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Robert Hooks
Born Robert Dean Hooks
April 18, 1937 (1937-04-18) (age 72)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Other name(s) Bobby Hooks

Robert Dean "Bobby" Hooks (born April 18, 1937) is an American actor of film, television and stage. With a career as a producer and political activist to his credit, he is most recognizable to the public for his over 100 roles in film and television. He is the father of actor/director/ producer Kevin Hooks.




Early life

Hooks, youngest of five children, was born in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C., the son of Bertha (née Ward), a seamstress, and Edward Hooks, who worked on the railroad track, where he died.[1][2]


Hooks has been regarded, variously, as a gifted artist who broke the color barriers in stage, film and television before the term “colorblind casting” even existed, and a leading man when there were no African-American matinee idols. He won a New York Drama Critics Award for his Broadway debut performance in the original production of A Raisin in the Sun — the very show that inspired him to move to New York after seeing its out-of-town Philadelphia tryout. He continued to originate roles on the New York stage in such classics as Dutchman, A Taste of Honey and Where's Daddy? for which he won the Theatre World Award. He was the first African American lead on a television drama, the original N.Y.P.D..

Hooks is a founder of two significant black theatre companies: New York’s Group Theatre Workshop, the DC Black Repertory Company, and co-founder of the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC).[3] The NEC is credited with the launch of the careers of many major black artists of all disciplines, while creating a body of performance literature over the last thirty years, providing the backbone of African-American theatrical classics.

Hook was nominated for a Tony for his lead role in the musical, Hallelujah, Baby!, has received both the Pioneer Award and the NAACP Image Award for Lifetime Achievement, and has been inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. He also won an Emmy for his PBS special Voices of Our People.

Significant roles for which Hooks is known include Reeve Scott, in Hurry Sundown, Mr T. in the 1972 film Trouble Man, grandpa Gene Donovan in the movie Seventeen Again in 2000, and Fleet Admiral Morrow in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Soap opera fans will also likely recognize him for his portrayal as Doctor Walcott in the 1980s television series Dynasty.


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