1. He is known for his work on the sketch comedy television show In Living Color.
2. When Grier was young, his family marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in a March on Poverty in Detroit, where King gave an early version of the “I Have A Dream” speech.
3. Immediately after graduating from Yale, Grier landed the role of Jackie Robinson in the short-lived Broadway musical The First, directed by Martin Charnin and written by Joel Siegel.
4. Grier got his start on the National Public Radio radio drama adaptation of Star Wars in 1981.
5. He was the voice of a nameless X-wing fighter pilot during the Battle of Yavin.
6. Grier was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and won the Theatre World Award for The First.
7. He later starred as James “Thunder” Early in the hit Broadway musical Dreamgirls.
8. Grier made his film debut in 1983 in Streamers, directed by Robert Altman.
9. He won the Golden Lion for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for the film.
10. Grier also appeared as a geology professor at the fictitious Hillman College in the show A Different World where he was a crush of several of the girls on the show including lead character Denise Huxtable played by actress Lisa Bonet.
11. Keenen Ivory Wayans, the director of Sucka, cast Grier in his new variety show In Living Color.
12. It became a ratings hit and won an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Series.
13. Grier became a popular cast member through his characters, which ranged from hyperactive children to crotchety old men.
14. Among his prominent characters were obnoxious, megaphone-blaring shop teacher Al MacAfee; the elderly Mr. Brooks, whose autumn years are a never-ending verbal battle with his wife; Calhoun Tubbs, a blues musician with very limited creativity; a member of Funky Finger Productions, a production company with more ambition than resources; and, most famously, flamboyant and effeminate Antoine Merriweather in the “Men on…” sketch series.
15. He also played Rev. Leon Lonnie Love on the TV series Martin.
16. After his success on the show, Grier began appearing in comedies such as Boomerang along with Pauley Shore and Andy Dick in 1994, and as a policeman whose car is memorably crushed and eaten by a giant pod in Jumanji.
17. After the cancellation of In Living Color, Grier starred in the short-lived sitcoms The Preston Episodes, Damon , and DAG.
18. Grier had a cameo in the Robert De Niro and Edward Burns movie 15 Minutes as a Central Park mugger.
19. He began doing stand-up comedy and began hosting the Comedy Central series Premium Blend.
20. Grier returned to Broadway to perform in the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
21. In 2002, Grier joined the cast of the improv-based ABC sitcom and Bonnie Hunt vehicle Life with Bonnie which ran only two seasons.
22. During this time, he continued to appear in comedy films but also returned to drama in the films Baadasssss! and The Woodsman.