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Ernie Hudson
Ernie Hudson by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Hudson at the 2017 Phoenix Fan Fest
Earnest Lee Hudson

(1945-12-17) December 17, 1945 (age 78)
Occupation Actor, playwright, producer
Years active 1973–present
  • Jeannie Moore
    (m. 1963; div. 1976)
  • Linda Kingsberg
    (m. 1985)
Children 4, including Ernie Hudson Jr.

Earnest Lee Hudson (born December 17, 1945) is an American actor. He is known for his role as Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters franchise. Hudson has also acted in the films Leviathan (1989), The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), The Crow (1994), Airheads (1994), The Basketball Diaries (1995), Congo (1995), Miss Congeniality (2000) and The Ron Clark Story (2006).

On television, his most prominent role was Warden Leo Glynn on HBO's Oz (1997–2003). Hudson has also appeared in the television shows St. Elsewhere (1984), The Last Precinct (1986), 10-8: Officers on Duty (2003–2004), Desperate Housewives (2006–2007), The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–2013), Law & Order (2009–2010), the voice of Agent Bill Fowler in Transformers: Prime (2010–2013), Franklin & Bash (2012–2014), Grace and Frankie (2015–2020), and L.A.'s Finest (2019–2020). Since 2022, Hudson has appeared as Herbert “Magic” Williams on the NBC drama Quantum Leap.

He had a cameo as Patty Tolan's uncle in the remake of Ghostbusters (2016), and reprised his role as Winston in Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021).

Early life

Hudson was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He never knew his father. His mother, Maggie Donald, died of tuberculosis when he was two months old. He was subsequently raised by his maternal grandmother, Arrana Donald.

Hudson joined the United States Marine Corps immediately after high school, but was discharged after only three months on medical grounds due to asthma. Having moved to Detroit, he became the resident playwright at Concept East, the oldest black theater company in the United States. He enrolled at Wayne State University to further develop his writing and acting skills, graduating in 1973. He established the Actors' Ensemble Theatre where he and other talented young black writers directed and appeared in their own works. He was briefly in a doctoral program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities before leaving to appear in a stage production of The Great White Hope. Later, he studied toward a Master of Fine Arts in acting at Yale School of Drama, but left after a year to appear in Leadbelly.

In an interview with, Hudson stated that he is a practicing Christian, but does not believe that "one church is the right one".


Ernie Hudson 2014
Hudson at the 2014 Florida Super Con

One of Hudson's early film roles is in Penitentiary II (1982) starring Leon Isaac Kennedy. He had various guest roles on television series such as The Dukes of Hazzard and The A-Team. He was on the television series Fantasy Island in a first-season episode as a voodoo man named Jamu. Hudson gained fame playing Winston Zeddemore in the 1984 feature film Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel, Ghostbusters II. He auditioned to reprise the role for the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, but it was given to Arsenio Hall. He had a major supporting role as the mentally challenged handyman Solomon in The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992).

Hudson was cast as Warden Leo Glynn on HBO's series Oz, and his son Ernie Hudson Jr. co-starred with him as Muslim inmate Hamid Khan. Hudson also appears as the character Munro in Congo (1995) and as Police Sergeant Albrecht in The Crow (1994). He switched gears when he played a preacher opening the eyes of a small town's prejudice in the 1950s in A Stranger in the Kingdom. He played Harry McDonald, the FBI superior of Sandra Bullock's character in the feature film Miss Congeniality (2000). He is in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Ethon" as Pernaux. He appeared as Reggie in the 1995 film The Basketball Diaries. In 2006, he appeared in the television movie The Ron Clark Story as Principal Turner. In 2008, he began a recurring role as Dr. Fields on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. He had a recurring role on the final season of Law & Order as Lt. Anita Van Buren's boyfriend and then fiancé.

In 2011, he played Stuart Owens in Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Ernie Hudson handprints at Disney Hollywood Studios
The handprints of Hudson are in front of the Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Beginning in 2015, Hudson was cast in a recurring role as Jacob, an organic farmer who is the romantic interest for Frankie Bergstein (Lily Tomlin) in the series Grace and Frankie.

Hudson appeared in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, playing Bill Jenkins, the uncle of Leslie Jones's lead character Pattie Tolan.

