Durham actor to appear on CBS drama ‘Pure Genius’

Ward Horton, who grew up in the Triangle, now appears on the CBS drama "Pure Genius," which debuts Thursday night.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A man with a past in the Triangle will debut in a major role on a CBS drama this evening.

Ward Horton grew up in Hillsborough and went to Durham Academy and Wake Forest University.

Now, he plays Dr. Scott Strauss on “Pure Genius,” which premieres on CBS North Carolina Thursday at 10 p.m.

On the show, Strauss s part of a team of professionals at a new state-of-the-art hospital with an ultra-modern approach to medicine.

“Pure Genius” follows a hospital built by billionaire James Bell in a bid to revolutionize health care and treat the most challenging medical mysteries.

The show also stars Dermot Mulroney and Augustus Prew.

Before Horton hit it big in Hollywood, he was on the stage in Durham Academy’s auditorium.

“Like a lot of kids I think he was just dipping his toe in and doing it for social reasons and found a real love for it,” said Michael Ulku-Steiner, the head of school at Durham Academy.

Ulku-Steiner recalled Horton as smart, outgoing and athletic — the kind of student who had plenty of reasons to be cocky, but never was.

Horton’s sister, Ashley Freedman, says it wasn’t until her brother settled into a career in business that he made up his mind about acting.

“He realized that he was not passionate about what he was doing at the time and he realized it was now or never, and he needed to pursue his true passion,” she said.

Ulku-Steiner said it’s great to see an alumnus succeed.

“He’s getting his moment in the sun now, but he’s been working a long time for this,” he said. “He’s been auditioning and failing and unemployed and trying again and doing all kinds of work leading to this moment. And so it’s really exciting to see it.”

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