Shirley 2024 Movie Cast & Real Life Character Guide (2024)

Summary

  • Regina King shines as Shirley Chisholm, showcasing her fierce resolve and commitment to equality.
  • A stellar cast including Lucas Hedges and Terrence Howard brings Chisholm's historic campaign to life.
  • John Ridley's exceptional film documents and celebrates Chisholm's groundbreaking political trailblazing effort.

The new Netflix historical biopic Shirley follows the true story of Shirley Chisholm's historic 1972 U.S. presidential campaign. Chisholm became the first black American woman to run for President of the United States just one year after becoming the first black woman elected to Congress in 1971. Chisholm's true story marks a landmark trailblazing effort in American politics that is documented and celebrated in John Ridley's exceptional film. Regina King gives a transformative performance as the titular character, showcasing her fierce resolve and unyielding commitment to make history and never give up fighting for equal representation.

The historical biopic stars an outstanding cast led by Regina King, Lucas Hedges, Terrence Howard, Lance Reddick, and Regina's real-life sister Reina King. The film was also produced by Regina and Reina King as well as Oscar-winning writer/director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). King is an Oscar and Emmy-winning actor who was recognized for her supporting role in If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) as well as Seven Seconds (2018) and the HBO adaptation of Watchmen (2019). King is also an accomplished director, making her feature film debut with 2020's One Night in Miami... after directing episodes of Shameless (2017), The Good Doctor (2018), and Insecure (2018).

Actor

Character

Regina King

Shirley Chisholm

Lance Reddick

Wesley McDonald "Mac" Holder

Terrence Howard

Arthur Hardwick Jr.

Lucas Hedges

Robert Gottlieb

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Stanley Townsend

Christina Jackson

Barbara Lee

Michael Cherrie

Conrad Chisholm

André Holland

Walter Fauntroy

Dorian Missick

Ron Dellums

Amirah Vann

Diahann Carroll

W. Earl Brown

George Wallace

Brad James

Huey P. Newton

Reina King

Muriel St. Hill

Related

"For Ian": Netflix's Shirley Movie Dedication Explained

Regina King and John Ridley's new Netflix film Shirley is dedicated to "Ian" and a late actor who plays a prominent role in the inspirational biopic.

7 Regina King as Shirley Chisholm

King is 53 years old

Actor: Regina King was born in Los Angeles, California. She skyrocketed to prominence after making her feature film debut as the memorable Shalika in the classic coming-of-age drama Boyz in the Hood (1991) at the age of 20. King has become an incredibly successful entertainer both in front of and behind the camera over her 30+ year career. King starred in some of the most popular films in the 1990s including Friday, Jerry McGuire, Enemy of the State, and Mighty Joe Young. King has won 4 Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2019.

Notable Movies & TV Shows

Film/TV Show

Character

The Leftovers (2015-2017)

Erika Murphy

American Crime (2015-2017)

Multiple Roles

Seven Seconds (2018)

Latrice Butler

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Sharon Rivers

Watchmen (2019)

Angela Abar/Sister Night

Character: Regina King portrays real-life U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as she runs for U.S. President in the 1972 election in Netflix's Shirley.

6 Lance Reddick as Wesley McDonald "Mac" Holder

Reddick passed away in 2023 at the age of 60

Actor: Lance Reddick was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and passed away in Los Angeles in 2023. He rose to prominence on the classic HBO series Oz and also appeared in several episodes of the popular series Lost. He is best known for his iconic television roles as Cedric Daniels in The Wire (2002-2008), Phillip Broyles in Fringe (2008-2013), and Chief Irvin Irving in Bosch (2014-2020). Reddick became a key figure in the popular John Wick franchise as Charon and made his first of several posthumous appearances in film and television with John Wick: Chapter 4.

Notable Movies & TV Shows

Film/TV Show

Character

The Wire (2002-2008)

Cedric Daniels

Fringe (2008-2013)

Phillip Broyles

Bosch (2014-2020)

Irvin Irving

John Wick (2014)

Charon

Ballerina (2025)

Charon

Character: Lance Reddick portrays Wesley McDonald "Mac" Holder, a personal friend and advisor to Shirley Chisholm in Netflix's Shirley.

5 Terrence Howard as Arthur Hardwick Jr.

Howard is 55 years old

Actor: Terrence Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, and had his first breakout roles in the 1995 films Dead Presidents and Mr. Holland's Opus. Howard was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Hustle & Flow (2005). He is arguably best known nowadays for his lead role as Lucious Lyon in the longstanding television series Empire (2015-2020). Howard also notably played James Rhodes in the original Iron Man (2008) before being recast by Don Cheadle. Howard announced his retirement from acting in 2022, indicating that Shirley could be his final film performance.

Notable Movies & TV Shows

Film/TV Show

Character

Crash (2004)

Cameron Thayer

Ray (2004)

Gossie McKee

Hustle & Flow (2005)

Djay

Iron Man (2008)

James Rhodes

Empire (2015-2020)

Lucious Lyon

Character: Terrence Howard portrays Arthur Hardwick Jr., a New York state legislator who married Shirley Chisholm in 1977, as depicted in Netflix's Shirley.

