Dennis Haysbert


Dennis Haysbert Trivia


  • Trivia

    • Dennis works out almost every day. He plays basketball, baseball, golf and racquetball. He relaxes by practicing martial arts, reading and cooking.

    • When Dennis was asked during an interview what would have been President David Palmers campaign slogan had he really been running for presidency, he replied: people first.

    • Dennis's father is a Catholic and his mother a Baptist. They were raised as Baptists but had a lot of Catholic upbringing (such as fish on Fridays and no birth control).

    • Dennis was such a good fencer at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts that he was invited to train for the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team.

    • Dennis is backing the Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama. Dennis believes that his character on the TV Series 24 is partly responsible for opening America's mind to a black commander in chief.

    • Dennis's sister, Rita Haysbert, is a teacher.

    • Dennis's father, Charles Haysbert Sr., served as a temporary police officer in San Mateo, California before becoming sheriff at the San Francisco airport.

    • Dennis became the first civilian diver to investigate a midget submarine sunk by a single cannon shot. He also investigated the USS Arizona, the USS Saratoga and the Nagato, which is the ship from which Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dennis had to dive 160 feet below the surface with a special mask. In order to talk, Dennis has to turn off his air and then turn it back on again.

    • Dennis was born with with a hole in his heart. As a result he has a 15% handicap.

    • Following is a list of awards and nominations Dennis received:

      In 2007 Dennis was nominated for the Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for The Unit (2006).

      In 2006 Dennis was nominated for an Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for 24 (2001).

      In 2005 Dennis was nominated for Actor Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for 24 (2001).

      In 2004 Dennis was nominated for an Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for 24 (2001).

      In 2003 Dennis won the Black Reel Theatrical award for Best Supporting Actor in Far from Heaven (2002).

      In 2003 Dennis was nominated for the Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor in Far from Heaven (2002).

      In 2003 Dennis was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for 24 (2001).

      In 2003 Dennis was nominated for an Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for 24 (2001).

      In 2003 Dennis won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama for Far from Heaven (2002). He was also nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Drama for 24 (2001).

      In 2003 Dennis was nominated for Actor Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for 24 (2001).

      In 2002 Dennis won the WAFCA Award for Best Supporting Actor for Far from Heaven (2002).

      In 2001 Denis was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Drama for Now and Again (1999).

      In 2000 Dennis won the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Supporting Actor for Now and Again (1999).

    • Dennis is a big sci-fi buff. One of his favorite shows is Battlestar Galactica.

    • Dennis's brother, Adam, was a wide receiver for the Cougars in the 1980s.

    • Dennis is very passionate on the subject of global warming and the environment. Towards the end of 2006 he began the process of making his home greener. The process includes putting in solar panels, solar roof panels, using light bulbs that reduce Co2 emissions, replacing his pool with a saline pool and putting in two 8,000-gallon rain catchers with tanks under the ground. In addition to that he has placed an order for an electric car, a Tesla, that can drive 250 miles after being charged for three hours.

    • His code name on The Unit is Snake Doctor.

    • Dennis Haysbert is the voice of President David Palmer on 24:The Game.

    • Dennis Haysbert played football on his high school football team, but decided to go with acting.

    • He got is big break in the movie Love Field opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. He was hired after Denzel Washington dropped out and after Eriq La Salle was hired, and fired.

    • Dennis Haysbert stars in a very small role, as the Psych Ward Staff, in the episode One More Time of the TV show The A-Team.

    • Dennis Haysbert missed out on playing golf with Tiger Woods three times. Once because the game was rained out, and twice because of his work schedule.

    • Dennis's favorite television shows include CSI:Crime Scene Investigation, Six Feet Under and Battlestar Galactica.

    • Dennis attended the San Mateo High School in California.

    • Dennis Haysbert got his first major acting gig on television in 1986 when he joined the daytime drama The Young And The Restless in the recurring role of Ron.

