Actor Michael Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz (born (1964-12-29)December 29, 1964) is an American actor and director, known for portraying John Cooper in the TNT drama series Southland for which he won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2013, Sergeant Denver “Bull” Randleman in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, and Sergeant Abraham Ford in the AMC horror series The Walking Dead.

Early life

Cudlitz was born on (1964-12-29)December 29, 1964 in Long Island, New York and raised in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. He is a 1982 graduate of Lakewood High School. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, where he graduated in 1990.


While attending California Institute of the Arts, Cudlitz landed the role in Band of Brothers and worked in TV and film production in the art department of various shows. Cudlitz was a construction coordinator on Beverly Hills, 90210.

His first acting role was in the 1989 film Crystal Ball, playing Scottie. Other roles were Tony Miller on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Tad Overton on Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, and in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the second seasons of 24, Lost, FOX series Standoff, and Prison Break. He was also in the movie A River Runs Through It. He guest starred on Over There. He played Bob Destepello in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank. He also played a 30-second role as a bartender in the movie Forces of Nature in 1999.

His breakout role came in 2001 with his portrayal of Sgt. Denver “Bull” Randleman in the World War II miniseries, Band of Brothers. Cudlitz starred on the critically acclaimed, five-season television drama Southland as patrol officer John Cooper, a 20-year veteran and training officer. It was picked up by TNT, who aired the remaining episodes of its first season, bringing it back for a total of five seasons. The character struggled with chronic back pain, addiction to pain medication, and ethical issues relating to his partners. Prior to the start of shooting for the show, Cudlitz had a large mole removed from his right upper lip, which had previously been a signature feature of his appearance. The show was cancelled in 2013. Cudlitz won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role in 2013.

In 2009, Cudlitz appeared in the science fiction film Surrogates as Colonel Brendon. In 2013, Cudlitz played opposite Melanie Griffith in the movie, Dark Tourist.

From February 2014 to October 2016, he appeared in the AMC TV show The Walking Dead as Sergeant Abraham Ford, a character from the comic series of the same name. His first appearance was in the tenth episode of Season 4, an episode entitled “Inmates”. Cudlitz’s character was killed off in the premiere episode of the show’s seventh season entitled “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”. Cudlitz quickly became a fan favorite, with fans noting his quirky and comedic sayings combined with his upfront approach.

Voice work

Cudlitz supplied the voice of Sgt. Glenn “Hawk” Hawkins in the video game Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. He provided additional voice work for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.


  • 2013: Critics Choice Awards, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Southland
  • 2013: Entertainment Industries Council PRISM Awards, Southland (episode: “Legacy”)
  • Personal life

    Cudlitz is married to Rachel Cudlitz. They met while students at CalArts. Their twins, Max and Isabelle, were born February 12, 1997, in Los Angeles, California.



    Year Title Role
    1992 A River Runs Through It Chub
    1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Tad Overton
    1993 The Liars’ Club Jimbo
    1996 Savage Spillane
    1996 Follow the Bitch Ty
    1996 D3: The Mighty Ducks Cole
    1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Bob Destepello
    1998 The Negotiator Palermo
    1999 Forces of Nature Bartender
    1999 Live Virgin Bob
    2000 A Question of Faith James
    2000 Lured Innocence Harry Kravitz
    2003 Welcome to the Neighborhood George
    2006 Running Scared Sal ‘Gummy Bear’ Franzone
    2008 Sex Drive Rick
    2008 Tenure Tim
    2009 Crossing Over San Pedro ICE Processing Agent
    2009 Surrogates Colonel Brendan
    2009 Stolen Jonas
    2011 Satin Kip Tanner
    2011 Inside Out Detective Calgrove
    2012 Rogue River Sheriff Boyd; also associate producer
    2013 Dark Tourist Jim; also Producer
    2013 Pawn Shop Chronicles Ben
    2013 Cesar Chavez Sheriff Smith
    2017 The Trustee Timothy Waits
    2018 Driven Morgan Hetrick
    2020 Return To Hardwick Self (voice narration)

    Television (miniseries, TV movies, shorts)

    Year Title Role Notes
    1989 Crystal Ball Scottie Short
    1996 Last Exit to Earth Hardester TV movie
    1998 Thirst Andy TV movie
    1999 Small Change Gary Short
    2001 Band of Brothers Sgt. Denver “Bull” Randleman Miniseries
    9 episodes
    2002 Live from Baghdad Tom Murphy TV movie
    2004 Homeland Security Agent Tango 12 TV movie
    2008 Danny Fricke Praeger TV movie
    2011 Silent Witness Sam Robb TV movie

    Television (episodic)

