Michael Potts

Get Michael Potts Email Alerts

Be the first to get news, photos, videos & more.

Michael Potts BIO

Michael Potts is an accomplished actor of stage and screen. In March, he’ll portray Michelle Obama’s father “Frasier C. Robinson III” alongside Viola Davis in Showtime’s critically acclaimed limited series, “The First Lady” and star opposite Melissa Leo in the psychological thriller “Measure For Revenge.” Later this year, Potts takes on the role of civil rights activist “Cleveland Lowellyn “Cleve” Robinson” in Netflix’s historical drama ‘RUSTIN.” In 2020, his portrayal of “Slow Drag” earned him critical acclaim in Netflix’s award-winning, feature adaptation of August Wilson’s play “MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM.” The film served as Chadwick Bosman’s final acting portrayal. On the stage, he is known for originating the roles of “Mafala Hatimbi” in the 2011 Tony award winning musical comedy The Book Of Mormon from Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone as well as the heartwarming “Mr. Hawkins” in the Tony nominated Broadway musical The Prom. He received critical praise for his role as “Joe Mott” alongside Denzel Washington in the Tony nominated Eugene O’Neill revival The Iceman Cometh. For his role in Iceman – Potts received the distinguished “Richard Seff Award,” which is presented to veteran actors for their performances in supporting roles both on and off Broadway. Additionally, he was appointed as the 2018 Denzel Washington Endowed Chair in Theatre for Fordham University. In 2017, he starred as the notorious gossip “Turnbo” in the Tony award winning production of August Wilson’s Jitney, under the direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s. That same year, Potts appeared alongside Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge in the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984. Potts is widely recognized for his role opposite Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as “Detective Maynard Gilbough” in the Emmy Award winning HBO anthology series “True Detective.” Well versed in producer David Simon’s work, Potts starred opposite Idris Elba as the well-mannered yet feared assassin, “Brother Mouzone” on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “The Wire.” He starred in the HBO six-hour miniseries, “Show Me a Hero,” co-created by David Simon (“The Wire”) and directed by Oscar winner Paul Haggis. Recurring television roles also include CBS’ “Madam Secretary” and FOX’s “Gotham.” As a graduate the Yale School of Drama, Potts’ extensive theater background has afforded him several performances on New York’s theater stages. Roles in Rent, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Richard III garnered him the Falstaff Award for best ‘Male Supporting Performance’ and The Village Voice’s Obie Award for his portrayal in the off-Broadway production of The American Play. Potts originated the role of “Brooks, Sr.” in the Tony Award winning play Grey Gardens and additionally the role of “Paul Pierce” in Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures at the Guthrie Theatre. In the regions, Michael has starred in Oedipus, Highway Ulysses, Romeo and Juliet, The Hostage, The Rivals and was in the original Broadway company of Lennon. He is an active supporter and contributor of the 52nd Street Project, dedicated to the creation and production of new plays for, and often by, kids between the ages of 9-18 that reside in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in New York City. The organization achieves this goal through a series of unique mentoring programs that match kids with professional theater artists. Potts was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Wisacky, South Carolina. He resides in New York City.

Michael Potts Photos


Broadway Revival Production, 2022
Wining Boy

Shakespeare in the Park Production, 2022
Lord Stanley

Original Broadway Production, 2018
Mr. Hawkins

Broadway Revival Production, 2018
Joe Mott

Original Broadway Production, 2017

Manhattan Theatre Club Original Broadway Production, 2017

New York Premiere Production, 2016

Classic Stage Off-Broadway Revival, 2015

Original Broadway Production, 2011
Mafala Hatimbi


Duke of Buckingham

Broadway Transfer, 2006
Brooks Jr.

Brooks, Jr.

Brooks, Sr.

Brooks Sr.

Original Off-Broadway Production, 2006
Brooks Sr./Brooks Jr.

