Who they play and what they look like in real life

David Oyelowo in “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves.”
Emerson Miller/Paramount+

  • Paramount+’s new western “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves” premieres Sunday.
  • The series is executive produced by “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan.
  • David Oyelowo stars as Bass Reeves, one of the first black men to serve as a deputy U.S. marshal.

The new Western series “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves” is based on a real historical figure.

Bass Reeves was the first black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. In the Paramount+ show, he is played by David Oyelowo. Dennis Quaid, Lauren E. Banks and Demi Singleton also star, and the series is executive produced by “Yellowstone” universe creator Taylor Sheridan.

Below is a look at the cast of “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves” and a description of the characters they play.

David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves

David Oyelowo in “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves,” left; right, 2023.
Emerson Miller/Paramount+; Robin L. Marshall/Getty Images

Reeves was a real-life historical figure – he was one of the first black people vice U.S. Marshals operate west of the Mississippi River. According to his biography, he was born into slavery but later escaped. Responsible for arresting numerous criminals, Reeves retired from the U.S. Marshals Service and became a police officer. The legendary Western hero may have even inspired The Lone Ranger.

In addition to his legendary life and achievements, the series will also focus on the toll Reeves’ career took on his family.

Oyelowo most recently starred in the Apple TV+ series “Silo,” and has appeared in several films, including “Selma,” “The Midnight Sky” and “Look How They Run.”

Lauren E. Banks plays Reeves’ wife

Lauren E. Banks in “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” (left); yes, 2022.
Emerson Miller/Paramount+; Robin L. Marshall/WireImage

Reeves’ career choice had an impact on his family, including his wife Jenny, who was described as “strong and fiercely loyal.”

This was one of Banks’ first major television roles. She previously starred in Showtime’s “City on a Hill,” and has also appeared in “Gaslight,” “Roar” and “Mad Men.”

Dennis Quaid as Shirley Lynn

Dennis Quaid in “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves” (left); right, 2023.
Lauren Smith/Paramount+; Jason Kebbin/Getty Images

Lynn was a deputy U.S. Marshal and likely crossed paths with Reeves during his roundup of outlaws.

Quaid has had an extensive career in Hollywood, starring in major films including “The Big Easy,” “Wyatt Earp,” “The Parent Trap” and “Yours, Mine and Ours.”

Shay Whigham as slave owner George Reeves

Shea Whigham in “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” (L, R, 2023)
Emerson Miller/Paramount+; Brian Bader/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

A biography of the real-life Reeves mentions that he may have served under his master’s son George during the Civil War, fighting for the Confederacy while a slave. Whigham’s slave-owner character appears to be based on the real-life George Reeves.

Whigham previously starred on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and appeared in two seasons of HBO’s “Perry Mason.” He also played FBI agent Michael Stasiak in several Fast and Furious movies.

Barry Pepper as Esau Pierce

Barry Pepper in “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves,” left; right, 2019.
Emerson Miller/Paramount+; Marco Piraccini/Archivio Marco Piraccini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

In the show, Pierce is the leader of the 1st Cherokee Rifles. The Rifles were a real-life Confederate army during the Civil War.

Pepper has appeared in Western films such as “True Grit” and “The Lone Ranger.” In 2011, he also played Robert F. Kennedy in the History Channel miniseries about the Kennedy family.

Demi Singleton as Sally Reeves

Demi Singleton in “The Enforcer: Bass Reeves” (left); right, 2023.
Emerson Miller/Paramount+; Monica Speer/WireImage

Sally is the daughter of Bass and Jenny.

Singleton got her big break playing Serena Williams in the 2021 film “King Richard,” which followed the athlete’s rise to superstardom. She also appeared in the Epix series “The Godfather of Harlem.”

Lonnie Chavez as Arthur Mayberry

Lonnie Chavis in “Lawmen: Bass Reeves,” left; right, 2022.
Emerson Miller/Paramount+; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Chavez plays Arthur who is obsessed with Bass Reeves’ daughter Sally.

Chavez previously starred on NBC’s “This Is Us,” as well as “White Famous” and “Friends.”

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