Founder, Prayer Dudz Entertainment, a production company
Founded Lawrence’s clothing line, a casual and dressy line of men’s apparel
Appeared in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Planet of the Apes, Lost Treasure and The Pursuit of Happyness
Currently plays “Big Mike” in the NBC series Chuck
University of Southern California
Laughing with Mark Christopher Lawrence
SHOUT IT OUT LOUD
Mark grew up with two siblings in a Christian single parent home in crime-infested Compton, California. As a child, he and his mother attended a Church of God in Christ Church then moved to a Foursquare Church until he left for college in 1982. In tenth grade Mark got involved with his high school debate team. After winning his school district’s Literary Olympiad competition, Mark went on to compete at the state and national levels as a member of the Cerritos Community College forensics squad, where he captured the collegiate Bovero-Tabor Award, awarded to the top junior college speaker in the country. Soon Mark gained the attention of the University of Southern California’s debate team coaches, and was awarded a full scholarship to attend the university. While at USC, he traveled the nation competing in tournaments. Meanwhile, he was gaining valuable experience in his craft by moonlighting at the Los Angeles Theater Center. There a Hollywood talent agent noticed his skills and landed Lawrence his first job in television, a role on Hill Street Blues.
After graduation from USC, he worked with the San Francisco Mime Troupe while also performing stand-up comedy throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada, opening for major acts, such as Jerry Seinfeld and Rodney Dangerfield. Mark's work in live theater led to a Dramalogue Award for his performance in Reza Abdoh’s, Minimanta. He won an NAACP award for his work in Ken Davis's The Glass House in 1990. It was this role which attracted the attention of director, James Cameron, who then cast him as the "burly insane asylum attendant" in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
He drifted away from his faith over the years but when he met Rebecca in 1995, Mark realized he was missing something in his life. They both knew they wanted God in their lives. Before they were married in 1999, Mark and Rebecca began looking for a church that fed both of their souls. In November of that year, Mark rededicated his life and Rebecca gave her life to the Lord at Horizon Christian Fellowship where they still attend.
Mark says many people in the entertainment industry don’t talk about their faith. “There are some Christians on Chuck and I didn’t know they were Christians until recently,” says Mark. "Over the years, I’ve been trying to live in a way to show people my faith through my actions.”
A few years ago, Rebecca’s cousin wanted him to go to an elementary school to talk to the kids. He told them that the things they did today would affect them for the rest of their lives. Mark enjoyed the experience and started bringing in other speakers to talk to the kids. Then in 2007, Mark got a call to go into a classroom to talk to them about Jesus. So he took the opportunity and shared his faith with the kids. Mark prayed with the entire class. The teacher said she had been talking to the kids for awhile but they just didn’t get it. “I feel like God was preparing me for three years to talk to those kids,” says Mark.
Mark is best known for his role as esoteric D.J., Tone Def, in the 1994 satirical rap mockumentary, Fear of a Black Hat. He has co-starred in popular films such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Planet of the Apes, Lost Treasure and The Pursuit of Happyness. Mark can currently be seen in his regular role as Big Mike on the NBC series Chuck. He has made guest appearances on many television programs, including My Name Is Earl, Crossing Jordan, Dharma & Greg, Malcolm in the Middle, Touched by an Angel, Malcolm & Eddie, Men Behaving Badly, Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, and Martin. He is also featured on the Radio Series Adventures in Odyssey as "Ed Washington. Chuck airs on Monday nights on NBC. The series is a comedy about a secret agent, named Chuck, who works at Buy More Electronics store.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.