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Dr. Valentin Narcisse is a fictional character from the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire, portrayed by Jeffrey Wright. He is a prominent and highly-educated underworld figure based out of Harlem, New York and a nationalist orator, active in the Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association.

Valentin Narcisse
Boardwalk Empire character
First appearance"Resignation"
Last appearance"Eldorado"
Portrayed byJeffrey Wright


Narcisse was based on a couple of different figures. The mixture of condescension and intellect was influenced by Narcissus from Greek mythology. He was also inspired by Casper Holstein, a prominent New York mobster involved in the Harlem "numbers rackets" during the Harlem Renaissance.[1]


Narcisse was the driving force behind the downfall of the few sympathetic characters on Boardwalk Empire, particularly Albert "Chalky" White and Daughter Maitland. His motivations often stem from the need to be right or the thrill of antagonizing people, and is one of the few characters to never be shown in a good light. Although Wright joined the cast during the show's penultimate season, his character is often cited as one of the series's best villains.[2][3]


  1. ^ Moaba, Alex (2013-09-05). "'Boardwalk Empire': Jeffrey Wright On The Real-Life Racketeer Who Inspired His Season 4 Character (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  2. ^ "10 Wicked 'Boardwalk Empire' Villains". Rolling Stone. November 21, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2018. The most dangerous villains are also the most charismatic, and newcomer Dr. Valentin Narcisse is no exception. The Trinidad native and Marcus Garvey supporter presents himself as an early proponent of African-American civil rights, but in reality, he's a merciless killer who deeply lacks any sort of empathy. He brutally lynched a bigoted white woman who displeased him, and in one of the season's biggest twists, it's revealed that Narcisse murdered Daughter Maitland's prostitute mother before taking the eventual blues singer under his wing. Narcisse's grasp of Atlantic City's Northside – and his subsequent war with Chalky White – has been one of the most riveting story lines of the season, and the Season Four finale is certain to be a real nail-biter as the two men prepare for a showdown.
  3. ^ Colter Walls, Seth (September 16, 2013). "Boardwalk Empire Recap: The Libyan Man". Vulture. Retrieved September 25, 2018. External link in |website= (help)

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