Stuart Greer (1959–)
Stuart Greer is a popular character actor from El Dorado (Union County) with more than forty film and television credits to his name. His career began in 1994; in 2016, he suffered a stroke at the age of fifty-six. His first role was in a single episode of the British miniseries Crocodile Shoes; in 2016, he played the character Roman in AMC’s hit horror series The Walking Dead. Greer’s notable movies include I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), The Reaping (2007) with Hillary Swank, Homefront (2013) with Jason Statham, and American Ultra (2015).
Stuart Greer was born on December 2, 1959, in El Dorado, and he lived there until he was eight years old. Greer graduated from Benton High School in Benton (Saline County) in 1978. He began acting in productions as a theater major at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1982 under Wayne Chapman, Cliff Haislip, and Margaret Carner. In 1987, Greer landed his first paying acting job, playing Joseph Wykowski in Biloxi Blues with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. From there, he went to Memphis, Tennessee, for a regional audition contest, where he landed a scholarship to New York City’s prestigious Circle in the Square Theatre School. He attended classes there between 1987 and 1989 while looking for work in television and film productions.
In 1987, Greer married Melinda Lou Hensley of Benton. She accompanied him to New York. They had one child, Raeden Greer, who became an actress. Stuart Greer and his wife divorced in 2002.
Greer’s first film role came in a British miniseries called Crocodile Shoes as Pete in an episode called “The Trip.” After that, he landed more small roles until 1997, when he appeared in The Apostle with Robert DuVall as a Texas state trooper and as Deputy David Caporizo in the popular horror movie I Know What You Did Last Summer. Because the latter film was such a hit, Greer had hoped that it would be his ticket to stardom; it is by far the one that he gets the most recognition for, even though he was on screen for only a few minutes before being, as he put it, “unceremoniously fish hooked in the gut” by the killer.
Greer had several more roles in the late 1990s: as Detective Hal in The Gingerbread Man (1998), as an assistant coach in Remember the Titans (2000), and as four different characters in the Chuck Norris series Walker: Texas Ranger. He also appeared as Officer Huggins in Sam Raimi’s The Gift, written by fellow Arkansans Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson after the success of Thornton’s Sling Blade in 1996.
Greer’s first title credit role was as Gordon in Stephen Hopkins’s Bible-inspired thriller The Reaping (2007). A turning point in his career came with his small but pivotal role as Michael Kincaid in Gary Fleder’s legal thriller Runaway Jury (2003). Greer played the second of Dustin Hoffman’s character’s three witnesses called to testify in the case before showing signs of being threatened by Gene Hackman’s character’s men. Fleder remembered Greer’s performance and had a role written for him in the big-budget action film Homefront (2013), written by Sylvester Stallone and starring Jason Statham.
Homefront was the second film in which Greer had worked with Statham, the first being the 2011 remake of 1972’s The Mechanic. He collaborated with director Jeff Nichols and actor Michael Shannon in Take Shelter (2011), then with Nichols again in Mud (2013). Greer worked with Fleder for the third time in the short-lived CBS television show Identity. After Identity was canceled after the pilot, Greer landed the role of Officer Yates in season two of the AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies in 2015.
Also in 2015, Greer played Sheriff Watts in the movie American Ultra, acting alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. In 2016, he played Roman in AMC’s The Walking Dead. On October 5, 2016, Greer suffered a stroke. It was reported that he was paralyzed on his left side but was expected to make a full recovery. He retired to Benton with an honorable withdrawal from the Screen Actors Guild.
For additional information:
Agee, Levi. “Screen Gems.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 22, 2011, pp. 1E, 6E.
Lybarger, Dan. “Homefront Role Offer ‘Thrilled’ Ex-UALR Actor.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 29, 2013, pp. 1D, 6D.
“Stuart Greer.” Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0339489/ (accessed August 27, 2020).
Cody Lynn Berry
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
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