[New York]
Reading, 2005

Original Broadway Production, 2005

Off-Broadway Production, 2004


Encores! Concert, 2002



David Bradley



Michael Potts Movies

[1995]Hackers Tow Truck Driver

[1997]The Peacemaker DOE Haz-mat Tech

[1997]Conspiracy Theory Justice Guard

[2006]Diggers South Shell Pot Buyer

[2008]Jocasta Oedipus

[2013]Mom Andy

[2016]37 Archibald Smith

[2016]Let Me Make You a Martyr Charon

[2018]Change in the Air Professor Hoffman

[2018]Here and Now Ray

[2020]Cicada Francis

[2020]Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Slow Drag

[2022]Measure of Revenge Detective Eaton

[2022]Rounding Dr. Emil Harrison

[2022]Night Music Father Dobie

[2023]Rustin Cleveland Robinson

Michael Potts TV Shows

Law & Order Stokes's Attorney, Malcolm Young, Lester Wilkes

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit IAB Sergeant Cole Draper, IAB Detective Cole Draper

Person of Interest Travers

The Wire Brother Mouzone

Michael Potts Awards and Nominations

Obie Awards - 1994 - Performance

Michael Potts, The America Play

Michael Potts Videos

Michael Potts News

Photos: New Look at Audra McDonald, Colman Domingo & More in RUSTIN; Now Streaming on Netflix

Directed by DGA Award and five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe and starring Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo, Rustin also includes Audra McDonald, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Adrienne Warren, Michael Potts, CCH Pounder, and more. Check out new photos of the cast now!

Video: Celebrate 5 Years of THE PROM

Five years ago on November 15, 2018, The Prom opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre, where it ran for 309 performances. Check out some videos to celebrate the show's time on Broadway!

Photos: Colman Domingo Attends RUSTIN Screening With Marisa Tomei, Jeremy O Harris and More

Jeremy O Harris, Colman Domingo and Marisa Tomei attended this weekend’s New York screening of “Rustin.' The first screening of the film since the SAG-AFTRA strike lifted, Colman discussed the importance of shining a light on Bayard Rustin, the legendary MLK mentor and organizer. Check out the photos now!

Photos: Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Honors Lynn Nottage at the 22nd Monte Cristo Awards

Last night, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center presented the 22nd Monte Cristo Award to award-winning playwright and screenwriter Lynn Nottage.  Check out photos here!

Photos: Tony Kushner, George C. Wolfe & More Attend RUSTIN Screenings In NYC

Notable attendees of the screenings include Tony Kushner, Don Lemon, Jonathan Capehart,  Kathy Najimy, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jeanine Tesori, Robert O’Hara, and more. Also in attendance was Bayard's surviving partner Walter Naegle. Check out photos from the screenings here!

Broadway Streaming Guide: November 2023 - Where to Watch RUSTIN & More

StreamingFrom highly-anticipated movies starring Colman Domingo, Audra McDonald, Adrienne Warren, LaChanze, Denée Benton, and more, to albums from Stephanie J. Block and Leslie Odom Jr., November's new streaming releases will give Broadway fans entertained all month.

Video: Watch the RUSTIN Trailer Starring Colman Domingo, Audra McDonald & More

Netflix has released the trailer for Rustin, George C. Wolfe's new film about activist Bayard Rustin. The film stars Colman Domingo as Rustin, along with Audra McDonald, Adrienne Warren, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Chris Rock, and more. Watch the new video trailer now!

2023 Gotham Awards to Present George C. Wolfe's RUSTIN With the Icon & Creator Tribute for Social Justice

Rustin celebrates the man who, alongside giants like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker, dared to imagine a different world and stars Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, Gus Halper, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Johnny Ramey, Michael Potts, with Jeffrey Wright and Audra McDonald.

Video: Watch Colman Domingo, Audra McDonald & More in Netflix's RUSTIN Movie Teaser Trailer

Joining Domingo and McDonald in the film is Adrienne Warren, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Chris Rock, Aml Ameen, Gus Halper, Johnny Ramey, Lilli Kay, Jordan-Amanda Hall, Jakeem Powell, Grantham Coleman, Jamilah Rosemond, Jules Latimer, Maxwell Whittington-Cooper, and more. Watch the video teaser now!

