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Charles S. Dutton

Charles S. Dutton

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Also Known As: Charles Dutton, Charles Stanley Dutton, Charles Dutton (Roc) Died:
Born: January 30, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA Profession: actor, director, producer, boxer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he seemed destined to spend his life going in and out of prison, actor Charles S. Dutton managed to turn himself around to become an acclaimed and award-winning performer who excelled both on stage and on screen. Dutton first won fame for his Tony-nominated performance in August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (1985) while broadening his appeal with a memorable supporting turn in "Crocodile Dundee II" (1988). But it was his starring role on the sitcom "Roc" (Fox, 1991-94) that propelled him to stardom. Critically acclaimed because of its shift from sitcom to more dramatic themes, "Roc" entered television history as being the first show since the late 1950s to air an entire season live. Meanwhile, Dutton had a major supporting role in the much maligned "Alien3" (1992) before settling into a series of guest appearances and made-for-television movies following the cancelation of "Roc" in 1994. He also stepped into the director's chair to helm the widely hailed social drama, "The Corner" (HBO, 2000), a six-part miniseries that chronicled the lives of people affected by drugs and gang violence in West Baltimore. Sutton added the feature "Against the Ropes" (2004) to his directing résumé while...

Though he seemed destined to spend his life going in and out of prison, actor Charles S. Dutton managed to turn himself around to become an acclaimed and award-winning performer who excelled both on stage and on screen. Dutton first won fame for his Tony-nominated performance in August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (1985) while broadening his appeal with a memorable supporting turn in "Crocodile Dundee II" (1988). But it was his starring role on the sitcom "Roc" (Fox, 1991-94) that propelled him to stardom. Critically acclaimed because of its shift from sitcom to more dramatic themes, "Roc" entered television history as being the first show since the late 1950s to air an entire season live. Meanwhile, Dutton had a major supporting role in the much maligned "Alien3" (1992) before settling into a series of guest appearances and made-for-television movies following the cancelation of "Roc" in 1994. He also stepped into the director's chair to helm the widely hailed social drama, "The Corner" (HBO, 2000), a six-part miniseries that chronicled the lives of people affected by drugs and gang violence in West Baltimore. Sutton added the feature "Against the Ropes" (2004) to his directing résumé while appearing in a variety of screen projects like the independent "Honeydripper" (2007) and the special effects-laden "Legion" (2010), proving that Sutton was as versatile as he was talented.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
  Against the Ropes (2004) Director
4.
  First Time Felon (1997) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Comeback Dad (2014)
3.
 Bad Ass (2012)
4.
5.
6.
 Legion (2010)
7.
 Fame (2009)
8.
 Racing For Time (2008)
9.
 American Violet (2008)
10.
 Express, The (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
While incarcerated, founded theater workshops
:
Performed stand-up comedy with partner Reg E. Cathy in New York
1984:
Made professional stage acting debut in Broadway's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"; received Tony Award nomination
1986:
Feature film debut, "No Mercy"
1988:
Played a killer opposite Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey in NBC miniseries "The Murder of Mary Phagan"
1990:
Starred on Broadway in August Wilson's play "The Piano Lesson"
1991:
Starred as a Baltimore garbageman on Fox sitcom "Roc" (his real nickname); executive produced final season (1993-94)
1991:
Formed Roc Productions to develop and produce film and TV projects
1992:
Co-starred with Sigourney Weaver in "Alien3," directed by David Fincher
1993:
Debuted as an executive producer on HBO's "Laurel Avenue"
1993:
Delivered memorable role in "Rudy," starring Sean Astin
1994:
Co-starred in Keenen Ivory Wayans' "A Low Down Dirty Shame"
1995:
Earned critical praise for reprising his stage role in CBS adaptation of "The Piano Lesson"; earned Emmy nomination
1995:
Co-starred in feature remake of "Cry, the Beloved Country"
1996:
Portrayed the local sheriff in film adaptation of John Grisham's novel "A Time to Kill"
1996:
Joined ensemble cast for Spike Lee's "Get on the Bus," about a group traveling to the Million Man March in Washington, DC
1997:
Made directorial debut with HBO film "First Time Felon"
1997:
Co-starred in thriller "Mimic"
1998:
Garnered praise for his turn as a righteous policeman whose son is accused of murder in "Blind Faith" (Showtime)
1998:
Guest starred on HBO's prison drama "Oz" as a government official investigating a riot and murder; earned Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor
1999:
Played a civil rights advocate and minister in NBC miniseries "The '60s"
1999:
Offered terrific turn as caretaker for a family of Southern eccentrics in Robert Altman directed "Cookie's Fortune"
2000:
Helmed acclaimed HBO miniseries "The Corner"
2000:
Starred as a desperate man who holds a jury hostage in TNT movie "Deadlocked"
2000:
Portrayed jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in HBO biopic "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story"
2002:
Co-starred in Showtime true-life drama "Conviction"
2002:
Co-starred with Andre Braugher in Showtime feature "10,000 Black Men Named George"
2003:
Played memorable role on CBS's "Without A Trace"; earned Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor
2003:
Played Halle Berry's ill-fated husband in psychological thriller "Gothika"
2004:
Directed and starred in "Against the Ropes," starring Meg Ryan as female boxing promoter Jackie Kallen
2004:
Co-starred with Johnny Depp in "The Secret Window," directed by David Koepp
2005:
Landed recurring role on season two of Showtime's "The L Word" as Dr. Benjamin Bradshaw
2005:
Co-starred on short-lived CBS science fiction series "Threshold"
2006:
Guest starred on "House M.D." (Fox) as the father of Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps)
2006:
Appeared on "Sleeper Cell: American Terror" as the father of undercover FBI agent Darwyn Al-Sayeed; also directed episodes; earned a nomination from the Directors Guild of America
2007:
Joined ensemble cast for John Sayles' "Honeydripper"
2009:
Played an acting teacher in feature remake of "Fame"
2009:
Co-starred with Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid in apocalyptic thriller "Legion"
2011:
Guest starred on FX miniseries "American Horror Story"
2013:
Co-starred with Common in drama feature "LUV"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Towson State University: Towson , Maryland - 1978
Yale University: New Haven , Connecticut - 1978 - 1980

