Bold & Beau­ti­ful

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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.

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