Award-winning veteran actor/writer/producer Tony Winters’ career has spanned decades with his work on stage, screen and television. Perhaps best known to television audiences as restaurateur Clive on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s critically acclaimed Queen Sugar or to gamers as the tough-as-nails Assistant Coach in the best selling video game’s NBA2K15 and, the Spike Lee directed, NBA2K16. However, his distinguished career began long before the explosion of cable TV and the advent of electronic gaming.
After graduation from Detroit’s Redford High School Winters headed west to attend San Diego City College and later the University of California San Diego. It was there he was bitten by the acting bug and began his theatrical training in earnest. He was first cast in a supporting role in Little Murders and later in the lead role of Axel in Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink The Water.
Don’t Drink the Water
But college theater was not enough for the eager thespian, so he looked beyond City’s small campus and found a thriving African American theater scene. At just 19 he was cast as 30-something Brick in the first all-black production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and received rave reviews.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
He went on to tackle a succession of pivotal roles; Lou in Spell #7, Prince in Moon On A Rainbow Shawl and Homer in The Lilies Of The Field. He even appeared in the musicals Guys And Dolls and Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.
Moon on Rainbow Shawl
The Lilies of the Field
In an effort to expand his career into film and television he moved north to Hollywood. Having earned a coveted SAG card with a supporting part in the prison drama Penitentiary III his career was off and running. The recurring roles of Anthony on the daytime’s Days Of Our Lives and his breakthrough turn as Ossie Dunbar M.E. on NBC’s long running Hunter soon followed.
Days of Our Lives
In the years subsequent, Winters has evolved into one of Tinseltown’s busiest journeyman actors and boasts of having worked with two Academy Award winning directors, Phil Alden Robinson and Mike Nichols, and of sharing the screen with his idol Sidney Poitier. In addition to his work in more than 75 different television shows and movies, he has also acted in scores of television commercials and modeled in print advertising.
Never one to rest on his laurels, he began writing and producing his original screenplays and became a pioneer in the field of digital filmmaking. He wrote, produced and starred in the films Retiring Tatiana (2000) and Section 8 (2006), winners of the Audience Favorite Award at The Pan African Film & Arts Festival 2000 and Best Feature Film at the Arizona Black Film Showcase 2006, respectively. Throughout it all, he has never veered too far from his theatrical roots and has remained an active player on the stage most notably portraying Stan in Ken Davis’ critically acclaimed South of Where We Live, Joe in his self-penned, self-produced, stage production of Section 8 which garnered 3 NAACP Theater Awards nominations in 2004 and as The Storyteller in his solo show The Devil and Billy Markham by Shel Silverstein which was nominated for “Best One Person Show” at the 2016 NAACP Theater Awards.