Who is Pernell Walker

Early life

Pernell Walker is an American Film, Television and Theatre Actress. She spent her childhood in the South Bronx. A hard time socially in junior highschool led to a yearning for a creative outlet and change of environment. She applied to performing arts high schools with the help of a librarian, Ms. Taylor from her Junior High School 120. Ms. Walker attended Talented Unlimited High School, where she learned and honed her craft as a young actor. Ms. Walker is a two time silver medalist 97-98 of the local branch of the NAACP ACT-SO competition in acting. After graduating Talented Unlimited, she attended City College of the City University of New York as a Theater major, earning a B. A. in Theater. Ms. Walker trained and attended Actors Studio Drama School, formerly the New School University for her M.F.A.


Ms.Walker has worked with some of the most prominent and prolific directors. 

She made her cinematic debut as Laura in Dee Ree’s award-winning, critically acclaimed Pariah (Criterion Selection 2021). Her scene in Ava Duvernay’s When They See Us became a popular meme prior to the Biden inauguration, as her character predicted Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election. Her television credits include great directors and memorable characters; Grace Campbell in City On The Hill, working with director Kevin Bacon, Thunder Thighs on The Deuce with director Michelle McClaren, and working with Steve Zaillian, The Night Of, Carl Franklin Leftovers, Tim Van Patten Boardwalk Empire Tina Fey Kimmy Schmidt.-

Walker made her off-broadway debut in Radha Blanks’ “SEED” originating the role of Rashawn, directed by Niegel Smith for the Classical Theater of Harlem/Hip-Hop Theater Festival 2010-2011. Later gaining recognition for her role as Munchies in Pulitzer prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgus’ Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz for the Atlantic Theater Company’s  2019-2020 season. She also appeared in Dolphins and Sharks by James Tyler, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite for the Labyrinth Theater Co in 2017.