In 2019, Hudson began starring in L.A.'s Finest, playing the estranged father of Gabrielle Union's character. Hudson called it "a very different show", citing the duality of having to protect people as a member of law enforcement while having unresolved relationships that need to be reconciled. Spectrum canceled the series after two seasons the following year.

In August 2019, he confirmed his involvement in Ghostbusters: Afterlife directed by Jason Reitman, joining original cast members Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Annie Potts. Hudson described himself as being welled by emotions after he put on his jumpsuit and proton pack, as he had previously "accepted that [a film] was never going to happen".

Hudson appeared in the 2022 drama film Prisoner's Daughter, alongside Kate Beckinsale and Brian Cox.

On March 8, 2022, Hudson was announced as the co-lead in NBC's Quantum Leap reboot.

In January 2023, Hudson guest voiced a character, Grini Millegi, a Dowutin gangster who was an associate of Cid and oversees Riot Racing on the planet Safa Toma, on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

Personal life

Hudson married his first wife, Jeannie Moore, in 1963, when she was sixteen and he was eighteen. They had two sons, Ernie Hudson Jr. and Rahaman Hudson. When Hudson and Jeannie divorced in 1976, their sons moved to live with Hudson in California. In 1985, Hudson married former flight attendant Linda Kingsberg, and they had two sons, Andrew and Ross.

Selected Filmography


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Leadbelly Archie
1976 The Human Tornado Bo
1979 The Main Event Killer
1980 Joni Earl
1980 The Octagon Quinine
1980 The Jazz Singer Heckler
1981 Underground Aces African General
1982 Penitentiary II 'Half Dead'
1983 Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone Washington
1983 Going Berserk Muhammed Jerome Willy
1983 Two of a Kind Detective Skaggs
1984 Ghostbusters Winston Zeddemore
1987 Weeds Bagdad
1988 The Wrong Guys Dawson
1989 Leviathan Justin Jones
1989 Collision Course 'Shortcut'
1989 Trapper County War Jefferson Carter
1989 Ghostbusters II Winston Zeddemore
1992 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Solomon
1993 The Pitch Vet Short film
1994 Sugar Hill Lolly Jonas
1994 The Crow Sergeant Daryl Albrecht
1994 No Escape Hawkins
1994 The Cowboy Way Officer Sam 'Mad Dog' Shaw
1994 Airheads Sergeant O'Malley
1994 Speechless Dan Ventura
1995 The Basketball Diaries Reggie
1995 Congo Captain Monroe Kelly
1996 The Substitute Principal Claude Rolle
1996 For Which He Stands DEA Agent Baxter
1996 Just Your Luck Willie Direct-to-video
1997 Levitation 'Downbeat'
1997 Fakin' da Funk Joe Lee
1997 Mr. Magoo CIA Agent Gus Anders
1997 A Stranger in the Kingdom Reverend Walter Andrews
1998 Butter Curtis '8 Ball' Harris
1998 Best of the Best 4: Without Warning Detective Gresko Direct-to-video
1998 Hijack Senator Douglas Wilson
1998 October 22 Arthur
1999 Interceptor Major McKenzie
1999 Stealth Fighter President Westwood
1999 Paper Bullets Detective Ron Mills
1999 Lillie Larry Miller
2000 Everything's Jake Jake
2000 Red Letters Detective Glen Teal
2000 The Watcher FBI Special Agent Mike Ibby
2000 Miss Congeniality FBI Assistant Director Harry McDonald
2003 Anne B. Real Principal Davis
2004 Clifford's Really Big Movie P.T. Voice
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Blake Rische
2005 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous FBI Assistant Director Harry McDonald
2005 Bathsheba Nathan Short film
2005 Halfway Decent Tom
2006 Hood of Horror Roscoe
2007 Certifiably Jonathan Museum Guard
2007 Nobel Son Sergeant Bill Canega
2007 All Hat Jackson Jones
2008 Pie'n Burger Cedric Short film
2008 Lonely Street Captain Morgan
2009 Balancing the Books Detective Carter
2009 Dragonball Evolution Sifu Norris
2009 Pastor Brown Deacon Harold Todd
2010 Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball FBI Special Agent Anthony Vejar Direct-to-video
2010 Machete Joe Sheriff Taylor
2010 Stasis Stranger Short film
2010 Game of Death Catholic Priest
2011 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 Pedro Direct-to-video
2011 Sugarwheels Prof. Zaccharine Ragus PhD Short film
2011 Deep Blue Breath Lord Vater Short film
2012 Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy Ivan Stumpwater
2012 Dinner Date Man Short film
2012 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta! Pedro Direct-to-video
2012 Deer Crossing Captain Bailey
2012 Dark Canyon Cyrus Parker
2012 Turning Point Joe Johnson
2013 Doonby Leroy
2013 Adonis Chick Magnet CEO Short film
2014 The Grim Sleeper Detective Claymar
2014 You're Not You John
2014 Merry Ex-Mas Pastor Ed
2014 The Last Song Guest Short film
2015 Gallows Road Bob Collins
2016 The Man in the Silo Marcus Wells
2016 Batman: Bad Blood Lucius Fox Direct-to-video
2016 God's Not Dead 2 Judge Robert Stennis
2016 Ghostbusters Uncle Bill Jenkins
2016 Spaceman Joe
2016 Infinity Train Atticus Short film
2017 High & Outside: A Baseball Noir Sanzone
2018 Nappily Ever After Richard Jones
2019 Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters Himself Documentary
2020 I Love You... Forever George Henry Short film
2021 Redemption Day Ed Paxton
2021 Ghostbusters: Afterlife Winston Zeddemore
2021 Beebo Saves Christmas Santa Claus Voice
2022 Prisoner's Daughter Hank
2023 Champions Coach Phil Peretti
2023 The Retirement Plan TBA Completed
2024 Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Winston Zeddemore