    • In 2004, he was honored along with talk show host Tavis Smiley at the Roy Wilkins Freedom Fund Dinner. This is the annual awards banquet for the NAACP.

    • In 2002, he was the spokesperson for the Harlem Health Expo.

    • In 2004, he became the on-screen announcer for the Military Channel.

    • Dennis's alma mater is the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

    • He is active in voiceover work. Not only has he lent his voice to the television cartoon Justice League, but he has also voiced video games (Call of Duty: Finest Hour) and animated movies (Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas)

    • His character Magonius from the television mini-series Empire (2005) is historically inaccurate. The character was a created solely for the mini-series.

    • On August 7, 2005, he became the Grand Marshal for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The race was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    • In 2004, he broke the record for the deepest dive with a movie mask at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The movie mask allows the diver to breath while maintaining the ablity to speak into a microphone. He was 165 feet below sea level.

    • He played defensive end on his high school football team.

    • In 2003, he became the spokesman for Allstate Insurance.

  • Quotes

    • Dennis: (On his role as David Palmer in the TV Series 24) I felt like the president. I went around the world and the reception was always that of a dignitary.

    • Dennis: (on his role in Major League) He's one of my favorite characters. He's alive in the hearts of teens and ball players.

    • Dennis: (on success) I always thought things would end up pretty much the way they are right now, but I thought it would happen a whole lot earlier. I dreamt well, and those dreams are starting to come to fruition.

    • Dennis: (on his character on the TV series 24 opening the publics mind to a possible black President of the United States) As far as the public is concerned, it did open up their minds and their hearts a little bit to the notion that if the right man came along, I do believe Barack Obama is the right man, that a black man could be president of the United States.

    • Dennis: (on being asked to run for president, following his role as President David Palmer on the TV series 24) I've lost track of how many times people have asked me to run for president.

    • Dennis: (on being named Grand Marshal of Allstate 400 at the Brickyard) As a huge NASCAR fan, I am excited about Allstate's sponsorship of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. And I'm equally excited and honored to be selected as the Grand Marshal of one of NASCAR's premier races.

    • Dennis: (on staring down a barrel of a gun) I was buying a coffee in a pastry shop in Hollywood. Suddenly, an armed robber burst through the back door, demanding money. He was wielding a .57 Magnum, nobody argues with one of those, you just freeze and do as you're told.

    • Dennis: (on fascination with movies and television from an early age) I used to watch and was fascinated with movies and television shows. It wasn't until I was finishing up junior high school that the interest really peaked. I saw a couple of plays and they weren't very good. I just thought if those guys could get up there and do it, I could. I had always been an athlete, but with acting there was a calling and I said, 'I got to do this.' It was about emotional fulfillment.

    • Dennis: (on what drew him to the role of Jonas Blane in The Unit) What drew me to the role initially is that it was going to be action-oriented. What I got, which is a blessing, is a sympathetic, charismatic, great men's man and friend. This guy is everything. He is a father, he's a husband, he's a leader, he's a friend, he's a warrior and he's compassionate.

    • Dennis: (when asked how it feels to have earned the distinction of being one of America's favorite TV presidents) It's great validation of what I've been working toward my entire career. I've never been as successful and as happy as I am now with my work and with getting work. I've had other jobs that were really good but didn't seem to lead to anything, you know? So it's pretty gratifying. I just pray it continues.

    • Dennis: (when asked if he would very consider going into politics) If I thought I could say what I would want to say in the political arena as an actor or as an advocate for a charity, I would probably. But you look at how they scrutinize politicians in this country and the dirty tricks and the dirty stories they dig up that are inconsequential to anything or anybody, but they use it to destroy some of the best politicians we could have. No, I wouldn't do it. That, and there's way too much compromise. You have to get in bed with some really nasty people, and I don't know that I have the constitution for that.

    • Dennis: (on his favorite teams) I am still particularly loyal to the Bay Area teams -- the Oakland Raiders, and San Francisco 49ers. And it's real tough. And I know you'll get a lot of letters on this, but I love Dallas now because T.O. is there.

