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Overview for Charles S. Dutton
Charles S. Dutton

Charles S. Dutton


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: January 30, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA Profession: Cast ...


"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."

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