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Man from Atlantis Minion Episode: "The Disappearances"
1977 Mad Bull Bart 'Black Bart' Television film
1978 Last of the Good Guys El Coliph
1978 King Jack Corbin Main cast
1978 Fantasy Island Jamu Episode: "Family Reunion/VooDoo"
1978 Winners Ted Episode: "Journey Together"
1978 Baa Baa Black Sheep George 'King George' Episode: "A Little Bit of England"
1979 The Incredible Hulk Lee Episode: "Like a Brother"
1979 Roots: The Next Generations Muslim at Door Episode: "Part VII (1960-1967)"
1979 The White Shadow Johnson Episode: "Little Orphan Abner"
1979 Detective School Bombacaa Episode: "Nick Is Smitten"
1979 One Day at a Time Desk Sergeant Episode: "A Little Larceny"
1979 Highcliffe Manor Smythe Main cast
1980 Skag Episode: "Pilot"
1980 Too Close for Comfort Sam Morton Episode: "The Bag Lady"
1980 The $5.20 an Hour Dream Homer Burden Television film
1980 White Mama Counsellor
1981 A Matter of Life and Death Mr. Harrison
1981 Crazy Times Harold 'Jazzman' Malloy
1981 Diff'rent Strokes Kwame Episode: "Almost American"
1981 Little House on the Prairie William Thomas Episode: "Chicago"
1981 Bosom Buddies Rochelle Episode: "One for You, One for Me"
1981 Taxi Terry Carver Episode: "Of Mice and Tony"
1982 The Dukes of Hazzard Avery Episode: "Dear Diary"
1982 Flamingo Road Chandler Recurring cast (season 2)
1982 The New Odd Couple Moses Brown Episode: "That Was No Lady"
1983 Webster Rudy Episode: "Happy Un-Birthday"
1983 The A-Team Cal Freeman Episode: "The Taxicab Wars"
1983 Women of San Quentin Charles Wilson Television film
1984 St. Elsewhere Jerry Close Recurring role (season 3)
1985 The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians Victor Stone / Cyborg Main role (season 9)
1985 California Girls Ernie Television film
1985 Love on the Run Lamar Television film
1986 The Last Precinct Sergeant 'Night Train' Lane Main role
1986 It's a Living Dougie Episode: "The Bar"
1986 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Digger Love Episode: "Harlem Nocturne"
1987 Gimme a Break! Prince Episode: "Someday My Prince..."
1987 Full House Reggie 'The Sandman' Martin Episode: "Knock Yourself Out"
1987 Pound Puppies Additional Voices Recurring role (season 2)
1988 The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission Joseph Hamilton Television film
1989 The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Himself Episode: "Slime Busters"
1990 An Evening at the Improv Himself / Host Episode: "Episode #5.4"
1990 Cop Rock Commander Warren Osborne Episode: "Pilot"
1990–1991 Broken Badges Toby Baker Main role
1992 Angel Street Thurman Nickens Episode: "Pilot - Part 1 & 2"
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Tennis Captain Episode: "With Bobcat Goldthwait"
1992 Batman: The Animated Series Security Guard Episode: "Joker's Wild"
1993 TriBeCa Howard Episode: "Heros Exoletus"
1993 Wild Palms Tommy Lazlo Main role
1993 Angel Street Thurman Nickens Television film
1993 Tales from the Crypt Zambini Episode: "Food for Thought"
1994 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Coach Seldon Episode: "A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story"
1996 Tornado! Dr. Joe Branson Television film
1996 The Cherokee Kid Nat Love / Deadwood Dick Television film
