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Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 2, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Evansville, Indiana, USA Profession: actor, singer, director, college professor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This tenured faculty member of Rutgers University's drama department enjoyed a varied performing career singing jazz, acting in Shakespeare and appearing in occasional regional and off-Broadway ventures when wide popular success on TV in the 1980s arrived as he approached middle age. With his booming voice, piercing gaze and forthright manner, Brooks made a galvanizing sidekick of sorts for Robert Urich as the bald-pated, rather mysterious Hawk on the popular ABC detective drama, "Spenser: For Hire" (1985-88). When that show went off the air Brooks continued for a season with his own spinoff series, "A Man Called Hawk" (1989).Brooks's stage career augmented his appearances on the small screen. His proud, imposing presence made him an excellent choice to play controversial actor-singer Paul Robeson in several biographical dramas, as well as a role Robeson himself was famous for, Othello. When he agreed to play Commander Benjamin Sisko on the third "Star Trek" series, "Deep Space Nine", Brooks knew that he would be subject to careful scrutiny from scores of Trekkers who, for varying reasons, had idolized William Shatner and Patrick Stewart as other, earlier Trek commanders. Brooks, though, deftly...

This tenured faculty member of Rutgers University's drama department enjoyed a varied performing career singing jazz, acting in Shakespeare and appearing in occasional regional and off-Broadway ventures when wide popular success on TV in the 1980s arrived as he approached middle age. With his booming voice, piercing gaze and forthright manner, Brooks made a galvanizing sidekick of sorts for Robert Urich as the bald-pated, rather mysterious Hawk on the popular ABC detective drama, "Spenser: For Hire" (1985-88). When that show went off the air Brooks continued for a season with his own spinoff series, "A Man Called Hawk" (1989).

Brooks's stage career augmented his appearances on the small screen. His proud, imposing presence made him an excellent choice to play controversial actor-singer Paul Robeson in several biographical dramas, as well as a role Robeson himself was famous for, Othello. When he agreed to play Commander Benjamin Sisko on the third "Star Trek" series, "Deep Space Nine", Brooks knew that he would be subject to careful scrutiny from scores of Trekkers who, for varying reasons, had idolized William Shatner and Patrick Stewart as other, earlier Trek commanders. Brooks, though, deftly brought to bear his own brand of quiet authority to Sisko, in charge of a remote outer space outpost.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 15 Minutes (2001) Leon Jackson
2.
 Africa's Elephant Kingdom (1998) Narrator
3.
 Big Hit, The (1998) Paris
4.
 American History X (1998) Sweeney
5.
 Spenser: A Savage Place (1995) Hawk
7.
 Spenser: A Judas Goat (1994) Hawk
8.
 Spenser: Ceremony (1993) Hawk
9.
 Roots: The Gift (1988) Cletus Moyer
10.
 Uncle Tom's Cabin (1987) Uncle Tom
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1979:
Played actor-singer Paul Robeson in an off-Broadway production dealing with blacklisting in the 1950s, "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?"
1982:
Premiered on-man show "Paul Robeson"
1984:
Played the title role in "Solomon Northrup's Odyssey", a PBS drama based on the writings of a mid-19th century American slave
1985:
Played Hawk on the ABC detective series, "Spenser: For Hire"
1987:
Played Uncle Tom in a made-for-Showtime TV adaptation, "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
1988:
Again played Paul Robeson when he starred Off-Broadway in the biographical drama, "Paul Robeson"
:
Hosted three installments of "Trackdown", reality-based TV specials
1989:
Recreated the role of Hawk on the ABC spinoff series, "A Man Called Hawk", co-produced by Avery Brooks Productions
:
Starred in the title role of "Othello" in a production of the Shakespeare Festival at the Folger Theater in Washington DC
:
Played Commander Benjamin Sisko on the syndicated sci-fi series, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"; also helmed episodes
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Oberlin College: -

Notes

Brooks on one of his best known characterizations, that of Hawk on TV's "Spenser: For Hire" and its spinoff series, "A Man Called Hawk": "While playing Hawk, I was very conscious of playing a character that by definition was mythical in dimension. If you look beyond the superficiality of wearing sunglasses at night, the gun and the big car, you have the makings of the consummate blues hero." (From press release material for the TV-movie, "Spenser: Ceremony")

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Vicki Brooks. College administrator. Works as an assistant dean at Rutgers University.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Samuel Brooks. Gospel singer. Sang with the gospel group Wings Over Jordan.
mother:
Eva Lynda Brooks. Organist, pianist, choral conductor. Held master's degree in music from Northwestern University; one of the first African-American women to earn such a degree.
daughter:
Ayana Brooks.
son:
Cabral Brooks.
child:
Asante Brooks.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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