Det. Baldwin Jones
First appearing on the small screen in a 1994 episode of NBC’s "Saturday Night Live," Henry Simmons was hurled toward the spotlight while portraying Det. Baldwin Jones (2000-2005) on ABC's long-running police drama “NYPD Blue” and playing DA Investigator Isaac Wright (2006-Present) on CBS legal drama "Shark." On the big screen, he could be seen in Above the Rim (1994), A Gentleman's Game (2001), Taxi (2004), Are We There Yet? (2005) and Madea's Family Reunion (2006). He will appear in the upcoming film South of Pico, alongside Gina Torres and Kip Pardue.
More personally, the 6' 4" tall actor was engaged to Lauren Sanchez, anchor for KCOP-13 News Los Angeles, California. The engagement was broken off in August, 2003.
Childhood and Family:
On July 1, 1970, Henry Oswald Simmons Jr. was born in Stamford, Connecticut. His father, Henry Simmons, was an IRS officer, and his mother Aurelia Simmons, was a school teacher. One of three children, Henry has a twin sister, Heather M. Simmons, who works as a casting director.
An exceptional athlete, Henry earned a basketball scholarship at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire, where he earned a business degree in 1992.
With a business degree in his hand, Henry Simmons quickly landed a job at a prestigious Connecticut-based Fortune 500 company. However, he realized that was not his calling and he soon found himself sneaking into Manhattan for auditions.
Simmons made his first on-screen appearance in a February 1994 episode of NBC’s weekly late night comedy-variety show "Saturday Night Live," replacing NBA star Derrick Coleman after he broke an ankle. That same year, he got a bit part in Above the Rim, a low-budget basketball-drama film directed by Jeff Pollack and stars Duane Martin, Leon Robinson and Tupac Shakur.
Following his big screen debut, Simmons received guest-starring roles on NBC's "The Cosby Mysteries," FOX's urban police drama "New York Undercover" and UPN’s short-lived series “Swift Justice.” Simmons also landed a regular role, as Tyrone Montgomery (1997-1999) on NBC long-running, Daytime Emmy-winning soap opera “Another World.”
In the new millennium, Simmons nabbed another regular role, as Det. Baldwin Jones on ABC's long-running police drama "NYPD Blue." Originally intended to be on for only a few episodes, Simmons’ character eventually became regular, appearing on the show’s seventh to twelfth season (2000-2005).
During his "NYPD Blue" stint, Simmons also continued working on big screens. He could be seen in Adam Marcus' romantic comedy Snow Days (a.k.a. Let It Snow) and in J. Mills Goodloe's golf-drama inspired by Tom Coyne's novel, A Gentleman's Game. He played Queen Latifah’s boyfriend Jesse in Tim Story's 2004 remake of the 1998 Luc Besson-penned French film, Taxi, and portrayed the gladiator Draba in the TV miniseries adaptation of Howard Fast's historical novel, “Spartacus” (2004; starring Goran Visnjic), which was made by USA Network Pictures and distributed by USA Cable Entertainment LLC and Universal Home Entertainment. He also had a small role opposite Ice Cube in Brian Levant's family-oriented comedy Are We There Yet? (2005).
Since 2006, Simmons has been playing the main cast of DA Investigator Isaac Wright on CBS legal drama "Shark." Premiered on September 21, 2006, the show, which stars James Woods, Jeri Ryan, Samuel Page and Danielle Panabaker, has been renewed for a full 22-episode season.
Meanwhile, moviegoers could catch him in Sanaa Hamri's romantic drama comedy Something New (starring Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker) and in Tyler Perry's film adaptation of his own acclaimed play and sequel to Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion. He also co-starred with Mary Stuart Masterson and John Shea in writer-director Scott Dacko's feature film debut, The Insurgents, a drama-thriller set in a post-9/11 America. On the small screen, he was spotted as a guest in two episodes of the WB's short-lived comedy-drama television series starring Rebecca Romijn, "Pepper Dennis."
As for his upcoming film project, Simmons just completed director Ernst Gossner's drama film that chronicles one day in the lives of the four complete strangers leading up to the tragic event, South of Pico, starring Gina Torres and Kip Pardue.