1997 Operation Delta Force Tipton Television film
1997 Superman: The Animated Series Professor Felix Episode: "Action Figures"
1997–2003 Oz Warden Leo Glynn Main role
1997 Clover Gaten Hill Television film
1998 The Gregory Hines Show Jack Episode: "Carpe Diem"
1998 Arli$$ Warden Leo Glynn Episode: "Fans First"
1999 Michael Jordan: An American Hero James R. Jordan Sr. Television film
1999 Shark Attack Lawrence Rhodes
1999 Miracle on the 17th Green Earl Fielder
2000 Nowhere to Land Danny Gorlin
2000 Intimate Portrait Himself Episode: "Robin Givens"
2001 Touched by an Angel Norm McCloud Episode: "The Perfect Game"
2001 Walking Shadow 'Hawk' Television film
2001 A Town Without Christmas Ted
2003 Without a Trace Manny Aybar Episode: "Kam Li"
2003–2004 10-8: Officers on Duty Senior Deputy John Henry Barnes Main role
2004 Everwood Bill Hoover Episode: "The Birds and the Batteries"
2005 Lackawanna Blues Dick Barrymore Television film
2005 Fighting the Odds: The Marilyn Gambrell Story Perry Beasley Television film
2006 Celebrity Paranormal Project Himself Episode: "Wooden Lucy"
2006 Crossing Jordan Colonel Wirth Episode: "Code of Ethics"
2006 Stargate SG-1 Commander Goran Pernaux Episode: "Ethon"
2006 ER Colonel James Gallant Recurring role (season 12)
2006–2007 Desperate Housewives Detective Ridley Recurring role (season 3)
2006 The Ron Clark Story Principal Turner Television film
2007 Final Approach Agent Lorenzo Dawson
2007 Cold Case Moses Jones Episode: "8:03 AM"
2007 Las Vegas Bob Casey Episode: "My Uncle's a Gas" & "The High Price of Gas"
2007 Psych Bill Guster 1 episode
2007-2008 Bones David Barron Episode: "The Man in the Mansion" & "The Verdict in the Story"
2008 Private Practice Captain Frank Episode: "Nothing to Talk About"
2008–2013 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Dr. Ken Fields Recurring role
2009 Whatever Happened To? Himself Episode: "Masters of the Unknown"
2009 Celebrity Ghost Stories Episode: "Anson Williams/Ali Landry/Gina Gershon/Kelly Carlson/Ernie Hudson"
2009 Meteor General Brasser Main role
2009 Heroes Captain Lubbock Recurring role (season 4)
2009–2010 Law & Order Frank Gibson Recurring role (season 20)
2010 Childrens Hospital Hubert McGraw Episode: "Joke Overload"
2010 Criminal Minds Lieutenant Al Garner Episode: "Devil's Night"
2010–2013 Transformers: Prime Special Agent Bill Fowler Recurring role
2011 White Collar Mr. Jeffries Episode: "Dentist of Detroit"
2011 Torchwood Stewart Owens Episode: "Miracle Day: The Middle Men"
2011 Grey's Anatomy Brad McDougall Episode: "Put Me In, Coach"
2011 How I Met Your Mother Himself Episode: "The Rebound Girl"
2011 Rizzoli & Isles Admiral Frost Episode: "Sailor Man"
2012 Unsung Himself Episode: "Ray Parker Jr."
2012 Hart of Dixie Ernie Hayes Episode: "Snowflakes & Soulmates"
2012 Nosferajew CDC Director Episode: "Community Blech"
2012–2014 Franklin & Bash Honorable Lawrence Perry Recurring role (seasons 2 & 4)
2012–2016 Modern Family Miles Guest role (seasons 3-4 & 7–8)
2013 Guys with Kids The Judge Episode: "Marny's Dad"
2013 Last Resort Conrad Buell Recurring role
2013 Dan Vs. Counselor Episode: "Summer Camp"
2013 Let's Stay Together Anthony Episode: "Troy Story"
2013 Scandal Commander Randolph Boles Episode: "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington"
