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Courteney B. Vance Joins Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ Cast

Emmy and Tony-winning actor Courtney B. Vance will join the cast of National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha series based on the life of Aretha Franklin, the network said Thursday.

Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) will play Aretha’s father, civil rights activist C.L. Franklin, according to Nat Geo officials. In addition, Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) will serve as showrunner and executive producer, while Anthony Hemingway (Power, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) will executive produce and serve as the producing director for the upcoming season, said network officials.

“Courtney B. Vance is an actor whose work I’ve admired for so long,” said Parks in a statement. “To have him bring his award-winning talents to the role of C.L. Franklin, a man of great conviction who also had many flaws, is a beautiful dream come true.”

Genius: Aretha, the third installment of the Genius series that previously featured Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, will debut in Spring 2020.