    • Dennis: (when asked what sports he played at San Mateo High (CA)) Football, baseball and track. Then at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, I got into fencing. I actually entertained the thought of training for the Olympics. I love the sport. I pride myself on being limber.

    • Dennis: (when asked what made him think he could handle playing Mandela in Goodbye Bafana) I was asked to do it by director Billie August. He sent me this wonderful letter but I almost turned him down because I was so afraid. It's a very emotional issue with me. I know Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King came before him, but this man, the sacrifices he made. He spent 27 years in prison! But I was challenged. I thought: If you do not do this, you will regret for the rest of your life. And if it did not work, well, at least you gave it your best shot. I have no idea how this movie will turn it. It was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.

    • Dennis: (on why he chose to become an actor) I really do believe that was what I was put on this planet to do. To give to people and through my performances show them another world. In the case of 24 to show them what a politician, black or white, should be. Basically, I wanted to be a service to others.

    • Dennis: (On Hollywood's double standard regarding interracial sex, in concern with the movie Far from Heaven) In Monster's Ball [starring Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton] you see them having full-on passionate sex, whereas here you don't even get to see them holding hands. I... I don't agree with that. I'm really tired of seeing it done just one way. (question: So why does that happen?) The only thing I can think is the white establishment is threatened by that. They're threatened by black male-white female relationships and passion being shown on screen. But they're very comfortable with James Bond and Halle Berry [Die Another Day] or Robert De Niro and Angela Bassett [The Score]. Some of our female stars are bedding down with white men in films, which I have no problem with. But balance it. Let me have a love scene between me and Julianne Moore or Michelle Pfeiffer or Cameron Diaz.

    • Dennis: (on bringing a white girlfriend home in the 70s) Well, I don't think he was unhappy about it. He was more fearful for me. From the time he grew up he couldn't walk on the same sidewalk, much less look into the eyes of a white woman in the South. In certain times in the South's history, you'd get strung up for doing that. You don't easily lose those fears. It's a knee-jerk reaction. Or it might have been a certain amount of envy on a certain level. Perhaps he was thinking: "I wasn't even allowed to talk to a white woman, never mind date them." The bottom line is, people are people and the sooner we realize that, the better off things are going to be.

    • Dennis: (on love) I've had my children's projectile vomit on me, but it never changed how much I love them. You just stroke their head, put a cold compress on them. That's what I want…that unconditional love.

    • Dennis: (on love) I don't want things to change [in a romance] just because of marriage. I want someone that I can laugh with. Someone that I can have a discussion with, that even if you disagree with each other, that you are together, you have each other's back. That you love and respect one another. That you can enjoy each other's company, that when they're sick you react as though they were your child.

    • Dennis: (on parenting) See, I have a theory about parenting. There's an old saying: 'If you watch your pennies, you don't have to worry about your dollars.' Well, if you watch your kids when they're younger, you have less to worry about when they're teenagers. You just give them the attention that they need and deserve, and love them.

    • Dennis: (asked if his acting takes a toll on his personal life) I usually don't divulge too much about my personal life but yet, it makes it hard when you're really busy all the time. It's hard on relationships. I'm divorced, so that should tell you something.

    • Dennis: (on playing soldiers in The Unit) It really is fun. I'm a big kid at heart and it's really nice to get paid to go rolling around in the dirt and shoot guns.

    • Dennis: (why he felt so strongly about his 24 character being assassinated) We have this legacy in this country and in the world of killing our leaders - especially our beloved leaders - and this character was very beloved. I know it upset a lot of people because I see people in the street all the time and they tell me. It felt wrong to have him killed off that way.

    • Dennis: (how he felt about his character in 24 being killed off) I didn't mind getting written out but what I did mind was having that character assassinated. I didn't like that at all. As a matter of fact, for the longest time I wasn't going to shoot the scene and they were going to have to make it a CNN scene on a TV screen as a news bulletin. But one of my good friends on the show talked me into it.