Sterling K. Brown
Though Sterling K. Brown was known to audiences everywhere for his acclaimed role on the TV series "This is Us" (NBC, 2016-), his path toward acting as a career was not always clear. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1976, Brown was primarily interested in sports like basketball and football, but after appearing in a school production of the musical "Godspell," Brown discovered that he harbored a deep love of acting. Even still, he first enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, performing in college plays on the side purely as a hobby-but only until he was forced to admit that performing was his true passion. While studying there his freshman year, Brown also met and began a relationship with fellow actor Ryan Michelle Bathe, whom he would later marry in 2007. Brown went on to earn an MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and began acting in regional theater productions to hone his skills. In 2002, he made his film debut with a small role in the romantic comedy "Brown Sugar" (2002). He played a recurring role on the drama "Third Watch" (NBC, 1999-2005) and continued to book small roles in films like "Trust the Man" (2005) and "Stay" (2005) before he landed a starring role on the drama series "Army Wives" (Lifetime, 2007-2013) in 2007. The show has a loyal fanbase, and Brown stuck with it for all of its seven seasons. When the series eventually wrapped in 2013, Brown's next big break was looming on the horizon, and it would prove to be a double-whammy. It came in 2016 when he was cast as Christopher Darden on the first season of the hotly anticipated anthology series "American Crime Story" (FX, 2016-), "The People Vs. O.J. Simpson," in addition to landing his role as Randall Pearson on "This is Us." The popularity of both shows raised Brown's profile exponentially. Though "American Crime Story" moved on to a new story with a new cast for its ensuing seasons, "This is Us" became a cultural phenomenon. Brown proved a pivotal an extremely popular presence on the show, but he nonetheless continued to appear in steadily bigger movie productions as well, joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the role of N'Jobu in "Black Panther" (2018), co-starring in the futuristic neo-noir "Hotel Artemis" (2018), and playing Traeger in the sci-fi action reboot "The Predator" (2018).