As the small town police chief with a painful past, David Harbour made the splash he’s always wanted to in Netflix’s surprise sensation Stranger Things. The science fiction-horror series about a boy’s disappearance under supernatural circumstances and the psychokinetic girl helping to find him took over pop culture last summer and earned Harbour his first Emmy nomination.
Though he’s had roles on Pan Am and The Newsroom and supporting roles in Quantum of Solace and Revolutionary Road, Harbour’s résumé also boasts eight Broadway credits.
Harbour’s Broadway turn in 1999's The Rainmaker marked his professional debut at the age of 25. Just two years later he was back on Broadway in The Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard. But Harbour displayed his full talents in the 2005 revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? alongside Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. As the eager-to-please biology professor Nick, Harbour earned his first Tony nomination. Though he lost to Liev Schrieber in Glengarry Glen Ross, he went on to work in Tom Stoppard’s epic mounting of the three-part Coast of Utopia, which still holds the Tony record for most statues won by a play.
In 2010, Harbour returned to Broadway in The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. Harbour seems to enjoy working with artists on back-to-back projects, since he then followed up Merchant with the 2012 revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, also starring Pacino.
Harbour has yet to step onto the Broadway stage since his Netflix success, but who knows? Maybe he’ll leverage his newfound screen stardom for a stage role; stranger things have happened.
Tune in to the 69th Emmy Awards September 17 on CBS.