    Year Title Role Notes
    1990 Hull High Schwartz Episodes: “Episode #1.2”, “Episode #1.6”
    1991 21 Jump Street Dennis Richards Episode: “Bad Day at Blackburn”
    1991 L.A. Law Passerby Episode: “Do the Spike Thing”
    1992 Step by Step Ed Episode: “Home Alone”
    1991–1992 Growing Pains Chuck Episodes: “There Must Be a Pony”, “The Call of the Wild”
    1992 Life Goes On Ernie Episode: “The Wall”
    1992–1993 Beverly Hills, 90210 Tony Miller 11 episodes
    1993 Against the Grain Bud Hardeman Episodes: “Pilot”, “The Buck Stops… There”
    1994 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Walton Episode: “A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story”
    1994 Picket Fences White Teenager #1 Episode: “Elective Conduct”
    1994 The Marshal Gary Lowell Episode: “Kissing Cousins”
    1996 ER Injured Fireman Episode: “The Healers”
    1996 Pacific Blue Brett Andrews Episode: “The Enemy Within”
    1996 Renegade Patch / Beau Episodes: “High Rollers”, “The Dollhouse”
    1997 Leaving L.A. Joey Reno Episode: “The Black Widower”
    1997 Party of Five Schuyler Episode: “4.2: Past Imperfect”
    1998 Touched by an Angel Landau Episode: “God and Country”
    1998 NYPD Blue Joshua Episode: “Prostrate Before the Law”
    1999 Home Improvement Kyle Episode: “Whitewater”
    1999 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Bob Episode: “The Zeppo”
    1999 Chicago Hope Episode: “And Baby Makes 10”
    1999 Good vs Evil The Wiz Episode: “Men Are from Mars, Women Are Evil”
    1999 Snoops Michael Keppler Episode: “Constitution”
    1999 Love & Money Joe Episodes: “Everybody Doesn’t Love Eamon”, “Puff the Magic Sister”
    2001 Walker, Texas Ranger State Trooper Episode: “Unsafe Speed”
    2001 Six Feet Under Dennis, Crossroads Leader Episode: “Crossroads”
    2001 The Mind of the Married Man Contractor Episodes: “Just Thinking of You”, “When We Were Nice”
    2001 Philly Joe Episode: “Live and Leg Die”
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Officer William Spencer / Josh Barston 2 episodes: “And Then There Were None” as Officer William Spencer, “The Grave Shift”
    2002 The Practice Russell Hampton Episode: “The Test”
    2002 Family Law Darren Carson Episode: “Big Brother”
    2002 Push, Nevada Episode: “Jim’s Domain”
    2002 Fastlane Det. Ray Cornwright Episode: “Girls Own Juice”
    2002 MDs Elkin Episode: “R.I.P.”
    2002–2003 24 Rick Phillips 3 episodes: “Day 2: 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.”, “Day 2: 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.”, “Day 2: 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.”
    JAG Episodes: “Force Recon” as Sergeant Tesla, “Take It Like a Man” as Cpl. Hal Strange
    2004 Nip/Tuck Brody Episode: “Joel Gideon”
    2005 Las Vegas Brian Carlton Venturi – the Kidnapper Episode: “When You Got to Go, You Got to Go”
    2005 Medical Investigation Lt. Troy Adams Episode: “Mousetrap”
    2005 CSI: Miami ‘Mac’ MacKern 1 episode: “Nothing to Lose”
    Without a Trace Mark Casey
    Freddy Katen
    2 episodes: “The Line”, “John Michaels”
    2005 Line of Fire Jury Member 1 episode: “This Land Is Your Land”
    2005 Over There Colonel Ryan 1 episode: “The Prisoner”
    2005 The Dead Zone Herb Smith 1 episode: “Babble On”
    2005 Prison Break Corrections Officer Robert ‘Bob’ Hudson 2 episodes: “Riots, Drills and the Devil: Part 1”, “Riots, Drills and the Devil: Part 2”
    2005 Wanted Dep. Reed 1 episode: “Lips Are Lips”
    2005 Sleeper Cell LAPD Detective Walt Moss 1 episode: “Intramural”
    2006 Close to Home Dan Johnson 1 episode: “Escape”
    2006 CSI: NY Vern Dox 1 episode: “Super Men”
    Dr. Vegas Glen 2 episodes: “Lust for Life”, “For Love or Money”
    2006–2007 Standoff Frank Rogers 18 episodes
    2007 Bones Lucky 1 episode: “Death in the Saddle”
    2007 Criminal Minds Francis Goehring 1 episode: “Identity”
    2005, 2008 Lost Big Mike Walton 2 episodes: “Collision”, “The Beginning of the End”
    2008 The Cleaner JWB 1 episode: “Pilot”
    2007–2008 Life Mark Rawls 3 episodes: “Pilot: Merit Badge”, “Fill It Up”, “Did You Feel That?”
    2009 Knight Rider Lead Gunman 1 episode: “Exit Light, Enter Knight”
    2009 Eleventh Hour Ben Finney 1 episode: “Minamata”
    2009 Saving Grace Donald Gilmore 1 episode: “The Heart of a Cop”
    2009–2013 Southland John Cooper 43 episodes
    Winner – Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
    2014–2018 The Walking Dead Abraham Ford 30 episodes
    Recurring: Season 4
    Main cast: Seasons 5–7
    Special Guest Star (Episode: “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”, “What Comes After”)
    Director; 3 episodes (Seasons 9–10)
    2015 Ballers Dan Balasmo 2 episodes: “Head-On”, “Gaslighting”
    2018 Young Sheldon NASA director Episode: “Gluons, Guacamole, and the Color Purple”
    2018–2019 The Kids Are Alright Mike Cleary Main cast: 23 episodes
    2020 The Walking Dead: World Beyond N/A Director; 2 episodes
    2021 Invincible Josef / Red Rush Episode: “It’s About Time”
    2021–present Clarice Paul Krendler Main cast

    Video games

    Year Title Voice role Notes
    2005 Call of Duty 2 Pvt. Braeburn Also provides voice work for NPC U.S. Rangers
    2005 Call of Duty 2: Big Red One Sgt. Glenn “Hawk” Hawkins
    2007 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Griffen, Additional Voices
    2009 Red Faction Guerrilla Saul Marius
    2009 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Viktor
    2011 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Griffen, Additional Voices

    Art department

  • 1986–88: Tales from the Darkside – Carpenter (12 episodes)
  • 1988: The Unnamable – Carpenter
  • 1989: W.B., Blue and the Bean – Set construction
  • 1989: C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. – Carpenter
  • 1990–93: Beverly Hills, 90210 – Construction coordinator (65 episodes)
  • 1996: Dunston Checks In – Propmaker gang boss
  • 1998: American History X – Construction coordinator
  • 2007: Nobel Son – Propmaker
  • External Links

    Actor Michael Cudlitz – Wikipedia

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