Harold Perrineau is the son of Aurora Perrineau and Harold Williams. When joining the Screen Actors Guild, there was already a Harold Williams, so he used his mother's last name instead of his father's.
Having studied music and theater at the Shenandoah Conservatory, Perrineau began his career in theater, where he acted in a number of plays. An accomplished dancer, he made his TV debut on the series Fame. His film acting debut was in Universal Pictures' Shakedown (1988). The same year, he made a guest appearance on The Cosby Show.
In 1990, he received his first major break with a recurring role in the NBC series I'll Fly Away, starring Sam Waterston. Perrineau went on to play the wheelchair-bound Augustus Hill on the hit HBO series Oz, followed by the role of Michael Dawson on ABC's hit drama Lost.
On the big screen, Perrineau received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rashid Cole in Wayne Wang's critically acclaimed feature, Smoke (1995). He has also been featured in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996), Lee Tamahori's The Edge (1997) opposite Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, The Best Man (1999) with Taye Diggs and Nia Long; The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both 2003) and 28 Weeks Later (2007). He most recently starred in the comedy flick, The Best Man Holiday (2013).
Perrineau continues to work on stage as well. In 2001 he starred in Suzan Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Topdog/Underdog, for which he won an NAACP Image Award.
In 2022, he landed the lead role as Sheriff Boyd Stevens on the TV series From, which is broadcast on Epix in the U.S. and Paramount+ in Canada. The series has so far had two seasons.
He and his wife, model/actress Brittany Perrineau, have three children. He sometimes goes by the name Harold Perrineau Jr., although there is no Harold Perrineau Sr.
The Best Man Holiday (2013)
The Hungry Rabbit Jumps (2010)
Case 219 (2010)
30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)
The Killing Jar (2009)
Your Name Here (2008)
Gardens of the Night (2007)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Prison Song (2001)
Someone Like You (2001) (uncredited)
Overnight Sensation (2000)
Woman on Top (2000)
The Best Man (1999)
Macbeth in Manhattan (1999)
A Day in Black and White (1999)
Lulu on the Bridge (1998)
Come to (1998)
The Edge (1997)
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Blood and Wine (1996)
King of New York (1990)