Earnest Lee "Ernie" Hudson is an American character actor. Having appeared in dozens of film and television roles throughout his career, he is perhaps best known for his roles as Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters film series, Sergeant Darryl Albrecht in The Crow (1994), and Warden Leo Glynn on HBO's Oz.
View the Ernie Hudson Gallery.
Hudson was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He never knew his father. His mother, Maggie Donald, died of tuberculosis when he was two months old. He was subsequently raised by his maternal grandmother, Arrana Donald.
Hudson joined the United States Marine Corps straight from High School, dismissed after only three months due to asthma, before he moved to Detroit, Michigan. He became the resident playwright at Concept East, the oldest black theatre company in the United States. He enrolled at Wayne State University to further develop his writing and acting skills. He established the Actors' Ensemble Theatre where he and other talented young black writers directed and appeared in their own works. Later, he enrolled and subsequently graduated from Yale School of Drama.
In an interview with Belief.net, Hudson stated that he is a practicing Christian, but does not believe that "one church is the right one."
One of Hudson's early films was in Penitentiary II (1982) starring Leon Isaac Kennedy. He landed various guest roles on television series such as The Dukes of Hazzard and The A-Team. He was on the television series Fantasy Island in a first-season episode as a voodoo man named Jamu. Hudson gained fame playing Winston Zeddemore, who enlists with the Ghostbusters in the feature film Ghostbusters (1984) and its 1989 sequel. He also auditioned to reprise the role for the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, but it was given to Arsenio Hall. He had a major supporting role as the mentally challenged handyman Solomon in The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992).
Hudson was cast as Warden Leo Glynn on HBO's series Oz. On Oz, his son Ernie Hudson Jr. co-starred with him as Muslim inmate Hamid Khan. Hudson also appears as the character Munro in Congo (1995) and as Police Sergeant Albreact in The Crow (1994). He switched gears when he played a preacher opening the eyes of a small town prejudice in the 1950s in Stranger in the Kingdom. He is also known for his role as Harry McDonald, the FBI superior of Sandra Bullock's character in the feature film Miss Congeniality (2000). He appears in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Ethon" as Pernaux. Hudson also appeared as Reggie in the film The Basketball Diaries (1995). In 2006, he appeared in the television movie The Ron Clark Story as Principal Turner. In 2008, he began a recurring role as Dr. Fields on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Hudson also had a recurring role on the final season of Law & Order as Lt. Anita Van Buren's boyfriend and then fiancé.
In 2011, he played Stuart Owens in Torchwood: Miracle Day.
Beginning in 2015, Hudson was cast in a recurring role as Jacob, an organic farmer who is the romantic interest for Frankie Bergstein (Lily Tomlin) in the series Grace and Frankie.
Hudson appeared in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, playing Bill Jenkins, the uncle of Leslie Jones' lead character Pattie Tolan.
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