Clarke Peters is an American-British actor, singer, writer and director best known for his roles as detective Lester Freamon and Albert “Big Chief” Lambreaux on the HBO dramas The Wire and Treme, respectively. More recently, Peters has portrayed Alonzo Quinn on the CBS crime…
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Musical, Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical
Red Hook Summer, The Benefactor, Marley & Me, Notting Hill, Outland, Endgame, Freedomland, K-PAX, The Poker House, The Bad Education Movie, Nativity!, Mona Lisa, The Music Machine, Division 19, Death Train, Chess: In Concert, Gigantic, Searching for Sonny, Grace, Legacy, Locked In, Turnipseed, Break…
London Spy, The Divide, Treme, The Wire, The Corner, Chandler & Co
Deep Smooth Voice
[on how the variety of parts that come his way has expanded as he’s grown older] – I think it’s because I’m older. Of course, wisdom doesn’t always come with age. But it can look like that.
[in 2010] The art, our craft – we have to hold onto these kinds of things. People say, ‘I want to be a movie star’; be a movie star, go do that, go be a movie star, but that doesn’t mean you’re an actor. Go to stage, go onto the stage. If you wanna act, go to the stage. People don’t go to theaters, you know? This is a dying craft, because everyone looks at a little tiny screen and they think, ‘Well, that’s who it is.’ No, that’s not who it is. That person is an actor, give that person something else to do. Put them on the stage. Get off your ass and go to a theater. Even if it’s a local amateur theater, go to the theater. Get away from that fucking screen, and have that communication ’cause that’s where the magic is. The magic is not in the music that has been manipulated for you to watch television; the magic is when the person is on stage and that vibration is true and you and the audience are being moved by that. That’s an experience people don’t have these days. That’s a very necessary experience for your spirit, for your soul. You need to have that. You need to hear live music. Listening to the radio, CDs or whatever — no; listen to the person’s breath while they’re singing that song or they’re playing that guitar. Feel yourself with the person next to you being moved by that. We gotta get out of this little box.
Everyone said: ‘The Wire (2002)’s hot, you should go to LA.’ But when I got out there I just thought, ‘This is a bunch of dimwits here. Let me get back to London, man, back to some theatre.’ I didn’t realise how spoilt I was.
I’m here [in London] because theatre is a part of your culture. Our points of reference in America aren’t steeped in literature, they’re steeped in that five minutes between commercials.
On playing Daryl Van Horne in a touring company of “The Witches of Eastwick”: It’s a double-edged sword. It’s good for the career, but some people said ‘The black guy’s the Devil!’ I was like, ‘The black guy’s working!’
Clarke Peters worked as a backing vocalist in London during the 1970s. He provided the male vocals for Joan Armatrading‘s “Love And Affection” (“Oh give me love…”), and Heatwave‘s “Boogie Nights” (“Got to keep on dancing”).
He has lived in London, England since the 1970’s.
Grew up in Englewood, New Jersey.
Father of Joe Jacobs and Guppy (1988-1992) (with Joanna Jacobs) and Max Peters with his wife Penny.
Was nominated for Broadway’s 1992 Tony Award as Best Book (Musical) for “Five Guy Named Moe.”
He was nominated for a 1999 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for the 1998 season for Best Actor in a Musical for “Chicago!”.