2013 Ironside Bludso Episode: "Uptown Murders"
2013 Dads Detective Swan Episode: "Comic Book Issues"
2013 Mob City Bunny Recurring role
2013 Battledogs Max Stevens Television film
2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Percy
2013 Dear Secret Santa Pastor Avery
2013 Reckless Frank Wolfe
2014 Comic Book Men Himself Episode: "Stashbusters"
2014 The Millers Walter Episode: "Dear Diary"
2014 Touched Dr. Beck Television film
2014 The Haunted Hathaways Duke Preston Episode: "Haunted Visitor"
2014 Rizzoli & Isles Admiral Frost Episode: "...Goodbye"
2014 The Lottery TBA Episode: "Sleep Deprived"
2014 Scorpion Brooks Episode: "Pilot"
2014 Key & Peele Dad Episode: "Terrorist Meeting"
2014 Hot in Cleveland Himself Episode: "Cold in Cleveland: The Christmas Episode"
2015 Once Upon a Time King Poseidon Episode: "Poor Unfortunate Soul"
2015–2020 Grace and Frankie Jacob Recurring role (seasons 1-4 & 6)
2015 To Hell and Back Joe Television film
2015 Delores & Jermaine TBA
2016 Heaven Sent Donatello
2016 Celebrity Family Feud Himself Episode: "Kellie Pickler vs. Lance Bass/Ernie Hudson vs. NeNe Leakes"
2016 Unsung Hollywood Episode: "Rudy Ray Moore"
2016 Robot Chicken Detective Ernie / Judge Hudson Jr. / Dad Episode: "Blackout Window Heatstroke"
2016 Graves Jacob Mann Recurring role (season 1)
2017 APB Sergeant Ned Conrad Main role
2017 Angie Tribeca Pete Tribeca Episode: "Germs on Endearment"
2017 Twin Peaks Colonel Davis Episode: "Part 5 & 7"
2017 Survivor's Remorse Ansell Jones Episode: "Reparations"
2017 Spider-Man Joe 'Robbie' Robertson Episode: "Screwball Live"
2018 Lethal Weapon Agent Peterson Episode: "Funny Money"
2018 Blue Bloods Principal Darryl Ward Episode: "School of Hard Knocks"
2018 Ballers Mr. Hagerty Episode: "This Is Not Our World"
2018–present The Family Business L.C. Duncan Main role
2019 Hot Streets John Wayne 'Jet Wayne' Junior Main role (season 2)
2019 Arrow General Roy Stewart Episode: "Spartan"
2019 Infinity Train Atticus Main role (season 1)
2019–2020 Puppy Dog Pals Buddy Recurring role (season 2)
2019–2020 L.A.'s Finest Joseph Vaughn Main role
2020 Reunited Apart Himself Episode: "Who You Gonna Call?"
2020 The Irate Gamer Himself Episode: "Ghostbusters"
2020 Home Movie: The Princess Bride Prince Humperdinck Episode: "Chapter Eight: Ultimate Suffering"
2021 MacGyver Milton Bozer Episode: "H2O + Orthophosphates + Mission City + Corrosion + Origins"
2022 City on a Hill Franklin Ward Recurring role (season 3)
2022–present Quantum Leap Herbert "Magic" Williams Main role
Pending—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series (2024)
2023 Star Wars: The Bad Batch Grini Millegi Episode: "Faster"

Video games

Year Title Voice role Refs.
2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Winston Zeddemore
2015 Lego Dimensions
2019 NBA 2K20 Israel Bacon
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered Winston Zeddemore
2022 Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed


Year Title Role Notes
2020 The Irate Gamer Himself Episode: GHOSTBUSTERS NES Nintendo Review
2023 The Adam Friedland Show Episode: The Adam Friedland Show - Ernie Hudson

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ernie Hudson para niños

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