Joe Morton
Joe Morton 2019.jpg
Morton in 2019
Joseph Thomas Morton Jr.

(1947-10-18) October 18, 1947 (age 75)
Alma materHofstra University
Years active1970–present

Joseph Thomas Morton Jr. (born October 18, 1947) is an American stage, television and film actor. He has worked with film director John Sayles in The Brother from Another Planet (1984), City of Hope (1991) and Lone Star (1996). Other films he has appeared in include Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Of Mice and Men (1992), Speed (1994), Apt Pupil (1998), Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), What Lies Beneath (2000), Ali (2001), Paycheck (2003), Stealth (2005), American Gangster (2007), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Justice League (2017), and Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021).[1]

His television work includes his role as Eli Pope, Olivia Pope's father, in Scandal, for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2014,[2] and the role of Henry Deacon on the TV series Eureka.

In 2019, Morton narrated the Audible .com program, The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Early life

Morton was born in Harlem, the son of Evelyn, a secretary, and Joseph Thomas Morton Sr., a U.S. Army intelligence officer.[3][4] Because of his father's military service, he spent parts of his childhood in West Germany and Okinawa.[5] When Morton was 10 years old, his father died.[6]

Morton graduated from Andrew Jackson High School[7] and studied drama at Hofstra University.[8]


Morton made his Broadway debut in Hair, appeared in Salvation, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Raisin. He has appeared in over 70 films, including John Sayles' The Brother from Another Planet (as The Brother), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (as Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson) and Blues Brothers 2000 (as Cabel "Cab" Chamberlain, based upon the late Cab Calloway). He also played Police Lieutenant Herb "Mac" McMahon, in Speed. On daytime, Morton has had roles on Search for Tomorrow (Dr. James Foster, 1973–74), Another World (Dr. Abel Marsh and Leo Mars, 1983–84), and All My Children (Dr. Zeke McMillan, 2002).[9] In 2002, he appeared on the London stage in the play Art.

Morton has made many notable TV guest appearances, including his appearances as Dr. Steven Hamilton in the first two seasons of Smallville. He starred in the Sanford and Son spin-off Grady (1975–76), M*A*S*H* (battalion aid surgeon Capt. Nick Saunders, 1976), Under One Roof (1995) and E-Ring (2005). He portrayed the jack-of-all-trades scientist Henry Deacon as a regular on Syfy Channel's Eureka (2006–12). Morton played the role of Eli Pope on the hit drama Scandal, a role for which he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.[9]

In 2016, Morton portrayed the activist and comedian Dick Gregory in the play Turn Me Loose at the Westside Theatre in Manhattan.[10] Morton portrayed Dr. Silas Stone, father of Victor Stone/Cyborg, in a cameo role in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, part of the DC Extended Universe. He reprised the character in the film Justice League (2017) and more extensively in its director's cut.[11]

