Luke Grimes

  • Born: January 21, 1984
  • Best Show: Yellowstone
  • Character: Kayce Dutton

Most of us know Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in the hit series Yellowstone. He is part of an ensemble cast that has taken over the collective consciousness of rabid Yellowstone fans, as they wait not-so-patiently for season five to resume. But Luke Grimes is more than just Yellowstone as you will soon see.


Luke Grimes does not enjoy a social media presence. You won’t see him on Twitter or Instagram and he certainly doesn’t TikTok. We should clarify, though – Luke Grimes does not have his own personal social media accounts, but he does make occasional appearances on his wife’s.

Let’s take that back. Luke Grimes makes more than just an occasional appearance on his wife’s, Bianca Rodrigues Grimes, Instagram account. He is actually on it quite often, which doesn’t appear to bother him in the least. It is apparent the type of loving relationship the couple has.


Luke Grimes was born on January 21, 1984, in Dayton, Ohio. He is the son of a pastor, which probably is the reason he went to Dayton Christian High School. After graduating in 2002, Grimes took his talents to New York City where he went on to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Luke Grimes in All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

Not long after Grimes finished his time at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he found his first role. It was in the Amber Heard-led horror film, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. It was not a positive ending for his character.

The first three years of Grimes’ career were a slow boil. He only appeared in three films in those years and didn’t get his big break until he joined the cast as Ryan Lafferty in the series Brothers & Sisters. After his time on the series ended, Grimes was seen in the TV movie Outlaw Country and then had a small part in the Liam Neeson action film, Taken 2.

Luke Grimes’ next big break came when he joined the sixth season of the vampire saga, True Blood. He appeared in six episodes and was going to become a regular for the series’ seventh season but ended up walking away from the part (more on that in a bit). He had a few more movie roles after True Blood before he became part of the Fifty Shades trilogy.


Luke Grimes

It’s a he-said, they-said affair when it comes to the reason for Luke Grimes’ departure from True Blood. Grimes joined the hit series as a recurring character, James, in the 2013 sixth season and was slotted to become part of the main cast for the seventh and final season. But after six episodes into season six, he left for reasons disputed by both sides.

According to Grimes’ publicist at the time, Craig Schneider, Grimes’ departure came down to a matter of timing. Schneider said in an email to BuzzFeed, “Luke always had an out clause as a means of pursuing other opportunities which arose in the form of features beginning with The Shangri-La Suite, followed by Fifty Shades of Grey, and most recently, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper with Bradley Cooper.”

Schneider then followed up his email with a phone call clarifying the situation. “It had nothing to do with storylines, which he had not been privy to at the time of that posting.”

Schneider, of course, is protecting his client after Grimes was apparently outed for walking away from True Blood because of the storyline that was going to have his character in a same-sex relationship.

Word from the HBO camp was that Luke Grimes left because he was uncomfortable playing a gay character. His season six appearance was setting up season seven. He was set to have a relationship with Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis).

According to sources around the set at that time, Grimes took issue with the first couple of scripts that he received for season seven as they were moving his character into a relationship with Lafayette. Grimes then countered by offering to continue playing James if Lafayette was attracted to him, but James would not respond in kind. He also did not want to appear in any same-sex scenes or same-sex kissing scenes.

This did not work for the producers of the series. The writers refused to back down from changing James and Lafayette’s storyline, so Luke Grimes made his choice – he walked away from the series. This did not sit well with Ellis and he did not hold back in his contempt.

“I mean, I can say I’m not going to make a comment, but I just think that, you’re an actor, you’re an actor on a show that’s ‘True Blood,'” Ellis told Vulture at the time. His interview came after the season seven premiere episode. It featured Lafayette and James’ first sex scene.

“We’re all sitting there going, ‘You quit your job because … really?’ I’m just… I’m over him. You quit your job because you don’t want to play a gay part? As if it’s … You know what? I’m going to stop talking.”

But here’s the thing, Ellis didn’t stop talking and he went on to bury Luke Grimes. First Ellis spoke about a documentary he was in (Damn Wonderful) that was about gay suicide. He discussed how Grimes’ refusal to play the role made a huge statement.

“If you have a child, if you have a son, and he comes out as gay, what are you going to do? If you have a daughter who comes out gay…? You just made a statement, and it has ripple effects.”

