From theatre to television and film actor, Courtney B. Vance is the epitome of black excellence. With a degree in history from Harvard and a master’s degree in fine arts from Yale, the Detroit-born actor has cultivated a career playing iconic characters with brilliance, dignity, and intellect.
An award-winning actor, Courtney B. Vance earned Emmy, NAACP, and Critic Choice awards for his portrayal of attorney Johnny Cochran in “The People vs OJ Simpson.” In addition, Vance won a Tony award for his role in “Lucky Guy” and most recently a Primetime Emmy for his role in “Lovecraft Country.” In 2021 he was nominated for the Hollywood Critics Association TV award for his portrayal of Aretha Franklin’s father, Rev. C.L. Franklin in “Genius”.
Vance returns to television in the new original drama series, “61st Street”. Filmed on the southside of Chicago, “61st Street” tells the story of a Chicago athlete with a bright future wrongfully swept into the Chicago criminal justice system. “61st Street” brilliantly explores the Chicago justice system as police and prosecutors investigate a deadly drug bust that threatens to collapse the “blue wall of silence” by the Chicago Police Department.
Executive produced by Peter Moffat, J. David Shanks, and Michael B. Jordan’s “Outler Society,” Courtney B. Vance plays public defender, Franklin Roberts. As he contemplates his life’s work and retirement, he is forced to reckon with the impact of his work, his marriage, health, and the injustices within the criminal justice system.
The Chicago Defender spoke with the critically acclaimed, award-winning actor about “61st Street” and why Chicago was the perfect location for the drama series.
“61st Street” also stars Emmy®-nominee Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us, King Richard), Mark O’Brien (City on a Hill, Blue Bayou), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter, Lights Out), Tosin Cole (Doctor Who, Hollyoaks), Andrene Ward-Hammond (Your Honor, Manifest) and Bentley Green (Snowfall, Sweet Magnolias).
The two-season event debuts Sunday, April 10, 2022, at 9 pm CST on AMC. Viewers can tune in weekly to view the drama on AMC+ and AllBlk Streaming services.