Stephen McKinley Henderson, who was born on August 31, 1949 in Kansas City, Missouri, hails from the Juilliard Drama School and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Though he has already worked on several productions in the late 1980s, he rose to fame in 2004. Henderson was cast as Arthur in the widely acclaimed HBO film, Everyday People.
Stephen Henderson was first seen on screen in the drama Marie, which starred Sissy Spacek, Jeff Daniels, Morgan Freeman and Fred Dalton Thompson. He was later seen in the Bill Duke-directed A Raisin in the Sun, which was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards. In 1995, Henderson made a guest appearance on New York News, portraying the character Sherman Wakes. After a long break from television and films, he returned by playing Boudreaux in the series Third Watch. His next role was in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, before he gained applause in Everyday People. In 2004, he was cast in the dramatic thriller Keane, starring Damian Lewis and Abigail Breslin. Henderson continued making several TV appearances, playing judges on Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2006, he also portrayed a judge on Conviction. He later joined the cast of New Amsterdam, playing the sage jazz club owner Omar. Henderson is also known for his work on stage, and was noted for his portrayal of Van Helsing in the Broadway production of Dracula, The Musical. Some of his other theatre credits include playing Sammy Crow in the production Drowning Crow, and his appearances in the revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and King Hedley II. He has also won a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble due to his work on the off-Broadway production, Jitney. He has worked with the LAByrinth Theatre Company as well, performing on plays like The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.