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Where You've Seen The Cast Of The Equalizer Before

"The Equalizer" franchise has a long history. Originally a 1980s spy series starring Edward Woodward and Keith Szarabajka, it has since been rebooted as a collection of films led by Denzel Washington. Another reboot came in 2021, starring Queen Latifah as the titular Equalizer, known to most by her real name, Robyn McCall. Once a CIA operative, Robyn now works outside the law on the New York City streets she calls home. Her life is a complex one: Robyn is busy securing justice for those in need, juggling a personal life, and raising her daughter. But the Equalizer has faced tougher odds and won before.

As you might expect from a show with such an impressive legacy and celebrated lead, "The Equalizer" has an enormously talented cast. Many of these performers are veterans who have enjoyed long careers in Hollywood, while others are a bit more fresh-faced. Whatever the case, there's a good chance you've seen the cast of "The Equalizer" before, and we're here to find out where.

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah portrays Robyn McCall, the titular Equalizer. A single mom who once worked for the CIA, she decides to take justice into her own hands and become a vigilante, helping those who need her most. Much of her past is shadowy and mysterious, but we do know she was an undercover operative who worked across the globe.

Latifah is a prodigious talent, having worked as an actor, singer, rapper, and host throughout her decades in show business. Her breakout came in 1989 when she released her album "All Hail the Queen." She followed that up with "Nature of a Sista'" two years later, and continued to release music throughout the 1990s and 2000s. She made the leap to acting in the early 1990s, making an especially big splash as the star of celebrated sitcom "Living Single." Latifah's screen career took off like a rocket: She has appeared in a wide array of films including "Set it Off," "Hairspray," and "Chicago." Her performance in the latter film snagged her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. She also continued to put in incredible work on the small screen, earning an Emmy Award nomination for portraying Bessie Smith in the HBO film "Bessie." More recently, she has appeared in the Netflix film "Hustle" alongside Adam Sandler and starred in "The Little Mermaid Live!" as Ursula.

Tory Kittles

Tory Kittles plays NYPD detective Marcus Dante on "The Equalizer." An sharp-witted cop and divorced father of two young sons, Dante acts as something of an antagonist to McCall throughout Season 1. He's torn between opposing her illegal vigilantism and understanding why she's driven to get justice on behalf of those the police cannot help. But by Season 2, Dante and McCall work together more and more openly, and eventually become friends.

As Kittles explained to Precinct TV, he joined "The Equalizer" before even reading a script, simply because he knew Queen Latifah was involved. This was a smart decision — he and Latifah play off each other wonderfully. His prior work is just as impressive. Kittles' first significant film role came in the Joel Schumacher-directed war movie "Tigerland," where he appeared alongside Colin Farrell, Matthew Davis, and Russell Richardson. He has since appeared in movies as varied as science fiction thriller "Next" and action blockbuster "Olympus Has Fallen."

Kittles is better known for his work on the small screen, especially in crime-centric shows. He portrayed Laroy Wayne on 11 episodes of "Sons of Anarchy," Thomas Papania on "True Detective" Season 1, and main character Gary Fischer on "Intruders." More recently, he starred in the sci-fi drama "Colony" alongside Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Peter Jacobson.

Liza Lapira

Melody Bayani is a close confidant and ally to Robyn McCall. A former military sniper, she's widely considered one of the best markswomen on the planet. But Bayani was betrayed by her own mentor to enemy forces. She left the military behind, married her husband Harry, and opened her own bar. Nowadays, this bar acts as McCall's clandestine headquarters. 

Bayani is memorably played by Liza Lapira. Lapira's first television appearance came in 1999 when she played a waitress on an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She would later reappear on the show, most prominently as Forensics Technician Lu, and pop up on an episode of the original "Law & Order" series. Her most famous small screen roles range far and wide: She played Special Agent Michelle Lee on network giant "NCIS," Ivy on sci-fi thriller "Dollhouse," and Robin on quirky sitcom "Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23." Lapira has also appeared in a number of high-profile films, including "Cloverfield," "Fast & Furious," and "Crazy, Stupid, Love." According to CBS, Lapira is also actively involved in philanthropic organizations, including LA's Best and Harlem's Impact Theatre.

Adam Goldberg

Adam Goldberg plays Harry Keshegian on "The Equalizer." An expert computer hacker and husband to Melody Bayani, his skills allow him to assist Robyn McCall by gathering information and accessing encrypted networks. He's even capable of breaking into CIA computers. Keshegian is also somewhat revenge-minded: In one episode, he alters a man's financial records for the crime of assaulting his wife.

