Charles S. Dutton
Dutton in 2000
Charles Stanley Dutton
January 30, 1951
(m. 1989;div. 1994)
Charles Stanley Dutton (born January 30, 1951) is an American actor, director and producer. 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), A Time to Kill (1996), Cookie's Fortune (1999), and Gothika (2003).
Dutton was born January 30, 1951, on the east side of Baltimore, Maryland. His father was a truck driver and his parents divorced when he was 4.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, when he was 16,Dutton got into a fight that resulted in the death of a man Dutton claimed had attacked him with a knife.
After the knife fight, Dutton pleaded guilty in 1967 to manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison, which he began serving at the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup, Maryland. Out on parole after 18 or 20 months,he was arrested on robbery and handgun charges. He was sentenced on the handgun violation and sent to the Maryland Penitentiary, near his boyhood home, for three more years. A fight with a guard added on another eight years. In reference to this, Dutton later said, "I got three years for killing a black man and eight for punching a white man."
During his prison term, Dutton was stabbed by another prisoner and nearly died. He became interested in radical movements and the Black Panther Party.
Several months into his second prison term, Dutton was sentenced to six days of solitary confinement for refusing to clean toilets.Prisoners were allowed to take one book and, unintentionally, he grabbed an anthology of black playwrights. He enjoyed the book so much that upon release from solitary he 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 as 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.
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 a Leroy Bronw in the Crocodile Dundee II and a killer in the television miniseries The Murder of Mary Phagan opposite Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey. In 1990, Charles earned a second Best Actor Tony nomination for his role in another Wilson play, The Piano Lesson . From 1991 to 1994, he starred in the Fox television series Roc . 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 , Crocodile Dundee II , 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, especially mid-run when the show was broadcast live. 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 appears 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) 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 .
|1988||No Mercy||Sergeant Sandy|
|Crocodile Dundee II||Leroy Brown|
|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|
|1994||Surviving the Game||Walter Cole|
|Foreign Student||Howlin' Wolf|
|A Low Down Dirty Shame||Sonny Rothmiller|
|1995||Cry, the Beloved Country||John Kumalo|
|Nick of Time||Huey|
|1996||A Time to Kill||Sheriff Ozzie Walls|
|Get on the Bus||George|
|1999||Cookie's Fortune||Willis Richland||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male|
|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|
|2008||The Third Nail||Sydney|
|American Violet||Reverend Sanders|
|The Express: The Ernie Davis Story||Willie Davis|
|2009||Fame||Mr. James Dowd|
|Least Among Saints||George|
|The Obama Effect||John Thomas|
|2013||The Monkey's Paw||Detective Margolis|
|2014||Android Cop||Mayor Jacobs|
|Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery||Cookie|
|2015||The Perfect Guy||Roger Vaughn|
|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
|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|
Edward Allen Harris is an American actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. His performances in Apollo 13 (1995), The Truman Show (1998), Pollock (2000) and The Hours (2002) earned him critical acclaim in addition to Academy Award nominations. Harris has appeared in several leading and supporting roles, such as in Knightriders (1981), Creepshow (1982), The Right Stuff (1983), The Abyss (1989), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), The Firm (1993), Nixon (1995), The Rock (1996), Stepmom (1998), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Enemy at the Gates (2001), A History of Violence (2005), Gone Baby Gone (2007), Snowpiercer (2013), Pain & Gain (2013), Run All Night (2015) and Mother! (2017). In addition to directing Pollock, Harris also directed the western Appaloosa (2008).
Howard Ellsworth Rollins Jr. was an American stage, film, and television actor. Howard Rollins was best known for his role as Andrew Young in 1978's King, George Haley in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, Coalhouse Walker Jr. in the 1981 film Ragtime, Captain Davenport in the 1984 film A Soldier's Story, and as Virgil Tibbs on the TV crime drama In the Heat of the Night. In the fall of 1996, Rollins was diagnosed with AIDS. Six weeks later, he died at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York at the age of 46, from complications from AIDS-related lymphoma. As was typical at the time, his publicist issued a statement claiming he suffered from lymphatic cancer. He was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in his native Baltimore.
"The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" is a topical song written by the American musician Bob Dylan. Recorded on October 23, 1963, the song was released on Dylan's 1964 album The Times They Are a-Changin' and gives a generally factual account of the killing of a 51-year-old African-American barmaid, Hattie Carroll, by the 24-year-old William Devereux "Billy" Zantzinger, a young man from a wealthy white tobacco farming family in Charles County, Maryland, and of his subsequent sentence to six months in a county jail, after being convicted of assault.
