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Roscoe Orman
Roscoe orman 2007.jpg
Orman at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
Roscoe Hunter Orman

(1944-06-11) June 11, 1944 (age 78)
Other names
  • Roscoe H. Orman
  • Roscoe H Orman
  • Actor
  • writer
  • artist
  • child advocate
Years active 1962–present
Notable work
Sesame Street
Kimberley LaMarque Orman
(m. 2012)
Partner(s) Sharon Orman (1970–2010)
Children 4

Roscoe Hunter Orman (born June 11, 1944) is an American actor, writer, artist and child advocate, best known for playing Gordon Robinson, one of the central human characters on Sesame Street.

Early life and career

While a student at New York City's High School of Art and Design, Orman made his theatrical debut in the 1962 topical revue "If We Grow Up." He was an early member of the Free Southern Theater in New Orleans for two years in the mid-1960s and a founding member of Robert Macbeth's New Lafayette Theatre in Harlem, NY, where he both acted in and directed several plays by NLT's playwright-in-residence, Ed Bullins. His many other stage appearances have included roles in "Julius Caesar" and "Coriolanus" at Joseph Papp's Public Theater, the Broadway production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Fences", Manhattan Theatre Club's stagings of Richard Wesley's "The Sirens", "The Last Street Play", and "The Talented Tenth", and Matt Robinson's one-man play The Confessions of Stepin Fetchit at the American Place Theatre. Orman is the recipient of two Audelco Theatre Awards and a five-time nominee.

He made his feature film debut in the title role of Universal Studios' 1974 drama Willie Dynamite and has since appeared in F/X, Striking Distance, New Jersey Drive, Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird, Twilight's Last Gleaming, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Holiday Rush, and "You Can't Take My Daughter". His television credits include work on All My Children, Kojak, Sanford and Son, Cosby, Sex and the City, The Wire, Law & Order, and Law and Order: SVU. He appeared in the Garry Trudeau/Amazon streaming production Alpha House and the HBO mini-series The Night Of.

Orman joined the Sesame Street cast in 1974, becoming the third actor to play Gordon (after Matt Robinson, 1969–72, and Hal Miller, 1972–74).

In June 2006, Orman's memoir, Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of An Actor, was released. In September 2007, his children's book Ricky and Mobo was released.

On October 8, 2008, he became the Chief Storyteller of (a service of, a website for parents, teachers, and children to connect with one another and download and listen to audiobooks on iPods, MP3 players, and computers. In this role, Orman narrates audiobooks and communicates with children, parents and teachers online and at community, literacy and library events, lectures and conferences, and via other media to encourage the use of audiobooks to help build an interest in reading and develop literacy skills. He has said, “When Sesame Street began, television was a new and even controversial medium. But we showed how that technology, if used correctly, could become a powerful learning tool...I see the same kind of opportunity emerging today as parents and educators increasingly view iPods with skepticism. With, I believe we can help turn these players into magnificent storytellers, tools for learning, and a way to promote a lifelong love of stories and language.”

His new role was announced at a community event at The Educational Alliance Boys & Girls Club in New York City, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office commended Orman's life work and willingness to embrace new technology to help encourage children to read books, by naming October 8, 2008, AudibleKids Day in New York City.

In 2016, his contract with Sesame Street was not renewed, as part of Sesame's Workshop's retooling of the series, but the organization said that Orman would continue to represent it at public events. He returned to play Gordon in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration as well as a couple of YouTube videos released in 2018, a 2019 CNN town hall, Coming Together: Standing Up To Racism alongside former Sesame Street cast member Sonia Manzano, and a TV special released the same year, "The Power of We", also about racism.

Personal life

Orman has five children with his former partner Sharon Orman, and is the grandfather of eight. His son Miles Orman played Gordon and Susan's adopted son Miles Robinson on Sesame Street from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. He and his wife, Kimberley LaMarque Orman, reside in New Jersey.


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Willie Dynamite Willie
1974–2016 Sesame Street Gordon Robinson 253 episodes
1975 Sanford and Son Al Robinson Episode: "Bank on This"
1976 All My Children Tyrone
1977 Kojak Lieutenant Connors Episode: "The Condemned"
Insight Body Guard Episode: "Leroy"
1978 Christmas Eve on Sesame Street Gordon Robinson Television film
1979 Julius Caesar Marcus Brutus Direct-to-video
Coriolanus Adrian
1983 Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gordon Robinson Television film
1985 Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird
1986 F/X Captain Wallenger
1989 A Man Called Hawk Malcolm Episode: "Hear No Evil"
Hard Time on Planet Earth Captain Ralston Episode: "Stranger in a Strange Land"
1991 Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake Gordon Robinson Television film
1993 Striking Distance Sid, Eddie Eiler's Partner
Sesame Street Stays Up Late! Gordon Robinson Television film
1995 New Jersey Drive Judge
1996 Elmo Saves Christmas Gordon Robinson Direct-to-video
1997 Drive by: A Love Story Pops Short film
1998 Elmopalooza! Gordon Robinson Television film
1999 The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland Gordon Robinson
Cosby Mr. Mason Episode: "Book 'Em, Griff O"
2000 Lifeline Narrator (voice) Episode: "D.C. Children's Hospital"
2001–2004 Law & Order Mr. Cameron, Trial Judge Alan Kiley 2 episodes
2002 Sex and the City Train Waiter Episode: "The Big Journey"
2006 30 Days Jo Jo
2007 Coney Island Boss Short film
2008 The Wire Officer Oscar Requer 2 episodes
Compliments of the Serpent Mike Stanton Short
2008–2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jerome Howard, Bryant Davis 2 episodes
2011 Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life Dr. Grady
2012–2013 Little Children, Big Challenges Gordon Robinson 2 episodes
2013 Alpha House Randall Episode: "Hippo Issues"
2016 The Night Of Jury Foreman Episode: "The Call of the Wild"
2018 Blue Bloods Ethan Goodwin Episode: "Second Chances"
All These Small Moments Dr. Rogers
New Amsterdam Rodger Conway Episode: "Three Dots"
2019 Holiday Rush Reginald Miller
2020 You Can't Take My Daughter McDevitt Television film
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