Then he went on to sound surprised that Luke Grimes would join the show in the first place. The series creator, Alan Ball, was openly gay and for the first five seasons of the show, there was plenty of sex and LGBT-friendly content. “I can’t approach a character with judgment,” said Ellis.

“I certainly can’t tell my boss, ‘I can act what I want to act, but not what you tell me to act,’ especially on a show where you come in, knowing what it is. I was like, ‘Okay… I guess?’ I just thought that, having just done the documentary, I didn’t like what he did because he made a statement, and sometimes you have to take responsibility.”


Luke Grimes in American Sniper

As mentioned, Luke Grimes joined the Fifty Shades trilogy playing Elliot Grey, Christian Grey’s (Jamie Dornan) adopted older brother. He also made an appearance in the 2017 sequel, Fifty Shades Darker and again in the 2018 third film, Fifty Shades Freed.

Before his first Fifty Shades film, Grimes was in the Clint Eastwood movie, American Sniper. It was the biographical drama about ex-soldier Chris Kyle who became known as the deadliest marksman in American military history. Kyle tragically lost his life when he was shot and killed at a shooting range by an Army veteran who had been suffering from PTSD.

In the film, Luke Grimes played Marc Lee, a real-life Navy Seal. Lee was the first soldier to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom as he was killed when his squad became embroiled in a fierce firefight. Lee not only provided cover for his fellow soldiers, but he drew enemy fire away from the soldiers not once, not twice, but three times. It was the third time that Lee lost his life.

Luke Grimes was seen in a few other features – Freeheld, Manhattan Undying, The Magnificent Seven, and Shangri-La Suite – before Kevin Costner and Taylor Sheridan came knocking on his door. It was for a little thing Costner and Sheridan were trying to get off the ground. You may have heard of it, the show is called Yellowstone.


From that very first scene with Kevin Costner as John Dutton, blood pouring down the side of his head, gun in hand, putting a horse out of its misery, Yellowstone was a hit. Luke Grimes is Kaycee Dutton, a former Navy SEAL who is John Dutton’s youngest son. Their relationship, as is John’s with all of his children, is contentious from the start.

Over the first four seasons, fans have come to truly love what Luke Grimes has done with Kaycee. It helps that the series’ writers have given him wonderful story after wonderful story and that the cast surrounding him that includes Costner, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, and Kelsey Asbille, who plays Grimes’ on-screen wife Monica, is nothing short of amazing. We are currently at the season five mid-season break and fans can’t wait for season 5 to once again resume.


Luke Grimes

If you take a closer look at Luke Grimes’ film and TV credits, you are going to see that there really isn’t all that much. There could be a good reason for it, though. Luke Grimes is also a musician.

Well before Grimes took on his role as Kaycee Dutton, he was actually a drummer in the alt-country band named Mitchells Folly. Their first album was released in 2008. But as Grimes recalls, moving from Ohio to New York City kind of put a damper on his drumming activities.

“The first place I moved after Ohio was New York City,” Grimes said via Whiskey Riff. “Having a drum set in New York is impossible—your neighbors would kill you—so I got a guitar and started teaching myself chords.”

Not only did Grimes teach himself chords, but he is also a bona fide songwriter with plans for a country music album. That isn’t all when it comes to Luke Grimes and his music. He is also scheduled to play at the Stagecoach Music Festival in late April 2023, alongside big country artists such as Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, and Chris Stapleton.

Yellowstone and country music, are two things that go together like biscuits and gravy. There is no word on if Luke Grimes will be picking up a guitar in the series, though it doesn’t appear Kaycee is the singing cowboy type. That doesn’t mean you won’t hear him on the soundtrack.

Professionally, Luke Grimes’ main focus remains with Yellowstone. He also continues his music career touring small venues throughout the country. Personally, life couldn’t be better for him and Bianca. And now, he is making a difference where it truly counts.

Grimes, an Ohio native, is teaming up with the Jeff Ruby Family for East Palestine residents after they were hit by the toxic train derailment. Grimes and the Jeff Ruby Family are bringing much-needed relief in the form of 250 water filtration systems. Not only that, but they will also be presenting East Palestine Mayor, Trent Conway, with a donation totaling over $100,000.

“Once I saw the news of the train derailment in East Palestine, I knew I had to do something to help the residents get back on their feet,” said Grimes, via Cleveland 19. “With this visit and the dedicated fundraising, we hope we are able to continue to shine a light on this devastating incident and inspire others to step up and help too.”

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