From the stage to the small screen to the big screen, Obba Babatundé has done it all over the course of his career — not only has he gone from Broadway productions to playing Julius Avant on The Bold and the Beautiful, but he’s also managed to find time to pursue his hobbies outside of entertainment.
Babatundé has also appeared on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Friends, Dawson’s Creek, NCIS, and S.W.A.T. as well as films like That Thing You Do and The Notebook. From where he was born and raised to his award-nominated performances, here are five fast facts you need to know about The Bold and the Beautiful actor!
In The Beginning
Babatundé was born Donald Cohen on December 1 in Jamaica, Queens, New York. He got into the theater as a young boy and after graduating from Jamaica High School, he started pursuing acting jobs in New York City.
He attended Brooklyn College, which is where he started performing one-act plays. He also got involved in the dance community and even studied under directors such as Hal Prince, Geoffrey Holder, and Bob Fosse.
Played The Same Role Twice… Sort Of
Babatundé guest-starred on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and played a fictional record executive named Gordy Berry in 1990, who was based on Berry Gordy. He then went on to play the real-life Motown founder in the movie, The Temptations in 1998.
Recognition By Peers
Babatundé won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2016 for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for his role on The Bold and the Beautiful. He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the HBO movie, Miss Evers’ Boys and he received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as C.C. White in the original Broadway cast of Dreamgirls.
While he stays busy due to his acting career, Babatundé is also a rodeo competitor and a horse whisperer! Not to mention, he also co-founded an art-based school in Brooklyn, New York with his brother, Akin. He’s also learned sign language.
Babatundé is married and has two sons. He is also a proud grandfather. He decided to change his name from Donald Cohen to Obba Babatundé after learning of his Nigerian heritage. Obba means “king” and Babatundé means “father has returned again.” The Bold and the Beautiful (BB) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.