Born: September 25, 1983
Date of Birth: September 25, 1983
Donald Glover seeks to make an impact with his work, and with one Golden Globe already under his belt, it seems he's well on his way to doing just that.
Donald McKinley Glover was born on Edwards Air Force Base, California to daycare center worker Beverly and postal worker Donald. He relocated to Stone Mountain, Georgia with his family, where he was raised a Jehovah's Witness. Due to his family's religious beliefs, he was forbidden from watching television as a child. To get his dose of culture, he'd listen to audio recordings of The Simpsons in bed at night.
In an interview with TIME in August 2016, he spoke about his Jehovah's Witness roots when he said, "Being a Jehovah's Witness, it forces you to feel like you're always looking behind a curtain. It always keeps the magic alive in you."
Leaving Georgia behind, Donald moved to New York to attend NYU. He earned a degree in dramatic writing and graduated in 2006. At this point, he had already appeared on-screen in the five-minute TV short Gene Shalit's Preview Corner (2005) and had acted in several other shorts, including Culliver Family Variety Hour, Black Peter Pan, Celebrity and Self Defense, all produced in 2006.
Later that year, after Amy Poehler put in a word of recommendation on his behalf, he was hired on as a writer for the Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin comedy series 30 Rock. He also appeared in an episode of the show that year, and later acted in several episodes that aired in 2007, 2009 and 2012. In 2009, he earned a Writers Guild of America nomination for his work.
The following year saw him team up with Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan for three episodes of the series Bronx World Travelers. In 2009, he made his feature film debut with Bobby, Aubrey Plaza and Ellie Kemper in Mystery Team. Donald also co-wrote the screenplay.
He began work on the popular Emmy-winning series Community in 2009, playing athlete Troy Barnes in 89 episodes between 2009 and 2014, sharing the screen with Joel McHale, Alison Brie and Chevy Chase, among others.
In 2010, he lent his voice to the TV movie Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III with Seth Green. The project was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Animated Program category. Next, Donald returned to film to appear in the Oscar-winning family comedy The Muppets (2011) alongside Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Rashida Jones.
He won the part of Sandy in two 2013 episodes of the Golden-Globe winning series Girls, and also appeared as Derrick in the 2013 comedy The To Do List alongside Aubrey Plaza, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg and Alia Shawkat.
Sticking with film, Donald played Greg in the family comedy Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, and Niko in the sci-fi film The Lazarus Effect (2015) with Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass and Evan Peters.
He went back to TV when he voiced Miles Morales in two 2015 episodes of the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, as well as Transfer Billy in four 2015 episodes of the animated comedy series China, IL with Greta Gerwig and Hulk Hogan. Donald then teamed up with Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello in Magic Mike XXL (2015), the sequel to Magic Mike (2012), and continued to stay busy by working with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig in Ridley Scott's Oscar-nominated drama The Martian (2015).
But in 2016, Donald cemented his status as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. He wrote, produced and starred in the dramedy series Atlanta. He played Earnest "Earn" Marks, a father and Ivy League dropout who helps launch the rap career of his cousin. The show won two Golden Globes in 2017, including one for Donald in the Best Actor in a TV series - Musical or Comedy category. For his role, he also nabbed a Critics' Choice TV Award.
In his August 2016 interview with TIME, Donald spoke at length about the series. He said, "Atlanta is a Trojan horse. The thesis was: How do we make people feel black? It turned into something more attainable than that, but that was the idea. I was like, 'Let's make something that shouldn't be on the air, something controversial.' If it's canceled in 10 episodes, I'll be happy with those episodes."
He added, "I studied a lot of black iconography. The show is me trying to make something iconic."
For what it's worth, he even exercised his directing muscles with Atlanta by helming two episodes.
Donald played Aaron Davis in the action film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) alongside Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland and Michael Keaton. He can be seen in the key role of Lando Calrissian in the blockbuster movie Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). He also lent his voice to Disney's The Lion King (2019).
Father to a son, Donald also raps under the moniker Childish Gambino, which was created by an online Wu-Tang Clan name generator. He has been nominated for two Grammy awards for his musical endeavors.
The Lion King (2019)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The Martian (2015)
Magic Mike XXL (2015)
The Lazarus Effect (2015)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)
The To Do List (2013)
The Muppets (2011)
Mystery Team (2009)