Although best remembered for his touching performance as Pvt. Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue opposite Tom Hanks in the 1994 Academy Award-winning film Forrest Gump, Mykelti Williamson has been acting professionally since age 18. He was born Michael T. Williamson in St. Louis, Missouri on March 4, 1960. At the age of nine, he began performing and dancing as a member of The Lockers troupe on Soul Train. He relocated to Los Angeles with his family when he was 15, and pursued acting after graduation.
His television credits include the role of Detective Bobby "Fearless" Smith in the Peabody Award-winning drama Boomtown, as well as the series The Hoop Life for Showtime. He made his film debut in 1984’s Streets of Fire, and was followed by a role in Wildcats with Goldie Hawn, and Miracle Mile. He was also in 1993’s Free Willy and had a role in Heat with Al Pacino.
In 1997, he starred with Nicolas Cage in Con Air and was in 1999’s Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years. Some of his other film appearances have been in Ali with Will Smith. He was given a number of roles in 2006, playing Sloe in Lucky Number Slevin, Grady Frank in Fatwa, and Uncle George in ATL. Williamson was also known for his portrayal of the character Virgil Hayes in the NBC series Kidnapped. He plays Leopold Cain’s bodyguard and is considered one of the family’s first lines of defense. Williamson then appeared in minor roles on films like Spinning Into Butter and August Rush in 2007. He was also a guest star in four episodes of the series CSI: NY, where he plays Chief Brigham Sinclair. In 2008, he was cast in movies such as Vice and Ball Don’t Lie. Williamson was also invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2005. In addition, he has signed on to play Segune in the film Red Soil, as well as Brian Hastings on the TV series 24.