Lawrence Gilliard Jr.: 6 Things to Know About the Walking Dead Actor
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The Walking Dead

Lawrence Gilliard Jr.: 6 Things to Know About the Walking Dead Actor

You know Lawrence "Larry" Gilliard Jr.'s face from The Wire — just like his second-time costar Chad Coleman (Tyreese) — but many don't know too much about him beyond that. Thanks to his role as Bob Stookey on The Walking Dead, we have the chance to learn a little more about this New York-born, Baltimore-raised actor.

Ready to learn a little more about Larry? Read on!

He Was a Foil to Patrick Swayze. In the A&E series The Beast, Patrick Swayze portrayed a veteran FBI agent that doesn't play by the rules. Larry played the agent investigating Patrick's character. It was Patrick's last role before his death from pancreatic cancer in September 2009.

He's Married to a The Wire Co-Star! Larry's wife is Michelle Paress, who played idealistic Baltimore Sun reporter Alma Gutierrez on Season 5 of the hit HBO show. By that point, Larry's character D'Angelo Barksdale was long gone — but still, respect for them both for starring on the best series of all time.

Speaking of The Wire, He Almost Didn't Get the TWD Part. Larry's lucky he's such a good actor! When casting the role of Bob, showrunner Scott M. Gimple didn't want to hire him since he'd already cast Chad and didn't want the show to get saturated with The Wire alums. Apparently, though, the casting directors wanted him bad enough that Scott relented. (Also, notably, in the comics, Bob Stookey was an old white guy.)

MORE: Does Bob Stookey Die?

He's a Clarinetist! Larry studied clarinet for three years at Juilliard before switching his focus to acting; however, he still performs. Maybe he can jam with Emily Kinney (Beth Greene) sometime!

Before He Made it as an Actor, He Worked in Office Administration. For Larry to make his first-ever movie role work, the low-budget Straight Out of Baltimore, he took unpaid leave from his job as an office assistant at a law firm. Like many actors, he had a boring day job before he made his dreams come true. See, there’s hope for all of us!

He Went to High School With Tupac and Jada Pinkett. The Baltimore School for the Arts has launched the career of tons of stars, including not only Larry, but Tupac and Jada Pinkett. The three were all born within a few months of each other, so we imagine they must've at least known each other — even if Larry wasn't featured in Tupac and Jada's amazing lip-sync video to Will Smith’s "Parents Just Don't Understand."

Did you learn something new about Larry? Got anything to add? Weigh in below!

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Sarah Anne Lloyd is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

11.1.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Sarah Anne Lloyd
Related: The Walking Dead, Features, TV, TV Stars, Lawrence Gilliard Jr, Bob Stookey

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