Richard Gant
Source: Getty Images

We Gant Get Enough of Him — Who Is Richard Gant in 'The Wonder Years'?

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Nov. 10 2021, Published 9:54 p.m. ET

Richard Gant has stepped into just about every role imaginable. From umpire to preacher, right back down to himself, he has embodied countless characters in film, television, and theater. It's easy to see why — he's an accomplished actor as well as a philanthropist. Now Richard is about to take it back to 1968 as he joins the reboot of The Wonder Years. Who is Richard Gant in The Wonder Years? You'll have to get by with a little help from us.

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Who is Richard Gant in 'The Wonder Years'?

Richard Gant drops into the cast of The Wonder Years as Bill's (Dulé Hill) father and Dean's (Elisha "EJ" Williams) grandfather. It appears that Grandaddy Clisby's timing is fortuitous because Kim (Laura Kariuki) is at that age where she wants a car, and her grandfather is at that age where he can't really drive his. It's almost too perfect, or so Kim thinks.

Dulé Hill as Bill and Richard Gant as Grandpa Clisby on 'The Wonder Years'
Source: ABC
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Because fathers are perpetually outsmarting their children, for the most part, Bill comes up with an ingenious solution. Kim can absolutely drive her grandfather's car if she agrees to drive both Grandpa Clisby and Dean around town. You know how teen girls love hanging out with their little brothers and grandpas, right? Fortunately, Richard Gant is such a charming curmudgeon, you can't help but love him, even if he's maybe embarrassing you at the mall.

What else has Richard Gant done?

Without a doubt, Richard's most memorable role was playing George Washington Duke in Rocky V. The character was based on famed boxing promoter Don King and was solely responsible for getting an injured Rocky back into the ring. Richard was devious and masterful in this role, and it's quite telling, too, that audiences loved to hate him.

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Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gant in 'Rocky V'
Source: MGM

He has also guest-starred in numerous television shows, all of which are classics. We couldn't possibly name them all, but the standouts are Deadwood, NYPD Blue, Babylon Five, and The Neighborhood. Richard is such a versatile actor that he can go from space to the old west without missing a beat.

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Naturally, Richard is no stranger to the stage. One of his favorite projects was directing Simply Heavenly by poet Langston Hughes on the 100th anniversary of his birth in Cleveland. This production was part of a year-long celebration of Hughes and was performed at Karamu House, the oldest Black theater in America. In an interview with PBS's GOODTalks, Richard said, "When I first stepped on a stage, it was because of Langston Hughes," who he heard in a Black literature class at Merritt College.

Source: Twitter / @biped808

In the same interview with GOODTalks, Richard revealed that it was also at Merritt where he was introduced to Aborisha Lanka, a Nigerian playwright. It was at that moment it became his passion "to get Black Americans and Blacks from the diaspora in Africa together on stage as part of a production. And that's become my life's work." Since then, he has traveled to Africa several times to help make this dream a reality.

The Wonder Years airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.

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