On January 24th, 1984, Marcus D. Spencer was born third of six sons in Oakland, CA to Arlette (Tarvins) and Malichi Spencer. Although he was born to Arlette and Malichi, Marcus was raised by his step-grandmother, Erma Tarvins. At the tender age of 3 months, Marcus was put in to foster care and became a ward of the court. It was then, grandma Erma took him in and raised him. Marcus learned the importance of education as he grew up In Oakland, Richmond and Albany, CA. All through his school career he earned good grades. Marcus earned good enough grades to make it to UC Berkeley where he majored in Social work. During his time at UC Berkeley, Marcus played semi-pro football for the Bay Area Assassins out of Richmond, CA where he won a championship in his first year.
Marcus moved in with his mom and his youngest brother Michael when he was 16. Due to some family issues, Marcus left his moms' care at 17 to move to Sacramento with his brother (half brother) Victor and his family. Sacramento is where Marcus spent his senior year in high school. During his senior year he learned that his biological mother was ill and had little time to live. Marcus gave up a scholarship to play college football so he could move in with his mother whose health was declining due to emphysema. He also took on the task of caring for his younger brother Michael. In 2002 Marcus graduated from high school, became a manager at IHop and buried his father. 2006 changed Marcus' life in many ways. His mother, Arlette passed away. Being just 22 years old Marcus took sole custody of his 13 year old brother Michael. During the same year Marcus was blessed with the birth of his daughter, Mariah J. Spencer. 2006 was also when Marcus D. Spencer decided to try his hand at acting. Marcus had started off earlier at the age of 16 doing print ads for Pepsi and Sobe, but in 2006 his first big break came with working on the set of Pursuit of Happyness with Academy award nominee Will Smith. Standing 6'1" tall, weighing almost 300 pounds, Smith took a liking to Marcus' big personality; after checking him out he dubbed him 'Big Spence'. Months after Pursuit of Happyness had wrapped Marcus landed his first Guest Star role as a bodyguard in the San Francisco based show, The Evidence (Orlando Jones).
The name 'Big Spence' stuck with Marcus. His acting career took off and by 2008 he was a full time SAG actor. In 2009 Marcus started exhibiting his writing skills; in 2010 he started producing, formed his own company,"Touch The Heart Productions" and also had his son. In 2010 Big Spence was awarded the 'Be That Kid Award' for his contributions to helping and mentoring Bay Area youth. By 2013 Marcus D. Spencer decided he wanted to try his hand at directing. Having previously written two films, "The American Dream" and "Milk Money", Marcus put pen to paper once again and wrote the screenplay, "Set Me Free". "Set Me Free" was inspired by the many facets of Marcus' own life. The film was a big success having landed Marcus' several awards including 'Best Dramatic Feature', 'Best Narrative Feature', 'U.S. Rising Director' and several 'Best Director' awards.
Meanwhile Spencer has never stopped acting. Marcus has continued to be cast on several T.V. shows such as "Californification", "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", "Key and Peele", "I (Almost) Got Away With It" and others. Marcus has a strong film resume as well, having worked along side such talent as Forest Whitaker, Al Pacino, Vince Vaughn, Omari Hardwick and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Marcus D. Spencer resides in Los Angeles, CA but continues to support Bay Area charities such as G.L.I.D.E. and 21st Century Mentors.
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