- Was captain of his high-school football, basketball and track teams.
- While at Yale School of Drama, landed a role in August Wilson's Fences, and later reprised it on Broadway.
- Met future wife Angela Bassett at Yale.
- Made his film debut in 1987's Hamburger Hill.
- Coauthored with his wife Friends: A Love Story, about their relationship and struggle to become parents.
- Made guest appearances on the final season of ER, acting alongside his wife.
- Supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- 1987, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
- 1991, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
- 2013, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Play): Winner
- 1999, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Male Lead: Nominee
- 2016, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie: Winner
- 2016, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Winner
- 2017, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 2016, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series: Nominee
- Bronwyn Golden Vance — Daughter
- Angela Bassett — Wife
- Cecilie Vance — Sister
- Slater Josiah Vance — Son
- Conroy Vance — Father
- Leslie Vance — Mother
- Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States (BA in History, 1982); Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (MFA in Drama, 1986)