List of non-actors on The Wire?
July 2, 2008 8:16 PM   Subscribe

Any fan of The Wire knows that the show features a lot of characters played by 'non-actors.' For example, ex-convict Snoop plays Snoop, Mello is played by the real Jay Landsman, the former mayor of Baltimore (Kurt Schmoke) popped up as a health commissioner during the Hamsterdam crisis, etc. Is there a list of every such 'non-actor' on The Wire? I did google, but didn't use the right terms, or somesuch.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, and please no spoilers in this thread... I've only just started the 5th season.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:17 PM on July 2, 2008

posted by Class Goat at 8:29 PM on July 2, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry, all I really want is a list of those who don't act as a living. So, preferably, I'd like a list without any Sonja Sohn, Andre Royo or Dominic West.

But thanks! I know to use IMDB and go through it, name by name, if all else fails.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:44 PM on July 2, 2008

Wikipedia actually has a lot of good resources on the Wire, especially in their sources links, but if you've just started season 5 I would hold off on looking at them until you finish the season.

Never seen a list like you've requested, but I would certainly like to.
posted by Benjy at 9:56 PM on July 2, 2008

The #1 person I would note is Anwon Glover aka Slim Charles, who was not a professional actor before being on the show, he was/is a DJ (I don't hear him on the radio as much lately) and in a go-go band (Backyard Band) here in DC. He's really talented, I had no idea this was the first show he was on.

Method Man aka Cheese (Prop Joe's nephew) also not a professional actor, I guess you could say, but was in some acting roles before.

Melvin Willians aka the Deacon was a real life kingpin in Baltimore back in the 80's AFAIK. DeAndre McCullough (Lamar - Bro Mouzone's right hand man) not an actor, he was one of the people in Baltimore who David Simon wrote about in his book that was turned into "The Corner" miniseries.

The security guard outside the Gov's office when Carcetti goes to the State House is not a professional actor.. :)
posted by citron at 11:11 PM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Method Man has a (reasonably) extensive list of film & tv credits to his name.
posted by mkultra at 5:45 AM on July 3, 2008

One of the guys who help out Omar while he's in jail (phonebook armor, etc) is the real life Omar.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:00 AM on July 3, 2008

Are you interested in folks like Meth, who, while they may have done some occasional acting, are better known for something else? If so, Steve Earle (Waylon, Bubs' sponsor) would probably fit in that category.
posted by box at 6:04 AM on July 3, 2008

Ed Norris, Baltimore's disgraced former commissioner of police plays detective Norris.
posted by baltimoretim at 6:06 AM on July 3, 2008

Robert Colesberry (Det. Ray Cole) was mainly a producer (on films in addition to The Corner and The Wire), but has other acting credits preceding his role on The Wire.

Tyreeka Freamon, who plays the school receptionist at Tilghman Middle School in season 4, was one of the people Simon and Burns wrote about in The Corner.
posted by andrewraff at 7:43 AM on July 3, 2008

Citron already mentioned it, but the police officer outside the governor's office, who tells Carcetti that the governor will finally see him, is Bob Ehrlich who was the actual governor of Maryland at the time.

Apparently, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, had a cameo appearance as a newspaper reporter in Season 3. Also, I think in Season 1, Richard Price (the author of the novels Clockers, Samaritan, and The Wanderers, and the screenplay writer for The Color of Money) is the English teacher in prison library during discussion of The Great Gatsby. More details here.
posted by thewittyname at 8:08 AM on July 3, 2008

These are some of the smaller parts I can think of off the top of my head.

In season 5, former Baltimore Sun columnist Michael Olesker; former Sun reporter, and current crime author and wife of David Simon Laura Lipman; and former Sun foreign correspondent and editor Jeff Price play reporters. (Jeff Price does not play the reporter named Jeff Price, though.) Former Sun night metro editor David Ettlin has a part in a few episodes (haven't seen those, yet, so I can't tell you who he is). Former Sun foreign correspondent (now Beijing correspondent for Forbes) Gady Epstein also appears and may have a line, though I haven't seen his episode yet, either.
posted by Airhen at 3:45 PM on July 3, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks guys!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:32 PM on July 3, 2008

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