Who is Daniel Sunjata?

Daniel Sunjata is an American actor, best known for his roles in television shows and films. He gained recognition for his portrayal of Franco Rivera in the TV series “Rescue Me” (2004-2011). Sunjata has also appeared in other popular shows, such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Graceland”, as well as films such as “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Gone”, among other notable projects on which he has worked so far in his career.

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Daniel Sunjata Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

Daniel Sunjata Condon was born on 30 December 1971, in Evanston, Illinois, USA – he was adopted by Bill Condon and his wife, Catherin, as according to reports, his biological mother was a white teenager who fled home, and his father was African American. He got his name in honor of Mali Empire founder Sundiata Keita. He went to Mount Carmel High School, and after matriculation, enrolled at Florida A&M University, then transferred to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, from which he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. He furthered his studies by obtaining a Master of Fine Arts through the Graduate Acting Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Career Beginnings

Daniel Sunjata made his acting debut in 1998 with the role of Valentine in the adaptation of the Shakespearean romantic comedy “Twelfth Night”. Two years later, Sunjata appeared in the television series “D.C.” The show followed the lives of a group of young staffers working in the US Senate – Sunjata was part of the main cast, and played the role of a legislative assistant named Lewis Freeman.

Rise to Prominence

He was swamped in 2004; first, he played Langston Hughes in the film “Brother to Brother”, starring Anthony Mackie. Then, he was Billy Wheeler in Woody Allen’s “Melinda and Melinda”, which tells two parallel stories, one comedic and one tragic, both revolving around a woman named Melinda. From 2004 to 2011, he played Franco Rivera in the drama series “Rescue Me”, which created by Denis Leary and Peter Tolan, focuses on the lives of the firefighters of the fictional 62 Truck in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). Sunjata’s Franco Rivera is a skilled and confident firefighter with a complex personality, and he becomes a close friend of the main protagonist, Tommy Gavin, played by Denis Leary.

While “Rescue Me” launched him to stardom, Daniel worked on several other notable projects during this time. In the series “Love Monkey” (2006), he portrayed Diego in a recurring role, the show revolving around the life of a record executive named Tom Farrell (played by Tom Cavanagh) as he navigates the music industry in New York City. Diego is Tom’s best friend and confidant, providing support and advice throughout the series.

Sunjata next played James Holt, a fashion designer in “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006). The film follows a young aspiring journalist, played by Anne Hathaway, who lands a job as an assistant to the ‘demanding and formidable editor-in-chief’ of a fashion magazine, portrayed by Meryl Streep.

In “The Bronx is Burning” (2007), a miniseries that depicts the events surrounding the New York Yankees’ championship season in 1977, Sunjata played the legendary baseball player Reggie Jackson. The show explores the tumultuous season for the Yankees, and the cultural climate of New York City during that time.

Then he appeared in the film “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (2009), portraying Brad, the brother of the main protagonist played by Matthew McConaughey. The romantic comedy centers around a man who revisits his past relationships on the eve of his brother’s wedding.

From 2010 to 2011, Sunjata appeared in the recurring role as Nurse Eli in the medical drama series “Grey’s Anatomy” during seasons 7 and 8. Nurse Eli is introduced as a love interest for one of the main characters, Dr. Miranda Bailey, played by Chandra Wilson, and their relationship develops throughout the storyline.

Sunjata portrayed Detective Win Garano in the TV movies “At Risk” and “The Front” in 2010; both films are based on crime novels written by Patricia Cornwell and feature Sunjata as the lead character Detective Win Garano investigating high-profile cases, and known for his sharp instincts and determination to uncover the truth.

Continued Success

Then in the musical drama series “Smash” (2012-2013), Sunjata portrayed Peter Gillman in a recurring role during the show’s second season. Peter is a successful director brought in to work on the fictional Broadway musical “Bombshell”, and who becomes involved in the creative and personal dynamics of the production.

Furthermore, from 2013 to 2015, Sunjata played FBI Senior Agent Paul Briggs in the main cast of “Graceland”. The series revolves around a group of undercover agents from various law enforcement agencies living together in a beach house in Southern California. Paul Briggs is a senior agent with a complex and mysterious past who serves as a mentor to the other agents.

In 2016, Sunjata featured as Officer Ramirez in the film “Lullaby”. The movie revolves around a man named Jonathan, played by Garrett Hedlund, who returns to his estranged family to be by his father’s side as he decides to take himself off life support.

In the legal drama series “Notorious” (2016), Sunjata portrayed Jake Gregorian as part of the main cast. The show focuses on the relationship between a criminal defense attorney Gregorian and a TV producer named Julia George, played by Piper Perabo. Together, they manipulate the media and navigate high-profile cases. Next, he had the role of Detective Whitman in the thriller-drama film “Small Town Crime” (2017). The film follows an ex-cop turned private investigator, played by John Hawkes, who becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of a young woman’s murder in a small town.

Sunjata had the recurring role as Danny in the first season of the supernatural drama series “Manifest” (2018-2020), playing a police detective who became involved in the mysterious circumstances surrounding the passengers of Montego Air Flight 828, which disappeared for five and a half years before suddenly reappearing.

In the second season of the dark comedy series “Happy!” (2019), Sunjata appeared as Simon in a recurring role. The series follows a corrupt ex-cop turned hitman named Nick Sax, played by Christopher Meloni, who teams up with an imaginary blue-winged horse named Happy, voiced by Patton Oswalt. Simon is a mob enforcer and a nemesis to Nick Sax.

Sunjata is part of the main cast of “Power Book II: Ghost” (2021-2022), a spin-off series from the show “Power”. He portrays Dante “Mecca” Spears, a powerful and charismatic figure involved in the criminal underworld. The series continues the story of the original show, exploring the aftermath of the events that took place in “Power”.

In recent years, Daniel appeared in the film “Echoes” (2022) as Charles “Charlie” Davenport in a main cast role. The series follows identical twins who have a dark secret and explore the consequences of their shared past. Charlie is connected to the twins and becomes entangled in their story.

He’s currently working on the upcoming “HPI/Kaitlin Olson/ABC Project”, which is now in pre-production, in which he will play the character named Karadec.

Net Worth

According to authoritative sources, Daniel Sunjata’s net worth is estimated at over $2 million, as of mid-2023.

Personal Life, Marriage, Wife, Children

When it comes to his personal life, Daniel is very secretive. According to reports, he isn’t married and doesn’t have children.

Appearance and Body Measurements

Daniel Sunjata has black hair and hazel eyes. He stands at a height of 6ft 1in (1.85m), weighs approximately 160lbs (73kgs), with vital statistics of 40-33-14.5.

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