Bold & Beautiful
Weekdays SABC3 (*193) 18:00 Soapie
When it comes to authoritative characters, Obba Babatundé is the go-to guy. He was the school principal in teen drama Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003), iconic Motown founder Berry Gordy in the 1998 musical biopic The Temptations and SWAT cop Moody in Denzel Washington’s 2002 drama film John Q. But those pale in comparison to his role as transgender model Maya’s (Karla Mosley) overbearing dad Julius Avant on Bold & Beautiful (1987-current), which he’s played since July 2015.
Not sure how to pronounce the 1
61-year-old New Yorker’s name? It’s easy: Oh-bah Ba-ba-tun-day. And while he’s never been asked directly, rumour has it his birth-name is Donald Cohen and he changed it after tracing his Nigerian heritage.
He won the 2016 Daytime Emmy 2
Award for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series and says that while Julius isn’t the nicest guy around, it’s not because he’s transphobic. “Julius represents so much of what we’re seeing in the world today. It’s not that he’s trying to be harsh; he just wants what he feels is best for his family, however misguided it is,” says Obba.
While he’s been on film and TV 3
since the late ’60s and has over 132 credits to his name, Obba’s big break in showbiz came in 1981 on Broadway. He played CC White in the critically acclaimed production of Dreamgirls, which was turned into a 2006 movie of the same name featuring Beyoncé.
When he isn’t working, Obba 4
loves wearing cowboy hats and riding horses. He’s also a regular face when the travelling Bill Picket Rodeo rolls into Los Angeles every year. NB! See more on p26 & 27.