Goldberg's first screen role came in a single 1990 episode of "Designing Women." He soon followed that up on the silver screen by playing Eugene Gimbel in "Mr. Saturday Night." You might remember him for his role on "Friends" — he played Eddie, the strange roommate who takes Joey's place in Chandler's apartment — or his performances in "A Beautiful Mind," "Dazed and Confused," and "Saving Private Ryan." More recently, he made quite a splash as Mr. Numbers on "Fargo" Season 1. Beyond the screen, Goldberg is also a talented musician and photographer.

Chris Noth

William Bishop, played by actor Chris Noth, was once a director in the CIA. Like Robyn McCall, he started up his own enterprise after leaving the agency, and now operates a private security company. A good friend to McCall, he offered her a job at his organization before she chose to fight crime in her own unique way. Bishop works closely with her throughout Season 1, but tragically meets his end in Season 2.

Noth had many early experiences of television: His mother was Jeanne Parr, a trailblazing CBS correspondent (per Variety). It's unsurprising, then, that Noth's most prominent roles have been on the small screen. Noth is most famous for playing Mr. Big, longtime love interest of New York columnist Carrie Bradshaw in the megawatt "Sex and the City" franchise. He's also widely known for portraying detective Mike Logan on "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and Peter Florrick, husband to the titular character on "The Good Wife."

Laya DeLeon Hayes

Laya DeLeon Hayes plays Delilah Fulton, Robyn McCall's rebellious teen daughter. Delilah has a strained relationship with her mom, due to the long absences McCall's work in the CIA necessitated. While they do make attempts to bond and build on their love for each other, Delilah still struggles with feelings of abandonment.

Hayes is probably best known for playing the eponymous character on "Doc McStuffins," a popular cartoon aimed at preschool-aged children. This is far from her only voice role: Hayes has played animated characters in "Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie," "Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny," and major video games like "God of War: Ragnarok" and "League of Legends." In terms of live-action parts, she has appeared on kid-friendly fare like "Liv and Maddie" and more mature productions like "Chicago Fire." According to CBS, when she's not acting, she's passionate about giving back: Hayes has participated in charity events, volunteered everywhere from homeless shelters to hospitals, and taken part in many socially-minded campaigns.

Lorraine Toussaint

Known to Robyn McCall as Aunt Vi, Viola Marsette has a strong relationship with both her niece and great-niece, Delilah. A talented painter, she lives with McCall and Delilah and plays a major role in helping them mend their broken bond. 

Vi is played by celebrated actress Lorraine Toussaint. According to Variety, Toussaint began her acting career on the stage, playing such iconic roles as Lady Macbeth. She began to work in film and TV in the 1980s, landing small roles in productions like "Breaking In" and "One Life to Live." Toussaint came to far wider attention when she landed the role of lawyer Rene Jackson on Lifetime original series "Any Day Now."

 In the ensuing years, she appeared on series ranging from "Law & Order," where she played Shambala Green, to "Saving Grace," where she played Captain Kate Perry. Toussaint earned particularly major acclaim  for her memorable performance as the manipulative Vee Parker on "Orange Is the New Black." More recently, she has appeared on "Forever," "Rosewood," "The Village," and "Your Honor." She's also enjoyed a number of impressive film roles, including Amelia Boynton Robinson in the celebrated drama "Selma."

Jennifer Ferrin

Jennifer Ferrin portrays Avery Grafton on "The Equalizer." Grafton is a district attorney who sees Robyn McCall as a menace who must be stopped at all costs. This is partly because what McCall is doing is illegal, but also because McCall's efforts don't put Grafton in the best light. Her hardline stance softens as the series progresses, however, leading to an uneasy truce between the two women.

Ferrin's first role came in an episode of "Dawson's Creek." She quickly followed that up by playing Esther, a younger version of Vanessa Redgrave's lead character in the TV film "The Locket." Shortly after, she landed the role of Jennifer Munson Donovan on the long-running CBS soap opera "As the World Turns." Her performance earned her a couple of Daytime Emmy Award nominations. Some of her more recent small screen parts have arrived on series like "The Blacklist," "Rise," and "Hell on Wheels." She snagged an especially big role on "Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin," where she currently plays Martha Beasley. Though Ferrin tends to stick to TV, she did play a small role in "Sex and the City 2."

Frank Pando

Captain Antonio Torres, played by Frank Pando, is a senior officer in the NYPD and Marcus Dante's direct superior. This puts him into significant conflict with Robyn McCall and her vigilante efforts. Little is known about his backstory or motivations, but he's clearly not to be messed with — though of course, this hardly stops determined McCall.

