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Charles S. Dutton
Charles Dutton 2000.jpg
Dutton in 2000
Charles Stanley Dutton

(1951-01-30) January 30, 1951 (age 73)
Years active 1984–2015
(m. 1989; div. 1994)

Charles Stanley Dutton (born January 30, 1951) is a retired American actor and director. He is best known for his roles in the television series Roc (1991–1994) and the television film The Piano Lesson (1995), the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination. His other accolades include three Primetime Emmy Awards and three NAACP Image Awards.

Dutton has also appeared in many feature films such as Alien 3 (1992), Rudy (1993), Menace II Society (1993), A Time to Kill (1996), Cookie's Fortune (1999), and Gothika (2003).

Early life

Charles Stanley Dutton was born on January 30, 1951, on the east side of Baltimore, Maryland. His father was a truck driver and his parents divorced when he was four. He grew up in Baltimore's Latrobe Homes public housing project. In his youth, Dutton dropped out of school before finishing middle school. He had a short-lived stint as an amateur boxer with the nickname "Roc", a nickname derived from "Rockhead", due to rock throwing battles which took place during Dutton's childhood.

In 1967, Dutton got into a fight that resulted in the death of a man Dutton claimed had attacked him with a knife.

Prison convictions, discovering acting, and education

After the knife fight, Dutton was sentenced to five years in prison. Out on parole after 18 or 20 months, he was arrested on robbery charges. He was sent to the Maryland Penitentiary, near his boyhood home, for three more years. A fight with a guard added on another eight years. Having enjoyed an anthology of black playwrights, Dutton petitioned the warden to start a drama group for the winter talent show. The warden agreed on the condition that Dutton go back to school and get his GED. Dutton accomplished that and eventually completed a two-year college program at Hagerstown Junior College (now Hagerstown Community College) in Hagerstown, Maryland, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in 1976.

Dutton was paroled on August 20, 1976. After his release from prison, he enrolled in a drama major at Towson State University (now Towson University) in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Maryland, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978. After his time at Towson, Dutton earned a master's degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama in 1983.

Acting career

In 1984, Dutton made his Broadway debut in August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, winning a Theatre World Award and a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor. In 1988, Dutton played Leroy Brown in Crocodile Dundee II and a killer in the television miniseries The Murder of Mary Phagan opposite Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey. In 1990, Dutton earned a second Best Actor Tony nomination for his role in another Wilson play, The Piano Lesson. Dutton co-starred in Alien 3, the debut film of director David Fincher, then co-starred in 1993's Rudy. Other films he has appeared in include Get on the Bus; A Time to Kill; Cookie's Fortune; Cry, the Beloved Country; Surviving the Game; Menace II Society; Secret Window; and A Low Down Dirty Shame.

Dutton won Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy Awards in 2002 and 2003 for his roles in The Practice and Without a Trace. He was previously nominated in 1999 for his guest-starring role as Alvah Case in the HBO prison drama Oz in its second-season premiere episode. For this role, he was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Also in 1999, he starred in an ensemble cast in Aftershock: Earthquake in New York in which he played the Mayor of New York City. Dutton gained acclaim for his comedy show Roc shown on FOX television (but produced by HBO) from 1991 to 1994. His work in this role won him an NAACP Image Award. He co-starred in the popular but short-lived 2005 CBS science fiction series, Threshold.

In 2000, Dutton directed the HBO miniseries The Corner. The miniseries was close to his heart, for Dutton grew up on the streets of East Baltimore. It was adapted from The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood (Broadway Books, 1997) by David Simon (a reporter for the Baltimore Sun) and Ed Burns (a retired Baltimore homicide detective). The Corner won several Emmys in 2000, including Best Miniseries. Dutton won for his direction of the miniseries. He worked with Simon previously in a 1996 episode of Homicide: Life on the Street.

He starred as Montgomery County, Maryland Police Chief Charles Moose in the 2003 made-for-TV movie D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear, and appeared in Season 2 of The L Word. Dutton also appeared in "Another Toothpick," an episode of The Sopranos. He guest starred on House M.D. as the father of Dr Eric Foreman (Omar Epps), Also had a small role in First Time Felon alongside Omar Epps and on Sleeper Cell: American Terror as the father of undercover FBI agent Darwyn Al-Sayeed. He also directed two episodes of Sleeper Cell.

On October 9, 2007, HBO announced that it had arranged a deal with Dutton where he would develop, direct, and star in series and movies for the network. He also appeared in the 2007 film Honeydripper. On February 14, 2013, Dutton returned to TV in Zero Hour, playing the role of a priest. In 2013, Dutton played Detective Margolis in the horror film The Monkey's Paw.