From 2018 to 2020, Morton co-starred as Reverend Arthur Finer in the CBS series God Friended Me.[12] Morton directed three episodes of God Friended Me, and has directing credits for four other TV series.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 Between the Lines Ahmed
1978 Lawman Without a Gun Louis Television film
1979 ...And Justice for All Prison Doctor
1980 Death Penalty William Terry Television film
1981 We're Fighting Back Elgin Jones Television film
1982 The Clairvoyant Detective Rich
1983 Curse of the Pink Panther Charlie
1984 A Good Sport - Television film
The Brother from Another Planet The Brother
1985 Trouble in Mind Solo
1986 Crossroads Scratch's assistant
1987 Stranded Sheriff McMahon
1988 Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami Tandy Television film
Alone in the Neon Jungle Ken Fraker Television film
Zelly and Me Earl
The Good Mother Frank Williams
Police Story: Burnout Sgt. Jeff Allen Television film
1989 Tap Nicky
Howard Beach: Making The Case for Murder Cedric Sandiford Television film
1990 Challenger Dr. Ronald McNair Television film
The Lost Platoon World War II Soldier
1991 City of Hope Wynn
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson
1992 Legacy of Lies Samuel Flowers Television film
Of Mice and Men Crooks
Forever Young Cameron
1994 The Inkwell Kenny Tate
Speed Lieutenant Herb "Mac" McMahon
1995 In the Shadow of Evil Lt. Royce Television film
The Walking Dead Sergeant Barkley
1996 Lone Star Delmore Payne
Executive Decision Sergeant Campbell "Cappy" Matheny
Jack Reed: Death and Vengeance Gordon Thomas Television film
1997 The Pest Mr. Kent
Miss Evers' Boys Dr. Sam Brodus Television film
Speed 2: Cruise Control Captain Herb "Mac" McMahon
Trouble on the Corner Detective Bill
1998 Blues Brothers 2000 Cabel Chamberlain
Apt Pupil Dan Richler
When It Clicks Cato Caldwell Douglass Short
1999 Mutiny Thurgood Marshall Television film
The Astronaut's Wife Sherman Reese
Y2K Martin Lowell Television film
2000 What Lies Beneath Dr. Drayton
Ali: An American Hero Malcolm X Television film
Bounce Jim Weller
2001 Ali Chauncey Eskridge
2002 Dragonfly Hugh Campbell
The Fritz Pollard Story Host Television film
2003 Jasper, Texas Walter Diggles Television film
Crossing Uncle Stan Short
Thoughtcrimes John Harper Television film
Paycheck Agent Dodge
2004 Breaking Dawn Professor Simon
2005 Gone But Not Forgotten Reggie Stewart Television film
Back in the Day Rev. James Packer
Stealth Dick Marshfield
Lenny the Wonder Dog Dr. Island
2006 The Night Listener Ashe
2007 American Gangster Charlie Williams
Badland Max Astin
2008 Wherever You Are Dr. Livingston
2009 La Linea Hodges
2010 The Mulberry Tree Samuel R. Freeman
2013 Home Donald Hall
2015 Cleveland Abduction Agent Solano Television film
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Silas Stone Cameo
All the Way Roy Wilkins Television film
2017 Justice League Silas Stone
2019 Godzilla: King of the Monsters Houston Brooks
A Million Eyes Fern Short
2020 Vita Monsignor Heck
2021 Zack Snyder's Justice League Silas Stone Director's cut of Justice League


