Born and raised on the East Coast, Simmons' parents instilled a strong sense of family values in their three children. As a child, Simmons excelled in school and in sports, and he developed a passion for classic films that he would often watch with his father. Although he didn't pursue his interest in acting until he attended college, a seed had been planted.
The talented athlete earned a basketball scholarship and business degree at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire. While he enjoyed his coursework and loved to play basketball, Simmons also experimented in the college theatre. The positive feedback he received onstage later fueled his desire to pursue an acting career.
Upon graduation, Simmons accepted a position at a Fortune 500 company. After only one week of employment, he realized that he did not fit into the corporate environment and he began to set up auditions in Manhattan during his lunch break. It was not long before Simmons landed his first professional role in the independent film, Tighten Up. Though the film was not theatrically released, Simmons' acting career started to gain momentum. Shortly thereafter, he was cast in the New Line feature film Above the Rim starring Marlon Wayans and Tupac Shakur. Simmons quit his full time job and moved to New York City to study acting.
Simmons succeeded in making the transition from the corporate world to the unpredictable lifestyle of an emerging actor. He booked guest appearances on television series including New York Undercover, The Cosby Mysteries, Swift Justice, and even Saturday Night Live. He also spent two years on the daytime drama Another World, and appeared in numerous theatrical productions such as the Drama League's Boys in the Basement and LaMaMa Theatre Company's Geranos.
He starred in the recent mini-series Spartacus opposite Goran Visnjic and James Frain. Simmons has completed two features and a music video for Macy Gray. He was cast in A Gentlemen's Game, a drama in which he portrays the greens keeper at an upscale golf club. The film starred Gary Sinise, Mason Gamble and Philip Baker Hall. He also co-starred with Bernadette Peters in the romantic comedy Let It Snow, which debuted at the AFI Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, Simmons starred in Sure, a play about relationships that he also produced at the 2100 Square Feet Theater in Los Angeles.
Simmons currently is shooting his fifth season of NYPD Blue, which recently celebrated its 100th episode on ABC.
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Henry Simmons Facts
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|July 1, 1970 (53)
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|NYPD Blue: Season 8
|World's Greatest Dad