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Cat's Eye Dom
1986 The Best of Times Doctor Death Uncredited
1988 No Mercy Sergeant Sandy
Crocodile Dundee II Leroy Brown
1989 Jacknife Jake
1990 Q&A Detective Sam Chapman
1991 Mississippi Masala Tyrone Williams
1992 Jack Reed: One of Our Own Lt. Charles Silvera
1992 Alien 3 Dillon Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
The Distinguished Gentleman Elijah Hawkins
1993 Menace II Society Mr. Butler
Rudy Fortune
1994 Surviving the Game Walter Cole
Foreign Student Howlin' Wolf
A Low Down Dirty Shame Sonny Rothmiller
1995 Cry, the Beloved Country John Kumalo
Seven Cop Uncredited
Nick of Time Huey
1996 A Time to Kill Sheriff Ozzie Walls
Get on the Bus George
1997 Mimic Officer Leonard Norton
1998 Black Dog Agent Allen Ford
1999 Cookie's Fortune Willis Richland Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Random Hearts Alcee
2002 D-Tox FBI Agent Chuck Hendricks
2003 Gothika Dr. Douglas Grey
2004 Against the Ropes Felix Reynolds Also director
Secret Window Ken Karsch
2005 The L.A. Riot Spectacular The Mayor
2007 Honeydripper Maceo
2008 The Third Nail Sydney Washington
American Violet Reverend Sanders
The Express: The Ernie Davis Story Willie Davis
2009 Fame Mr. James Dowd
2010 Legion Percy Walker
2012 Bad A** Panther
Least Among Saints George
The Obama Effect John Thomas
LUV Cofield
2013 The Monkey's Paw Detective Margolis
2014 Android Cop Mayor Jacobs
Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery Cookie
Comeback Dad Othell
2015 The Perfect Guy Roger Vaughn
Carter High Freddie James


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Miami Vice Lieutenant Pearson Episode: "The Prodigal Son"
1985 The Equalizer Abmennet Episode: "Bump and Run"
1986 Miami Vice Ed McCain Episode: "The Good Collar"
1986 Cagney & Lacey Mr. Johnson Episode: "The Marathon"
1986 Apology Asst. District Attorney Television movie
1988 The Murder of Mary Phagan Jim Conley Television movie
1991–1994 Roc Roc Emerson 72 episodes
1993 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Captain Jonas Cutter 2 episodes
1995 The Piano Lesson Boy Willie Television movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1995 Zooman Emmett Television movie
1996 Homicide: Life on the Street Elijah Sanborn Episode: "Prison Riot"
1998 Oz Professor Alva Case Episode: "The Tip"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
1998 Blind Faith Charles Williams Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York Mayor Bruce Lincoln Television movie
1999 The 60's Reverend Willie Taylor Television movie
2000 Deadlocked Jacob Doyle Television movie
2000 For Love or Country Dizzy Gillespie Television movie
2000 The Corner N/A Television movie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Director for a Movie
2001 Ed Reverend Carver Episode: "Valentine's Day"
2001 The Sopranos Officer Wilmore Episode: "Another Toothpick"
2001 The Practice Leonard Marshall Episode: "Killing Time"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2002 10,000 Black Men Named George Milton Webster Television movie
2002–2003 Without a Trace Chet Collins 2 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2003 D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear Chief Charles Moose Television movie
2004 Something the Lord Made William Thomas Television movie
2005 Mayday Admiral Randolf Hennings Television movie
2005 The L Word Dr. Benjamin Bradshaw 4 episodes
2005–2006 Threshold J.T. Baylock 13 episodes
2006–2007 House Rodney Foreman 2 episodes
2007 My Name Is Earl Reggie Episode: "Get a Real Job"
2008 Racing for Time Lt. Stack Television movie
2009 CSI: NY Talmadge Neville Episode: "Greater Good"
2010 Dark Blue Walter Shell Episode: "Shell Game"
2011 Law & Order: LA Reverend Davidson Episode: "Carthay Circle"
2011 Criminal Minds Tony Cole Episode: "The Bittersweet Science"
2011 American Horror Story: Murder House Detective Granger 2 episodes
2012 The Good Wife Pastor Damon Episode: "Blue Ribbon Panel"
2012–2014 Longmire Detective Fales 6 episodes
2013 Zero Hour Father Mickle 6 episodes
2014 The Following FBI Director Tom Franklin Episode: "The Messenger"
2015 Bessie William 'Pa' Rainey Television movie

See also

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