THE BOOK OF MORMON on Broadway - A Complete Guide

Looking for all the latest info on one of Broadway's hottest shows? BroadwayWorld has the full scoop on everything that you need to know about The Book of Mormon on Broadway. Check out all the details here!

Photos: See Audra McDonald, Colman Domingo & More in New RUSTIN Photos; Netflix Sets November Premiere Date For New Film

Netflix has shared new photos from Rustin, their upcoming Bayard Rustin biopic starring Colman Domingo, Audra McDonald, and more. Directed by DGA Award and five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe, the film also features Adrienne Warren, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Chris Rock, and more.

THE PIANO LESSON Film Adds Gail Bean, Malik J. Ali, Jerrika Hinton & More

Malik J. Ali, Gail Bean, Jerrika Hinton, Stephan James, Jay Peterson, and Matrell Smith have joined the cast of The Piano Lesson film. They join Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, Ray Fisher, and Michael Potts, who will be reprising their Broadway performances. Danielle Deadwyler Corey Hawkins, and Erykah Badu are also in the movie.

Erykah Badu Joins THE PIANO LESSON Film Adaptation For Musical Cameo

Erykah Badu has joined Netflix's upcoming film adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Badu will make a cameo for musical performances in the new feature. She will join Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, Ray Fisher, and Michael Potts, who will be reprising their Broadway performances in the film.

SOME LIKE IT HOT, LEOPOLDSTADT & More Win 2023 Outer Critics Circle Awards

The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, is pleased to announce the winners of the 72nd Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2022-2023 Broadway and Off-Broadway season. Find out who won here!


The hit Broadway revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson is featured in the latest episode of “Working in the Theatre” with director LaTanya Richardson Jackson and set designer Beowulf Boritt. The episode features exclusive interviews and discussion on their collaboration on August Wilson's The Piano Lesson.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK; SOME LIKE IT HOT; & More Lead Nominations for Outer Critics Circle Awards

The Outer Critics Circle has announced the nominees for the 72nd Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2022-2023 Broadway and Off-Broadway season. Leading the pack with the most honors of the season is the Broadway musical New York, New York, with twelve nominations. Check out the full list of nominations here!

Wake Up With BWW 4/14: CAMELOT Reviews, Plus a Message From Jennifer Holliday!

Top stories: Read the reviews for Camelot on Broadway, check out all new clips and photos from the upcoming The Little Mermaid film, plus watch an exclusive video message from Jennifer Holliday!

Danielle Deadwyler & More Join Samuel L. Jackson & John David Washington in THE PIANO LESSON Film Adaptation

Samuel L. Jackson and John David Washington will reprise their Broadway performances in the upcoming film adaptation of The Piano Lesson, which is currently set for a Netflix premiere. Malcolm Washington will direct the upcoming feature, which will also include Danielle Deadwyler, Michael Potts, Corey Hawkins, and Ray Fisher.

Photos: THE PIANO LESSON Cast Takes Final Bows On Broadway

The Piano Lesson played its final Broadway performance on January 29, 2023. BroadwayWorld was there to see the cast take their final bows, and you can check out photos here!

THE PIANO LESSON to be Filmed for the Lincoln Center Theatre on Film and Tape Archives

The Broadway revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson will be filmed for the Lincoln Center Theatre on Film and Tape Archives. See how to purchase tickets to The Piano Lesson, and more!


Michael Potts has appeared on Broadway in 8 shows.

Michael Potts has not appeared in the West End

Michael Potts has been nominated for several awards throughout his career. He was nominated for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for his role in "The Piano Lesson." Additionally, he received a nomination for Performance at the Obie Awards for his work in "The America Play." These nominations highlight Potts' talent and recognition in the theater industry.

Michael Potts has won the Performance (Obie Awards) for his role in The America Play.

Michael Potts's next show will be The Piano Lesson which opens on 10/13/2022 on Broadway.

Get Michael Potts Email Alerts

Be the first to get news, photos, videos & more.



Recommended For You