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Long before becoming widely known as “Dembe,” a Sudanese Freedom Fighter and right hand man to Raymond Reddington on NBC’s hit show The Blacklist, Hisham Tawfiq discovered his passion for the arts in his High School while performing the poem “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou.
Tawfiq then studied at the world-renowned Negro Ensemble Theater Company which has brought forth such notable actors as Denzel Washington, Ossie Davis and Phylicia Rashad. He also studied with Susan Batson, who’s known for coaching actors such as Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, and Jennifer Connelly.
Tawfiq says, “As an Actor, just like a human being, evolution and education is infinite.”
Throughout his career, Hisham continues to call on his life experiences and training to inform his choices as an actor and artist. Be it as a Marine in Desert Storm, A Correction Office at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, or as one of New York’s Bravest FDNY firefighters.
“I enjoy portraying leaders, fathers, and husband roles with heavy emotional currents flowing through the story and character. I also love work that has a spiritual tone.”
Evidence of this work ethic can be seen in his dramatic episodic work on FX “Lights Out” and the NBC dramas “Law & Order SVU” and “Criminal Intent.”
Tawfiq also starred in the groundbreaking one-hour drama “Gun Hill” as Capt. Sanford, alongside stars Larenz Tate, Tawny Cypress, and Aisha Hinds. He has also starred in episodes of 30 Rock and Nurse Jackie. He is incredibly proud to have starred opposite Simone Missick in the feature film “Jinn,” directed by Nijla Mumin.
Hisham Tawfiq is a prominent American actor, particularly acclaimed for portraying the beloved character of Dembe Zuma in NBC’s hit series The Blacklist. Dembe Zuma is a key member of the show’s security detail turned FBI agent and shares an intimate and trusting relationship with the lead character, Raymond “Red” Reddington.