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Bracken's World Yule Buford Episode: "Love It or Leave It, Change It or Lose It"
Mission: Impossible Clerk Episode: "Hunted"
1973–74 Search for Tomorrow Dr. James Foster Regular cast
1975 Sanford and Son Hal Marshall Episode: "The Family Man"
1975–76 Grady Hal Marshall Main cast
1976 M*A*S*H Captain Saunders Episode: "Der Tag"
What's Happening!! Department Store Manager Episode: "The Birthday Present"
1978 Watch Your Mouth Raymond Geeter Main cast
1979 Guiding Light Dan Stennis Episode: "Episode #1.8295"
1983 American Playhouse Carl Hatch Recurring cast: season 2
Another World Dr. Abel Marsh Regular cast
1985 Miami Vice Lt. Jack Davis Episode: "The Maze"
1986 Who's the Boss? Limo Driver Episode: "Mona's Limo"
1987–89 The Equalizer Slate/Carter Brock Guest: season 2, recurring cast: season 4
1989 A Man Called Hawk Rev. Marvin Lewis Episode: "Choice of Chance"
One Life to Live Judge Romero Episode: "Episode dated 22 May 1989"
1990–91 Equal Justice Mike James Main cast
1992 Law & Order Roland Books Episode: "Conspiracy"
A Different World Byron Douglas III Recurring cast: season 5
1993 TriBeCa Carlton Thomas Main cast
1994 Homicide: Life on the Street Sam Thorn 2 episodes
New York Undercover Dean/Dinah Episode: "Blondes Have More Fun"
1995 Under One Roof Ron Langston Main cast
New York News Mitch Cotter Episode: "Fun City"
1996 Nova Narrator Episode: "Shark Attack!"
Touched by an Angel Jake Stone Episode: "Jacob's Ladder"
1997 Prince Street Lieutenant Tom Warner Main cast
1998 Dellaventura Councilman Caulder Episode: "David & Goliath"
1998–99 Mercy Point Dr. Grote Maxwell Main cast
2000 The X-Files Martin Wells Episode: "Redrum"
2000–05 Law & Order Leon Chiles Guest cast: season 10-11 & 14-15
2001–02 Smallville Steven Hamilton Recurring cast: season 1, guest: season 2
2002 All My Children Zeke McMillan Episode: "#1.8387"
The Practice U.S. Attorney Episode: "Fire Proof"
Touched by an Angel Martin Episode: "The Impossible Dream"
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Ray Bevins Episode: "Grief"
2004 Whoopi Martin James Episode: "Sins of the Sister"
The Jury James Byron Milton Episode: "Last Rites"
2005 House Senator Gary H. Wright Episode: "Role Model"
JAG Elroy Johnson Episode: "Unknown Soldier"
CSI: NY Chief Dwight Hillborne 2 episodes
2005–06 E-Ring Steve Algazi Recurring cast
2006–12 Eureka Henry Deacon Main cast
2007 Numbers Reporter Episode: "Graphic"
2008 Boston Legal Attorney Steve Duprey Episode: "Indecent Proposals"
2009 Great Performances Eugene Bullard Episode: "Harlem in Montmartre: A Paris Jazz Story"
Warehouse 13 Reverend John Hill Episode: "Regrets"
Brothers & Sisters Peter Madsen 2 episodes
2009–11 The Good Wife Daniel Golden Recurring cast: season 1, guest: season 3
2010 White Collar Kyle Bancroft Episode: "Prisoner's Dilemma"
2012 Coma Dr. Nelson Episode: "Part One & Two"
2013–18 Scandal Eli Rowan Pope Recurring cast: season 2-4, main cast: season 5-7
2015 Proof Dr. Charles Richmond Main cast
2015–16 Grace and Frankie Jason 2 episodes
2018–20 God Friended Me Rev. Arthur Finer Main cast
2019–20 The Politician Marcus Guest: season 1, recurring cast: season 2
2021–22 Our Kind of People Teddy Franklin Main cast


Year Title Role
2021 Marvel's Wastelanders: Hawkeye Ringmaster

Video games

Year Title Role
2003 Ghost Hunter Professor Richmond
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Radio Commercial

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1974 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Raisin Nominated
Theatre World Award Honoree
1991 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actor Terminator 2: Judgment Day Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture American Gangster Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Scandal Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Won
2015 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
2016 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
2017 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2018 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards Lead Performance in a Play[13] Turn Me Loose Won
2020 Audie Award Literary Fiction and Classics[14] The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates Won


  1. ^ "Joe Morton: The Line (2008)". Yovideo. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  2. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise; Goldberg, Leslie (16 August 2014). "Emmys: 'Scandal's' Joe Morton Takes Home Trophy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  3. ^ Verel, Patrick (August 2012). "Joe Morton to Teach at Fordham". Fordham University (Press release). Archived from the original on January 17, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  4. ^ "Joe Morton Biography". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Maykuth, Andrew. "The avenging actor". Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  6. ^ Sheridan, Patricia (August 17, 2015). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Joe Morton". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Joe Morton | Biography and Filmography | 1947". 26 February 2015. Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  8. ^ Greenberg, Ginny (August 21, 2014). "Alum Joe Morton Wins Emmy for Scandal". Hofstra University. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Joe Morton - IMDb". Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  10. ^ McCall, Tulis (31 May 2016). Carboni, Monique (ed.). "Off-Broadway Theatre Review: Turn Me Loose". New York Theatre Guide. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  11. ^ Meslow, Scott (16 November 2017). "Justice League's Biggest Sin: Wasting Its Great Actors". GQ. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  12. ^ Gay, Verne. "Joe Morton talks 'God Friended Me,' 'Scandal' and dropping out of Hofstra". Newsday. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  13. ^ Carras, Christi (19 March 2018). "'Hamilton,' 'Rotterdam' Tie for Top Award From L.A. Drama Critics". Variety. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  14. ^ Maher, John (March 3, 2020). "A Buoyant 2020 Audie Awards Celebrates 'The Only Plane in the Sky,' Stephen King". Publishers Weekly.