Monday, December 01, 2008

Male on Monday - Dennis Haysbert

Today Donna Alward's back with a character from one of her MUST WATCH shows - the man with the big bod and the chocolate voice - Dennis Haysbert.

Dennis Haysbert was born in San Mateo, California, the son of Gladys, a homemaker, and Charles Haysbert, Sr., a deputy sheriff. He is the eighth of nine children, having two sisters and six brothers. After high school, measuring 6 feet 4.5 inches (1.94 m) tall, Haysbert was offered various athletic scholarships, but instead chose to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Haysbert is a divorced father of two, first being married to Elena Simms and then Lynne Griffith.

Haysbert has had a long career, acting in film and television since 1979, starting with a guest role in The White Shadow. His television guest starring roles include Lou Grant, Laverne & Shirley, The A-Team, Dallas, Magnum, P.I., Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Duckman. In 1993 he had a featured role in Return to Lonesome Dove as outlaw Cherokee Jack Jackson. In 1999, Haysbert starred with Eric Close in Now and Again, which was cancelled after its first season.

In 2001, Haysbert became better known when he was cast in 24 playing U.S. Senator David Palmer, who served as America's first Black President (in the context of the show) during the second and third seasons. He also returned as a guest star in the last six episodes of season 4 and the first episode of season 5. He stated in an interview for the show that the three men he admires most — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Colin Powell — collectively embody his idea of what a President should be. There's been some speculation that his portrayal of President Palmer on 24 had some influence on getting Obama elected...regardless, it was a gutsy move and for fans of Haysbert, a good one.

Haysbert currently portrays the lead character Jonas Blane in the CBS action-drama The Unit, which is in its fourth season of production. It's a kick ass show following a unit of special forces soldiers, and also the stories of their wives on the home front. It's one of my Must Watch shows and I own each season on DVD as well.

Haysbert hosted and narrated the Military History Channel presentation of Secrets of Pearl Harbor which documented his scuba dives with a film team on World War II era Japanese and American warships in the Pacific Theater of action. I think that's pretty darn cool.

His recent films roles include Raymond Deagan in Far From Heaven. He won three awards (Satellite Award, Black Reel Award, and Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award) for Best Supporting Actor for that role. In 2005, he had a supporting role in Sam Mendes's film, Jarhead. In 2007, Haysbert returned to the big screen to portray Nelson Mandela in Goodbye Bafana and an FBI agent in Breach - which just happens to be waiting on my DVR.

Last year when the writer's strike happened, The Unit was off air until this fall. I made do with living for All State commercials and his distinctive voice saying, "That's Allstate's stand. Are you in good hands?"

He's also a whopping 6'4 1/2" tall, and in great shape for his role in The Unit.

What do you think? Does he qualify as a Male on Monday?

Donna's newest release goes on sale at eharlequin today!

Check out The Rancher's Runaway Princess in either print or e-book...the book that Donna swears was graced with a wee bit of fairy dust for a fairy tale ending....


  1. Dennis could be a male on Monday on the basis of his voice alone. Thanks for including the video (especially the audio!). Good choice!

  2. My sister has just discovered the joy of The Unit. I am very jealous... but then again she doesn't get the latest Spooks.

  3. Yay to sis and boo to you, as I don't get the latest spooks either.

    And Anne - in The Unit, Jonas has this thing where he says "Well. How about that." It gets echoed around here a lot. LOVE his voice. Loved the Shaft look he had going at the beginning of season 3 too. I wish they'd let him keep his head shaved. It was dead sexy.

  4. Nice choice! I haven't seen most of these shows so I had to go google him. Wow he does scrub up well in a suit, doesn't he! Yum! I'll have to look out for The Unit - definitely my cup of tea.