Fans of "The Sopranos" will recognize Pando immediately as Agent Frank Grasso, an FBI operative who works against Tony Soprano throughout much of the celebrated series. Pando has portrayed law enforcement officers in a number of other productions as well, including "Blue Bloods," "The Visitor," and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." More recently, the actor played Detective Gonzalez in hard-hitting miniseries "When They See Us." He's also delivered excellent work on "The Blacklist," "Bored to Death," "Katy Keene," and "Nurse Jackie." Interestingly, Pando also voices background characters in Rockstar's mega-hit video game "Red Dead Redemption."

Erica Camarano

Detective Paley is an NYPD investigator who works alongside Marcus Dante. Initially, Paley works against Robyn McCall, putting her talents towards discovering McCall's true identity and bringing the daring vigilante to justice. But in Season 2, Detective Paley's story meets a very sudden end when she's killed in a firefight. Thus, her crusade is concluded, while McCall's story continues on.

Detective Paley is played by Erica Camarano. Camarano's first screen role came in the 2007 film "Liberty Kid." She followed that up with appearances in a number of short films, including "Bad Night," "Wishing, Well," and "Losers." Camarano is almost certainly best known for playing NYPD officer Rachel Ortiz on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit": She has appeared in 11 episodes of the series across a span of nine years. Recently, she snagged the role of Blair Chavez on the Showtime series "City on a Hill," which she joined in Season 3.

Dominic Fumusa

NYPD detective Ken Mallory, played by Dominic Fumusa, is another one of Marcus Dante's colleagues. Introduced in Season 2, Ken is immediately put in charge of the investigation into the vigilante known as the Equalizer by district attorney Avery Grafton.

Like many other actors, Fumusa began his career in theatrical productions like "Wait Until Dark" and "Take Me Out" (via Broadway World). His first major screen role came in 1999 when he was cast in an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Fumusa would go on to play several other characters in four additional episodes of the long-running crime drama. He also earned attention for playing Gray Gerard on 18 episodes of "As the World Turns," and has appeared on TV series like "Sex and the City," "The Sopranos," and "Homeland." Fumusa is likely best known for playing Kevin Peyton, husband to the titular character on the Showtime medical dramedy "Nurse Jackie."

Brett Dalton

Brett Dalton plays CIA handler Carter Griffin on "The Equalizer." Griffin works directly with Robyn McCall when the vigilante hunts down Mason Quinn (Chris Vance), despite the fact that he typically prefers to stay within the confines of the law.

According to The Denver Post, Dalton studied at the Yale School of Drama. He landed his big break when he was cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe television series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," where he played main character Grant Ward. He portrayed this HYDRA villain for four seasons in total. Since then, he's appeared in everything from satirical sketch series "Robot Chicken" to comedy-drama "Beside Still Waters." He enjoyed an especially vivid role on "Chicago Fire," where he played Lieutenant Jason Pelham. Recently, Dalton has found further work as a voice actor. He played the fiendish Parasite in the animated film "Superman: Man of Tomorrow," Michael Munroe in the horror video game "Until Dawn," and the Witness in "Destiny 2: The Witch Queen."

Stephen Bishop

Although he's mentioned many times, Robyn McCall's ex-husband Dr. Miles Fulton doesn't make an appearance on "The Equalizer" until Season 2's "Hard Money." Played by Stephen Bishop, the character is reunited with his ex-wife when she needs his surgical skills. This crisis forces McCall to admit to Fulton that she's the infamous vigilante fighting crime on the streets of New York City.

Before he became an actor, Bishop was a minor league baseball player (via Bleacher Report). It's appropriate, then, that one of his most significant performances came in "Moneyball," where he played real-world outfielder David Justice alongside Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Before he appeared in that film, Bishop had roles in everything from "Hancock" to "Friday Night Lights." Over the last few years, he's enjoyed recurring roles on several television series, including "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Criminal Minds," "Run the World," and "The Terminal List."

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith appeared on Season 2 of "The Equalizer" as Jessie Cook, also known as the Worm. A skilled thief, she has a long history of working alongside Robyn McCall, which viewers explore when the pair attempts to steal a valuable painting. 

This role reunited Smith with Queen Latifah for the first time since they starred in the smash-hit comedy "Girls Trip." Smith is a major Hollywood star known for her work in a wide variety of high-profile films. She first rose to fame by portraying Lena James on the celebrated sitcom "A Different World." She subsequently appeared in films such as "The Nutty Professor," "Set It Off," and "Scream 2," before landing the role of Niobe in "The Matrix Reloaded" and its sequels. More recently, Smith has portrayed Gloria in the long-running "Madagascar" franchise, played Fish Mooney on "Gotham," and hosts her popular Facebook Watch talk show "Red Table Talk."