David Bowditch Morse is an American actor, singer, director and writer. He first came to national attention as Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison in the medical drama series St. Elsewhere (1982–88). He continued his film career with roles in The Negotiator, Contact, The Green Mile, Dancer in the Dark, Disturbia, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Rock and 12 Monkeys.
Roc is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on Fox from August 25, 1991 to May 10, 1994. The series stars Charles S. Dutton as Baltimore garbage collector Roc Emerson and Ella Joyce as his wife Eleanor, a nurse.
Keith George Faure, from Norlane, Victoria, is an Australian career criminal, convicted of multiple murders and manslaughters. He is currently serving life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 19 years for his role in two murders related to the Melbourne gangland killings. Faure's criminal history includes further convictions for armed robbery and breaking and entering.
The Corner is a 2000 HBO drama television miniseries based on the nonfiction book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood (1997) by David Simon and Ed Burns, and adapted for television by David Simon and David Mills. It premiered on HBO in the United States on April 16, 2000 and concluded its six-part run on May 21, 2000. The series was released on DVD on July 22, 2003. It won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries in 2000.
James Finley Ransone III is an American actor and musician. He is known for his roles as Ziggy Sobotka in the second season of the drama series The Wire, United States Marine Corps Cpl. Josh Ray Person in the war drama miniseries Generation Kill, The Deputy in the supernatural horror films Sinister (2012) and Sinister 2 (2015), and the adult Eddie Kaspbrak in It Chapter Two.
Dennis "Cutty" Wise is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actor Chad Coleman. Wise is a reformed criminal who sets up a boxing gym for neighborhood children. The name "Dennis Wise" was taken from an actual Baltimore contract killer who is serving a life sentence in prison. The nickname "Cutty" originates from the character serving time in the Maryland State Penitentiary in Jessup, Maryland, which was nicknamed "The Cut."
Roberto Guzmán Rosado, Jr., better known by his stage name Tru Life, is an American rapper. He was signed to Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records briefly but was incarcerated soon after. Before signing he had spent time with various other labels, featured on numerous songs and had already generated quite a buzz due to prominent beefs, appearances on mixtapes and Smack DVD.
King Gimp is a 1999 documentary that was awarded the 2000 Oscar for Best Short Subject Documentary and 2000 Peabody Award. King Gimp follows the life of artist Dan Keplinger of Towson, Maryland, who has cerebral palsy. Filmmakers Susan Hannah Hadary and William A. Whiteford, of the University of Maryland Video Press and Tapestry International Productions produced the film. Geof Bartz, A.C.E. edited the final version.
David Eugene Mills was an American journalist, writer and producer of television programs. He was an executive producer and writer of the HBO miniseries The Corner, for which he won two Emmy Awards, and the creator, executive producer, and writer of the NBC miniseries Kingpin.
Criminal Justice is a British television drama series produced by the BBC and first shown in 2008. Written by Peter Moffat, each five-episode series follows the journey of an individual through the justice system and was first broadcast over five successive nights on BBC One.
Jack Landau was an American stage and television director.
Marshall "Eddie" Conway is a former leading member of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party who in 1971 was convicted of murder of a police officer a year earlier, in a trial with many irregularities. In 2014 he was released on parole, after an appellate court ruled that his jury had been given improper instructions.
Uzoamaka Nwanneka "Uzo" Aduba is a Nigerian-American actress. She is known for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black (2013–2019), for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015. She is one of only two actors to win an Emmy Award in both the comedy and drama categories for the same role, the other being Ed Asner for the character Lou Grant.
On September 4, 2013, one student was killed and three others were wounded in a stabbing attack at Spring High School in Spring, Texas, United States. A 17-year-old student, identified as Luis Alonzo Alfaro, was arrested and charged for the murder. In September 2014, Alfaro was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years of prison.
Jamesy Boy is a 2014 American biographical crime drama film directed by Trevor White and written by White and Lane Shadgett. The film stars Spencer Lofranco, Mary-Louise Parker, Taissa Farmiga, Ving Rhames, and James Woods. It tells the true story of ex-convict James Burns. The film was released in North America on January 3, 2014 through video on demand, and in a limited release on January 17, 2014 by Phase 4 Films.
Heather Elizabeth Cook is a deposed bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. She was a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Maryland until her resignation from the position in 2015. In September 2015, she pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced a month later to seven years in prison. She was deposed from ministry and therefore unable to perform public ministry; however, her ordinations cannot be undone according to Anglican sacramental theology.
