Happy birthday to The Walking Dead star Khary Payton

The Walking Dead actor Khary Payton celebrates his birthday on May 16.

It’s Khary Payton’s birthday and it’s time to celebrate the man who embodies Ezekiel’s now famous motto “And yet I smile.” The talented voice actor, Atlanta Falcons devotee and star of The Walking Dead is known for his brilliant smile and positive attitude in the face of adversity.

King Ezekiel has been to hell and back on The Walking Dead. Once the esteemed leader of the Kingdom with his loyal tiger Shiva at his side, his life was turned upside down during All Out War and the Kingdom ultimately suffered the most as the communities drifted apart in the war’s aftermath.

He lost his kingdom, his people, his tiger, his sons (let’s not forget Benjamin as well as Henry) and his marriage, and now his health is in jeopardy. Through it all, though, the King has lived by his now famous motto: “And yet I smile.”

Ezekiel’s story took a positive turn toward the end of season 10 when he met the enigmatic Princess (Paola Lazaro), whose energy and exuberance offered him some hope in the middle of dark times. There’s hope that when he, Yumiko and Eugene connect with the mysterious Stephanie, someone in her community might be able to help him with his health issues. (Can we say Team Goiter?)

We’ll be updating this space with birthday wishes as they roll in on Payton’s big day:

When he’s not working on The Walking Dead, Payton can be found doing work as a voice actor in a number of popular shows, including voicing Cyborg on Teen Titans Go and Wasabi on Big Hero 6: The Series. Fans will be able to see Payton back in action as Ezekiel when The Walking Dead season 10 finale airs later this year.

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Happy birthday, Khary Payton, from all of us at Undead Walking!

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