4 Lucas Hedges as Robert Gottlieb

Hedges is 27 years old

Actor: Lucas Hedges was born in New York City and rose to prominence after starring alongside Casey Affleck in the 2016 Oscar-winning film Machester by the Sea. Hedges made his film debut in 2007's Dan In Real Life before starting his professional acting career in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (2012). He had a significant role in Greta Gerwig's 2017 Oscar-nominated Lady Bird and the Oscar-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017). Hedges was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Manchester by the Sea (2016) and for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for his performance in Boy Erased (2018).

Notable Movies & TV Shows

Film/TV Show

Character

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Reford

Lady Bird (2017)

Danny O'Neill

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Robbie Hayes

Boy Erased (2018)

Jared Eamons

Waves (2019)

Luke

Character: Lucas Hedges plays Robert Gottlieb​​​​​​​, the real-life law student coordinator for Chisholm's presidential campaign in Netflix's Shirley.

3 Brian Stokes Mitchell as Stanley Townsend

Mitchell is 66 years old

Actor: Brian Stokes Mitchell was born in Seattle, Washington, and rose to prominence through his Broadway career in the 1990s. Mitchell won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Fred Graham/Petruchio in the Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate (2000). He has also been nominated for Tony Awards for his performances in Ragtime (1998), King Hedley II (2001), and Man of La Mancha (2003). Mitchell is also a prominent television actor who has had recurring roles in shows including Frasier, Glee, Mr. Robot, The Path, Billions, and The Good Fight. He recently starred in Tick, Tick... Boom! (2001) alongside Andrew Garfield.

Notable Movies & TV Shows

Film/TV Show

Character

Trapper John, M.D. (1979-1986)

Dr. Justin "Jackpot" Jackson

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1992-1993)

Trevor

Mr. Robot (2015-2016)

Scott Knowles

Billions (2018)

Alvin Epstein

Tick, Tick... Boom! (2019)

"Sunday" Legend

​​​​​​​Character: Brian Stokes Mitchell portrays Stanley Townsend, Shirley Chisholm's real-life campaign manager in Netflix's Shirley.

2 André Holland as Walter Fauntroy

Holland is 44 years old

Actor: André Holland was born in Bessemer, Alabama, and is best known for his role in the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight (2016). Holland is an acclaimed actor in film, television, and theatre, starring as Dr. Algernon Edwards in the Cinemax series The Knick (2014-2015) and as Matt Miller in the FX series American Horror Story: Roanoke (2016). Before Shirley, Holland also appeared in several historical films such as Selma (2014) and 42 (2013). Holland will portray the founder of the Black Panther Party Huey P. Newton, who is portrayed by Brad James in Shirley, in an upcoming series The Big Cigar.

Notable Movies & TV Shows

Film/TV Show

Character

42 (2013)

Wendell Smith

Selma (2014)

Andrew Young

Moonlight (2016)

Kevin Jones

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Principal James Jenkins

The Eddy (2020)

Elliot Udo

​​​​​​​Character: André Holland portrays Walter Fauntroy, a presidential candidate in the 1972 election in Netflix's Shirley.

Related

Shirley Movie: What Happened To George Wallace After His Assassination Attempt

The assassination attempt and aftermath of 1972 Presidential candidate George Wallace is depicted in the new Netflix historical biopic Shirley.

1 Shirley Supporting Cast & Characters

Shirley 2024 Movie Cast & Real Life Character Guide (3)

Christina Jackson as Barbara Lee – Jackson is known for her roles in The Night House (2020), Devotion (2022), Outsiders (2016-2017), and Deception (2013).

W. Earl Brown as George Wallace – Brown is known for his roles in Deadwood (2004-2006), There's Something About Mary (1998), Preacher (2016-2017), and Black Mass (2015).

Michael Cherrie as Conrad Chisholm – Cherrie is known for his roles in The Rise and Fall of John Tesoro (2010), Flight of the Ibis (1996), and The Ghost of Hing King Estate (2009).

Dorian Missick as Ron Dellums – Missick is known for his roles in Southland (2012-2013), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Big Words (2013), and For Life (2020-2021).

Amirah Vann as Diahann Carroll – Vann is known for her roles in Underground (2016-2017), Tracers (2015), Arcane (2021), and And So It Goes (2014).

Brad James as Huey P. Newton – James is known for his roles in Prisoners (2013), Osiris (2011-2012), The Choice (2016), and Parental Guidance (2012).

Reina King as Muriel St. Hill – King is known for her roles in Scrooged (1988), To Sleep with Anger (1990), and Shirley (2024).

Shirley 2024 Movie Cast & Real Life Character Guide (4)
Shirley (2024)

PG-13

Biography

Drama

History

Shirley 2024 Movie Cast & Real Life Character Guide (5)

Shirley is a biographical drama film written and directed by John Ridley and was created for Netflix. The film explores the life and career of political icon Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to reach Congress successfully and continue to aim higher - as high as running for the office of the President of the United States.

Director
John Ridley

Release Date
March 22, 2024

Studio(s)
Participant , Royal Ties Productions

Distributor(s)
Netflix

Writers
John Ridley

Cast
Regina King , Lance Reddick , Lucas Hedges , Brian Stokes Mitchell , Dorian Missick , Amirah Vann , W. Earl Brown , Brad James , Andre Holland

Runtime
117 Minutes
Shirley 2024 Movie Cast & Real Life Character Guide (2024)
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