On March 20, 2017, Timothy Caughman, a Black 66-year-old man, was collecting cans for recycling in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City when James Harris Jackson, a White 28-year-old man, approached him and stabbed him multiple times with a sword. Caughman later died of his injuries. Jackson subsequently turned himself in to police custody and confirmed that he traveled from Maryland to New York with the intention of killing Black men in order to prevent White women from having interracial relationships with them.
Dutton's parents divorced when he was 4. He was raised by his mother, who cleaned houses and proudly refused to accept welfare to feed her three children.
Dutton grew up in the Latrobe Homes housing projects in Baltimore. His childhood bedroom overlooked the Maryland Penitentiary, an imposing and dark gothic structure built in the early 1800s.
Instead of snowball battles in my neighborhood, we used to have rock fights. We'd make little forts out of cardboard and trash cans, and throw rocks at each other on the other side of the street. Once your fort was knocked down, you had to go out and charge the other guys with a handful of rocks. I used to lead the charge, and I'd get hit badly. At least twice a month I'd get my head busted and they started calling me 'Rockhead.' Then I used to box for a while, and they took the 'head' off, and just called me 'Roc.' People still call me 'Roc.'
In 1967, at age 16, he got into a street fight with a man in his twenties. He stabbed the man repeatedly. The man bled to death, and Dutton was sentenced to five years at the state prison in Jessup for manslaughter.
What had saved Charles Dutton was prison. He dropped out of school at 12 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter at 17, after stabbing a black man who had pulled a knife on him in a fight. He served two years. Then he was sent back for weapons possession, fought with a white guard, and ended up serving another seven and a half.
Not long after being released, he was arrested again, on robbery and weapons charges. A conviction on the latter count earned him a three-year sentence in the Maryland State Pen, the institution that stood outside his old bedroom window.
When he was seventeen, Dutton was involved in a street fight that escalated into a knife fight. He and his assailant stabbed each other. Only Dutton survived. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years of imprisonment. Dutton was out on parole for only a few months when he returned to prison for possession of a deadly weapon (a handgun). When a prison riot broke out, Dutton participated and punched a guard. He was sentenced to an additional eight years of imprisonment. “I knew what I was doing,” he says. “For a long time I didn’t want to hear anything positive. I just wanted to know when we were going to burn down the prison.”
My manslaughter conviction came from a fight with a guy who stabbed me seven times. I wrestled the knife from him and killed him. Got 18 months (in 1967). Then got three years for possession of a weapon and another eight years tacked on for a fight with a guard.
One day a guard kept him from seeing a visitor. Enraged, Dutton challenged him to a fistfight. As Dutton describes it, they had 'a wonderful, nice 10 minutes busting each other up' in a locked room. Dutton figured it was a fair fight. But the guard eventually pressed charges ('he was pressured to do so,' Dutton claims). The conviction earned Dutton eight more years in prison. He is bitterly amused by this: 'I got three years for killing a black man and eight for punching a white man.'
...a fellow con stabbed Dutton in the neck with an ice pick. The blade plunged into his lungs, collapsing one of them, but missing his arteries. Still, he nearly bled to death. The injury only stoked his rage. He had become a fire-breathing radical, a Black Panther who read Mao, Marx and Malcolm X and 'believed wholeheartedly in the armed overthrow of the U.S. government. I was prepared to die for it.'
'I was in the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, raised hell in the streets and spent 12 years in and out the penal institution, seven and a half the last time.'
Not long afterward, he refused to accept an assignment cleaning toilets, and was banished to isolation for three days. There, in a dim 5-by-7-foot cell, Dutton read a book of plays he'd found in the prison library. He was transfixed, transported and ultimately transformed.
This August will mark the 20th anniversary of actor Charles Dutton's release from the Maryland State Penitentiary, where he spent seven-and-a-half years for manslaughter and other charges.
In and out of reform school and prison since he was 12, Dutton received his parole on Aug. 20, 1976, and closed the door on his old life.
Dutton's jail-to-Yale biography is a compelling one. After getting out of prison in 1976, he spent two years studying theater at Towson State University and then went on to earn a drama degree from Yale before going to Broadway.
Dutton got his GED and completed a couple of college acting programs before finally earning his master's from Yale. And he hit the ground running. 'When I graduated out of Yale School of Drama in 1983, I didn't really have a long struggling actor career...