Michael Warren ’71, an Emmy-nominated actor and captain of two NCAA Championship teams under John Wooden, is one of three artists featured in an upcoming photographic exhibition at the Americana in Glendale. The showcase starts in September and will run for four months.
An All-American on the 1968 team that included Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Lucius Allen and Lynn Shackelford, Warren was chosen captain of the 1967 and 1968 teams by Wooden, the only player to captain two of the legendary coach’s squads. Wooden’s motivation for the repeat selection is summed up by his statement, “Mike Warren is the smartest player I’ve ever coached.”
Warren graduated with a B.A. from the School of Theater, Film, and Television, majoring in theater arts. Following graduation, he decided not to turn professional, and instead embarked on a career as an actor, appearing in several films and television shows before landing the role for which he is best known, officer Bobby Hill on “Hill Street Blues.” He was nominated for an Emmy and won an NAACP Image Award for his work on iconic dramatic series.
Warren’s interest in photography dates to his time at UCLA. After graduation, he began shooting professional commercial head shots for actors. His photograph of the Jackson Five at a Los Angeles concert appeared in the Los Angeles Times, which duly credited him. Over the years, he shot less commercially, concentrating more on photographing his growing family.
In 2015, an internal voice said to him, “Look Up!” The incredible cloud formations he saw made a strong and lasting impression on him, and he began “chasing clouds” all over the city, searching for the right vantage point to get the perfect photograph. Since then, Warren has developed a creative style that aims to elevate his photographs to pieces of art.