals, as Det. Banks. Three years later, he was also cast on Sons of Anarchy as Damon Pope, the main antagonist of Season 5.
-Harold's wife, Brittany Perrineau, has also appeared on three episodes of Lost.
-Harold originally turned down the audition for his Lost role of Michael Dawson, as it would have meant he had to leave the two-man play he was currently doing two weeks before it’s end. Luckily for him, the auditions were changed and was able to audition for Lost after all.
-Harold won an NAACP Image Award for his role in the play Topdog/Underdog.
-Sons of Anarchy (2012)
-The Hungry Rabbit Jumps (2010) as Jimmy
-30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010) as Todd
-The Killing Jar (2010) as Smith
-The Unusuals (2009) as Detective Leo Banks
-Felon (2008) as Lt Jackson.
-28 Weeks Later (2007) as Flynn
-CSI (2007) One Episode
-Lost (2004-2006, 2008) as Michael Dawson
-Dead Like Me (2003) as Yoga Instructor in the episode Rest In Peace
-The Matrix Revolutions (2003) as Link
-Enter the Matrix (2003) as Link
-The Matrix Reloaded (2003) as Link
-On Line (2002) as Moe Curley
-Prison Song (2001), as Uncle Steve
-Woman On Top (2000) as Monica Jones
-The Best Man (1999) as Julian Murch
-Oz (1997-2003), as Augustus Hill
-The Edge (1997) as Stephen
-Romeo Juliet (1996), as Mercutio
-Smoke (1995) as Thomas "Rashid" Cole
-I'll Fly Away (1991-1993), as Robert Evans
-Terry O’Quinn is like Locke, because he is a mysterious, fascinating guy. He lives up on the north shore in this house in the woods. You’ll see him, and he’s always walking around like Locke.
-Jorge’s a really funny guy. Like Hurley, at those right moments he will say something that will crack you up.
(on his co-star Matthew Fox, and his likeness to his Lost character Jack Sheperd)
-He’s handsome, he’s tall, he’s running around saving people’s lives. But Matt Fox, himself, is just a really interesting guy. He’s got a lot of stuff in his background, and you can see it behind his eyes, that has nothing to do with any of that stuff. When you talk to him, you’re like, ‘Oh, I didn’t expect that at all.’ So I’d say he’s least like his character.
(on his Lost character, Michael Dawson)
-I was somewhat confused about him at first. Because the show’s writers and producers don’t give us much information ahead of time, I had no idea where the character was headed. I mean, I didn’t know, for example, how Michael spoke, the sort of attention span he had, or even how passionate as well as compassionate he was.