Campus: San Francisco State University -- May 27, 2004

Delroy Lindo to walk with fellow graduates at SFSU Commencement

Actor in films like ‘Cider House Rules,’ ‘Malcolm X,’ ‘Romeo Must Die’ to earn cinema degree

Actor Delroy Lindo, known for his intense and charismatic roles in films such as “The Cider House Rules,” “Malcolm X,” “Sahara” and “Romeo Must Die,” will don a cap and gown for San Francisco State University’s Commencement ceremonies on Saturday and walk with fellow graduates.

Lindo will earn a bachelor of arts degree in cinema. He began to pursue the degree in summer 2003 as a prerequisite toward his goal of obtaining a master of fine arts degree in cinema from SFSU.

“All of the instructors have been extraordinary,” said the 51-year-old Lindo, who was nominated for a Tony in 1988 for his role in the Joe Turner play “Come and Gone.” “I planned to move into directing anyhow. In general, I do plan on broadening my sphere of influence.”

Taking all of his classes via correspondence and under a pseudonym, few people at SFSU knew that Lindo was a student — even some of his own instructors. Aside from cinema classes focusing on theory and history, Lindo has taken required courses in subjects like geology, Black studies and biology.

An East Bay resident, Lindo chose SFSU because it is near his home and he knew College of Creative Arts Dean Keith Morrison personally. He is particularly appreciative of Morrison; Wan-Lee Cheng, College of Creative Arts associate dean; and his instructors for accommodating him in his pursuit of a degree, as his busy schedule makes it nearly impossible to take classes on campus with other students. He has visited the SFSU campus on occasion.

“Delroy’s broad dimensions of drama and thought add luster to our already distinguished programs,” Morrison said. “He is an easy person to work with and is such a class act. It’s been a wonderful experience for all of us.”

Born in England to Jamaican parents, Lindo was trained as an actor at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and also briefly attended New York University. Shortly after graduating, he landed his first film role, as an Army sergeant in 1979’s “More American Graffiti.” His big break in film came in 1992 with his role in Spike Lee’s Oscar-nominated “Malcolm X” as manic-depressive numbers man West Indian Archie. He also had significant roles in later Lee films including “Crooklyn” and “Clockers.” Lindo may be best known for his portrayal of the foreman who impregnated his daughter in the 2000 Academy Award winning “The Cider House Rules.” He earned two NAACP Image Award nominations in 1997 for his role as an FBI agent in “Ransom” and portrayal of baseball legend Satchel Paige in “Soul of the Game.” His next film is “Sahara,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Penélope Cruz.

SFSU’s 103rd Commencement begins at 12:20 p.m. Saturday, May 29, at Cox Stadium, located behind the Gymnasium on campus. More than 7,500 graduates, including Lindo, will be honored in front of an expected audience of 20,000.

Contact: Office of Public Affairs, 415-338-1665

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