Malik Yoba is an American actor. He is known for his starring role as NYPD Detective J. C. Williams on the Fox police drama New York Undercover and as Yul Brenner in the film Cool Runnings. He appeared as former FBI Special Agent Bill Harken on the Syfy drama series Alphas, as Jim Hudson in Revolution, and as Vernon Turner in Empire. He also starred in the role of FBI Deputy Director Jason Atwood in the ABC political drama Designated Survivor. In 2018, he joined the Netflix drama Seven Seconds as a member of a support group for parents who had lost their children. He also appeared in Jordan Peele’s TBS comedy The Last OG with Tracy Morgan.
“Almost every single person that I’ve worked with – whether it’s been George Clooney or Robert DeNiro or Harvey Keitel, or whoever – the quality that I find that’s most consistent in most of the people is the humility..”
– Malik Yoba
In 1994, Yoba began his role on the popular FOX police drama series New York Undercover, alongside Michael DeLorenzo. Yoba and DeLorenzo made television history, as the series was the first police drama on American television to feature two people of color in the starring roles. Yoba’s work on New York Undercover earned him three consecutive NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
An accomplished singer and stage actor, Yoba’s talents were showcased in His Woman His Wife, where he had the lead role.
Yoba has also appeared in films such as Cool Runnings and Criminal. He made appearances on the FOX television series Arrested Development as Ice, a bounty hunter whose real love is party planning. Yoba had a recurring role as Brock Harris on the UPN sitcom Girlfriends. He also appeared in the FX Network’s crime drama Thief and the NBC crime drama Raines. He appeared as Gavin in the 2007 Tyler Perry film Why Did I Get Married? and its 2010 sequel Why Did I Get Married Too? In 2009, he co-starred as astronaut Ted Shaw on the futuristic ABC drama Defying Gravity. In 2010, he announced his plans to bring back New York Undercover to the small screen in a modern TV series adaptation of the original series. Law & Order writer Courtney Parker penned a spec script for networks to bid on.