Notes

"Several people asked me, how did I make it? How did I change? The only formula I could think of had nothing to do the with rehabilitation. I could have learned 50,000 trades in prison and come right back out and robbed and stole and cheated. But really, the bottom line is discovering one's humanity and realizing we are only on this planet for a couple of seconds in the large scheme of things." --Charles S. Dutton quoted in Los Angeles Times Calendar, August 25, 1991.

"I was doing this play, 'Day of Absence' by Douglas Turner Ward. It was the first play I ever did. I directed and acted in it in prison. There were 1,500 inmates, and we did two shows, 750 guys for each. And I remember that in the middle of a speech I paused for a second and looked out in the audience, at the sea of men, and I said to myself, 'I've got these guys.' It was a real sense of power that hit me. These guys were transfixed, suspended, staring at me on a stage. It was something about the recognition of me that night that made me think that I had what it took to be an actor. I didn't know the craft, I didn't know the technique. But in looking at their eyes, I said: 'Something's going on here. I think I might have found what I was born to do.'" --Charles S. Dutton quoted in The New York Times, April 19, 1990.

"I still have the wild man in me. And by putting out 100 percent, acting is the only way I know to leave this life for three hours every night. So now I live dangerously, but only on the stage. Like any actor, I can get frustated in my work. But sometimes in that frustation, I forget that I'm giving pleasure to the audience. I forget that it's the theater that changed my life." --Charles S. Dutton 7 Days, April 18, 1990.

His nickname 'Roc' comes from childhood rock fights in Baltimore. "A gang of kids would line up on one side of the street and another gang on the other side and we would throw rocks at one another. It was like a snowball fight with rocks. I tried to lead the charge with a whole handful of rocks and I would always get hit in the head. So when I was about 9 or 10, my friends started calling me Rockhead." --Charles S. Dutton in The New York Times, April 19, 1990.

"As he first revealed as Levee, the discordant trumpet player in Mr. Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," the burly, broadly smiling Mr. Dutton is a force of nature on stage: a human cyclone. ... Here is that rare actor who can announce that he's on fire and make an audience believe he might actually burn down the theater." --Frank Rich in his review of "The Piano Lesson" in The New York Times, April 17, 1990.

On his role in "Cookie's Fortune", Dutton told the Daily News (April 1, 1999): "I got a role on screen that's completely different from what I'm always being offered. I'm playing a guy who's totally devoid of anger, totally devoid of rage. I can be vulnerable; I can do the kind of acting that I used to do in the theater."

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Debbi Morgan. Actor. Married in December 1989; starred on "All My Children", "Generations" and "The City"; divorced in 1994.

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Barbara Dutton. Younger; recovering cocaine addict; Dutton hired her as a consultant on "The Corner".

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