Delroy Lindo is only 6’3”, but he plays a lot bigger on screen. His formidable size, combined with a powerful voice and weathered face, often lands him in intimidating villain roles. But not always: he’s played Satchel Paige, a scientist, an angel, and a social worker mistaken for an angel by a rotund simpleton. (We’ll get to that.)
Our only complaint is that we’d like to see more. Since 2000, he’s only been in nine theatrical releases, three TV movies, and two guest spots on TV shows. Compared to Brian Cox, he’s Tom Hulce.
All right, before we make any more oblique references, let’s get to the retrospective:
1. Bo Catlett
Get Shorty (1996)
He’s a drug dealer here – and yes, inevitably, you'll sense a recurring theme – one who underwrites the film being made with help from loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta.) Fortunately for him, his character was not in Be Cool, because we hear that was a Grade A stinkbomb.
2. West Indian Archie
Malcolm X (1992)
The role that first put him on the map: he plays the unhinged gangster who takes young Malcolm under his wing before the two have a falling out.
3. Isaak O’Day
Romeo Must Die (2000)
He plays the boss of the gang who killed Jet Li’s brother. Also, he’s the father of Jet Li’s new girlfriend, played by the late Aaliyah. Lindo also appeared in Jet Li’s The One.
4. Woody Carmichael
He’s the jazz musician patriarch of the family. He’s a bit of a churl, but not really a bad guy.
5. Mr. Rose
The Cider House Rules(1999)
He plays the father of the family of migrant workers. His gets his daughter pregnant and Tobey Maguire performs the abortion. By the way, John Irving is an overrated blowhard.
“Brawl in the Family,” The Simpsons (2002)
This is the episode in which the Vegas wives come back for Homer and Ned Flanders, but before that, Lindo plays a social worker assigned to the Simpson family after a game of Monopoly deteriorates into a full-scale brawl (hence the title). Homer is convinced that Gabriel is an angel, saying that his mortal beer is the equivalent to Gabriel’s heavenly ambrosia, which works on another level, since Lindo played an angel in . . .
A Life Less Ordinary (1996)
Along with Holly Hunter, he helps bring Ewan McGregor together with Cameron Diaz. Did Homer see this movie and think Gabriel reminded him of Lindo’s character!? The idea makes our head hurt a little.
8. Satchel Paige
The Soul of the Game (1996)
In this made-for-TV movie, Lindo plays one of the best pitchers in baseball history, Negro League legend Satchel Paige, as he competes against his friend and rival, Josh Gibson (played by fellow that-guy Mykleti Williamson) to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier. We all kind of know how this ends.
9. Agent Lonnie Hawkins
He’s a good guy here. And before you make a joke about how Mel Gibson only let him be in this movie because he’s not Jewish, we feel obliged to point out that Liev Schrieber, who is Jewish, was also in the movie.
10. Claremont Williams
Quentin Tarantino said he liked it. Ebert and Roeper both gave it a “thumbs up.” Maybe it really was good. We didn’t see it, but it’s the most recent thing he’s done.