Jernard Burks

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Jernard Burks
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Jernard Burks

(1969-12-31) December 31, 1969 (age 54)
Alma materKansas Wesleyan University
Years active1994—present

Jernard Burks is an American actor known for his roles in film and television. A graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University (KWU), he has been honored with an induction into the KWU Jerry Jones Athletic Hall of Fame and has a diverse career, including significant roles in theater.[1][2]

Early Life and Education

Burks studied at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and honed his craft under the tutelage of the late Broadway director Gene Frankel.[1]


Burks boasts an impressive filmography, having starred in notable films such as "Devil in a Blue Dress" alongside Denzel Washington, and in successful comedies like "The Hangover." He also appeared in "Four Brothers" as the character Evan, demonstrating his range as an actor.[3] His television credits include roles in series such as "Dexter," showcasing his versatility as an actor.[4]

Beyond acting, Burks has ventured into the world of theater, collaborating with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson in "Seven Guitars" and gracing the stages of renowned regional theaters like Seattle Rep, Hartford Stage, and the Alley Theatre..[1]. His passion for theater extends to writing, as evidenced by his play "King of the Blues," which premiered at Theatre Salina in 2013[1]

Achievements in Athletics

While at KWU, Burks excelled on the stage and on the football field. He earned recognition as an Honorable Mention All-American and a three-time First Team All-Conference defensive tackle, ultimately securing his place in the KWU Jerry Jones Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.[2]

Theatre and Speech at KWU

Burks' artistic journey began at KWU, where he actively participated in theater productions and even reached the regional finals of the Irene Ryan Theatre Scholarship competition. His talent extended beyond the stage, as he consistently dominated speech tournaments, even against competitors from Division 1 schools.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Jernard Burks '90 to Serve as 2024 Commencement Speaker". Kansas Wesleyan University. 28 December 2023. Retrieved 2023-12-31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Actor to Speak at KWU Graduation". KSAL. Retrieved 2023-12-31.
  3. "Four Brothers - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2023-12-31.
  4. "Jernard Burks List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Retrieved 2023-12-31.

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