Meet the Broadway cast of 'Death of a Salesman'
You'll likely recognize this star-studded cast from their acclaimed roles on both stage and screen.
Attention must be paid! Arthur Miller’s classic play Death of a Salesman is coming back to Broadway for a limited engagement, with performances at the Hudson Theatre beginning September 19. This new revival is a special one: It’s the first Broadway production of the play with a Black Loman family at its center.
Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is about an aging traveling salesman named Willy Loman, who is nearing the end of his life and processing the harsh truth that he hasn’t achieved anything significant. This new production originated in London's West End, and the casting has given the play a new dimension and vitality.
A New York Times review reads, “Willy is a black man in a nation where white is the color of success. While he has absorbed and abides by the mythology and rules of the American dream of self-advancement, there’s a part of Willy that worries the odds are fatally stacked against him.”
Many famous actors have stepped into Willy Loman’s tired shoes, such as Dustin Hoffman, Brian Dennehy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The cast of the 2022 revival is also filled with theatre legends. Below, learn more about the powerhouse cast of the 2022 revival of Death of a Salesman.
Willy Loman: Wendell Pierce
Wendell Pierce leads this cast of Death of a Salesman as Willy Loman, a role which he has described as “the highwater of [his] career.” The New York Times called Pierce’s performance “splendid” and “electrically alert and eager.” Pierce was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance.
Pierce has had a long career on stage and on screen, appearing in over 30 films and nearly 50 television shows. You may recognize Pierce, who tends to disappear into all of his roles so that you don’t realize it’s the same actor playing them, as Detective Bunk Moreland in the HBO show The Wire, Antoine Batiste in the HBO show Treme, and Hosea Williams in the film Selma.
In his spare time, Pierce has appeared in many theatrical productions, such as The Piano Lesson by August Wilson on Broadway (which is also being revived in September, starring Samuel L. Jackson) and Waiting for Godot for the Classical Theatre of Harlem, set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.
Pierce is also a Broadway producer, having won a Tony Award in 2012 for producing Clybourne Park.
Linda Loman: Sharon D Clarke
Sharon D Clarke has incredible stamina: She went straight from tearing down the roof at Caroline, or Change on Broadway to playing Willy’s wife, Linda, in Death of a Salesman in the West End. Clarke won an Olivier Award for her performance as Linda, with the New York Times calling Clarke “magnificent” as she “transforms a character often portrayed as a whimpering doormat into a strong, self-aware woman.”
Clarke made her Broadway debut with Caroline, or Change, where she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance (which you can listen to via that production’s cast album). The British actor has been well-loved in her home country, with three Olivier Awards and a number of stage-stealing roles under her belt in the West End. These include the Killer Queen in We Will Rock You and Oda Mae Brown in Ghost the Musical. She's bound to wow American audiences again in Death of a Salesman.
Biff Loman: Khris Davis
Biff is the elder son of Willy and Linda, who wants his father to be proud of him, but who also wants the space to pursue his own dreams. Khris Davis plays Biff, and Davis was last seen on Broadway in 2017's Sweat, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning play about factory workers in Pennsylvania. So Davis is used to playing the everyman, and he is also used to challenging material.
Earlier, Davis made his New York stage debut playing a boxer in The Royale at Lincoln Center Theater in 2016, and he has also starred in the FX show Atlanta. Biff has historically been a showcase for a young actor, so we’re looking forward to seeing how Davis leaves his mark.
Happy Loman: McKinley Belcher III
Happy is Willy and Linda's younger son, who is essentially the opposite of Biff. He works in sales himself and always tries to be there for his family members, but still gets ignored by his father, who pays most of his attention to Biff. But audiences will surely be paying attention to McKinley Belcher III in the role, his second Broadway outing after the Tony-winning A Soldier's Play in 2020. There, he played Private Louis Henson (a role Samuel L. Jackson originated off Broadway years before) alongside Blair Underwood and Tony winner David Alan Grier.
Though he only made his Broadway debut recently, Belcher has been an Off-Broadway fixture since 2013, when he starred in Classic Stage Company's Romeo and Juliet. Since then, he has won a Drama Desk Award for his performance in Lincoln Center Theater's The Royale, and been nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for The Light at MCC Theater. You might also recognize Belcher from his screen roles as Agent Trevor Evans in Ozark, Samuel Diggs in Mercy Street, and Anthony Carter in The Passage.
Ben: André De Shields
André De Shields has flown from the underworld of Hadestown to the similar land-of-broken-dreams America of Death of a Salesman. De Shields won a Tony Award for playing Hadestown, so his Salesman role as Ben may seem like a small role for this legendary actor. After all, Ben only appears in a handful of scenes in the play, within memories in Willy’s mind. But considering that De Shields is playing Ben, it makes sense that the larger-than-life actor will loom large over Willy and the audience.
De Shields has a long and storied career in the theatre. He played the Wiz in (you guessed it) The Wiz in 1975 on Broadway, and he was also in Ain't Misbehavin' on Broadway (and in the 1982 broadcast on NBC, which earned him an Emmy Award), The Full Monty, and Play On! (for which he got his first Tony nomination). De Shields was the audience favorite character in Hadestown, and it’ll be a treat to see how he steals the show again in Death of a Salesman.
Charley: Delaney Williams
Death of a Salesman has become a The Wire reunion now that Delaney Williams has been cast. Williams has acted in shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Blue Bloods, but he's best known for his role as Sergeant Jay Landsman in The Wire. It's fitting that he's starred opposite Pierce before, as he now plays Charley, Willy's neighbor and only friend in Death of a Salesman. The role marks Williams's Broadway debut.
Bernard: Stephen Stocking
Playing Charley's successful son, Bernard, in Death of a Salesman is Stephen Stocking in his own Broadway debut. Off-Broadway buffs might recognize him from Rajiv Joseph's Obie Award-winning play Describe the Night, which premiered at Atlantic Theater Company in 2017.