Who is Wood Harris?
Whether he’s playing a drug lord, a football player, a rapper, or a basketball talent, according to critics and his fans, Wood Harris consistently delivers powerful and memorable performances. He’s probably still known best for his role as Julius Campbell in the 2000 movie “Remember the Titans”, which earned him the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, and the Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Favorite Supporting Actor – Drama.
Wood Harris has portrayed a wide range of characters both in film and on television, earning critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base along the way. He has over 60 acting credits to his name, and in this article, we’ll explore some of Wood Harris’s most notable roles.
Early life, family, and education
Born Sherwin David Harris under the zodiac sign of Libra on 17 October 1969, in Chicago, Illinois USA, he holds American nationality and his ethnicity is African-American. He was nicknamed ‘Wood’ by his neighborhood friends since many of them found it hard to pronounce his name. Wood was raised by his parents John, a bus driver, and Mattie a seamstress, alongside his elder brother, Steve. Steve Harris is also an actor, perhaps known best for his role as Eugene Young in the series “The Practice”.
Wood and Steve shared an interest in acting from an early age, so it isn’t surprising that Wood followed in his brother’s footsteps. When it comes to his educational background, Wood attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1987, he enrolled at Northern Illinois University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts (Theatre) in 1991. Wood also holds a Master’s degree in Arts from New York University.
Notable movie roles
Wood made his acting debut playing Motaw in the 1994 sports drama “Above the Rim”, also starring Tupac Shakur and Duane Martin. Three years later, he had a supporting role as Café 24 Busboy in the romantic comedy-drama “AS Good as It Gets”, starring the great Jack Nicholson.
His first major movie role came in 2000, when he was cast to play in “Remember the Titans”, a sports drama that tells the true story of the integration of T.C. Williams High School’s football team in the early ‘70s; Wood played Julius Campbell, a star player on the team, a role which allowed him to showcase his range as an actor, transitioning from a hardened football player with a chip on his shoulder, to a symbol of unity and leadership. The film’s powerful message of racial harmony resonated with audiences, and Wood’s performance played a significant role in its success.
Wood Harris Talks About The Movie "Paid in Full" & Camron pic.twitter.com/tn1wsYkFiu
— No Emotions From A God (@OriginalGods94) June 28, 2022
In the 2002 action crime-drama “Paid in Full”, Wood took on the role of Ace Boogie, a Harlem-based drug dealer trying to make it big in the criminal underworld. Wood’s performance was both captivating and chilling, as he depicted the complexities of a character who straddles the line between ambition and moral decay. The film is considered a cult classic, and Wood’s portrayal of Ace Boogie remains one of his most memorable roles.
In the following years, Wood was seen in “Dirty” (2005), “Jazz in the Diamond District” (2008), “Dough Boys” (2009), and “The Babymakers” (2012), among others. Later, in 2012, he played Kay in the critically acclaimed science-fiction movie “Dredd”, starring Karl Urban, which won the Empire Award for Best 3D.
One of Wood’s notable roles was his portrayal of Daniel in the 2013 TV movie “The Watsons Go to Birmingham”, which earned him the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie or Mini-Series.
Wood played Gale in the 2015 action comedy “Ant-Man”, starring Paul Rudd, and later that year he was seen as Tony ‘Little Duke’ Burton in “Creed”, a role he reprised in the 2018 sequel “Creed II”, followed by his role as Coach C in the 2021 animated comedy “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, which didn’t achieve the expected success, and even ‘won’ the Golden Schmoes Award for Worst Movie of the Year, and Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.
Most recently Wood was again seen as Little Duke in the 2023 movie “Creed III”, and played Coach Dru Joyce II in the sports drama “Shooting Stars”, which premiered in June 2023. Wood starred opposite Marquis Mookie Cook and Caleb McLaughlin in this biographic drama about the early life of basketball star, LeBron James.
Young LeBron & Melo in the upcoming movie SHOOTING STARSLeBron: Mookie CookMelo: Jett HowardDru Joyce II: Wood…
Notable TV series roles
Wood made his first TV series appearance playing Hector in an episode of the popular crime drama series “NYPD Blue” in 1996, and followed with his guest role as Officer Gordon in “Oz” in 1997.
Wood’s breakthrough role – when it comes to his television work – came in the early 2000s, when he was cast to play Avon Barksdale in the critically acclaimed television series “The Wire”. This gritty and realistic crime drama, created by David Simon, explored the drug trade in Baltimore and its impact on the city’s residents. Wood’s portrayal of Avon Barksdale, a charismatic yet ruthless drug lord, was a standout performance that showcased his acting prowess. The character’s complexity and moral ambiguity made Avon Barksdale one of the most memorable characters in television history.
The show aired between 2002 and 2008, and Wood was seen in 38 episodes. This highly-rated series (9.3/10), had 54 award nominations, including two for Primetime Emmys, and 16 wins.
In the following years, Wood mostly guest-starred in numerous series before he landed the recurring role of Damon Cross in the hit series “Empire”. From 2018 through 2020, Wood was seen in 28 episodes of this musical drama, starring Terrence Howard.
Concurrently, in 2019, Wood played Vince Vincente in less than ten episodes of the comedy crime-drama “Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television”. Most recently, Wood was seen as Spencer Haywood in the biographic drama series “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty”, which earned him the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama Series, in 2022.
Love life and relationships
Wood is one of those celebrities who like to keep their romantic life private. He hasn’t spoken about his previous relationships before he met his future wife, Rebekah. He hasn’t shared how they met, and how long they were in a relationship before they married in 2001.
Rebekah is also quite a secretive person, and nothing is known about her. She avoids the spotlight and is rarely seen with her husband in public. What we do know is that the couple shares two children, but whose names and genders haven’t been disclosed.
As of September 2023, the family of four lives in their residence in New York City.
His age, height, and net worth
Wood is 53 years old, and is typically seen with a shaved head or very short hair with a neatly trimmed beard or mustache, depending on the role he’s portraying. His trademark is his height – Wood is 6ft 3ins (1.9m) tall so it isn’t surprising that he often portrayed basketball players.
When it comes to his wealth, thanks to his acting talent and hard work, Wood has made a good living for himself. According to sources as of September 2023, his net worth has been estimated at over $2 million.