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