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Dutton, Charles S. 1951–

Charles S. Dutton 1951

Actor

At a Glance

Prison Saved My Life

Earned Degree in Theater

From the Stage to the Big and Small Screens

Sources

Charles S. Dutton liked to joke that he went from jail to Yale. He is certainly the only star of a television series who ever did hard time in a state penitentiary, the only artist to leapfrog from the meanest streets in Baltimore to a prestigious Ivy League drama school, and from there to stardom on stage and screen. Dutton is best known as the character Roc on the FOX Network television show of the same name. He has also received some of the best roles available to African American actors in stage plays by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author August Wilson. As John Stanley noted in the San Francisco Chronicle, Dutton has come to symbolize how the American dream can be ripped in half--but then pasted back together.

By all odds, Charles Dutton should be dead, wrote Kenneth R. Clark in the Chicago Tribune. The life he was born to lead afforded hundreds of opportunities for an early demise, and he took advantage of most of them. Dutton has conceded that he has spent a dozen years of his life behind bars, if he includes his years in reform school. At one time, prison was all I knew, the actor admitted in the San Francisco Chronicle. I was a hell raiser, and Id come to enjoy it. The other prisoners would have scowls on their faces each morning, but I always had a smile. I was the kind whod never start a fight, but Id always finish it. There came the time when I envisioned myself doing something with the rest of my life. Something inside me told me that I wasnt going to be a hell raiser forever.

On Roc, Dutton portrayed a law-abiding, hard-working citizen with a blue collar job, modest ambitions, and an intolerance for criminals. The show tackled tough issues such as urban crime and its effect on city residents, and Dutton helped to craft the scripts from his own firsthand experiences. [Roc] had to be grounded in a foundation of reality, he asserted in the San Francisco Examiner. Im not one to criticize comedy shows. But I was determined that this show would not be like any show before it. The emotions are real. The violence is real. The danger has to be real. Lets not play at it.

Dutton was born the second of three children on January 30, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland. He and his family lived in a public housing project just south of the Maryland Penitentiary, one of the toughest prisons in the nation. I could see it from my bedroom, Dutton recalled in USA

At a Glance

Born January 30, 1951, in Baltimore, MD; son of a laborer; married Debbi Morgan (an actress), 1989, divorced 1994. Education: Hagerstown junior College, A.A., 1976; Towson State University, B.A., 1978; Yale University, M.A., 1983.

Career: Actor, 1978. Principal stage appearances include roles in Ma Raineys Black Bottom, 1984; Joe Turners Come and Gone, 1988; and The Piano Lesson, 1990. Principal motion picture appearances include roles in Crocodile Dundee II, 1988; Alien 3, 1992; The Distinguished Gentleman, 1992; Menace II Society, 1993; Rudy, 1993; Surviving the Game, 1994; A low Down Dirty Shame, 1995; Get On the Bus, 1996; A Time to Kill, 1996; Mimic, 1998; Blind Faith, 1998; Black Dog, 1998; Cookies Fortune, 1999; and Random Hearts, 1999. Principal television appearances include the title role in Roc, broadcast on FOX, 199195; Homicide: Life on the Street, 1996; Full Time Felon, 1997; True Women (miniseries), 1997; and The 60s (miniseries), 1999. Made debut as a television director on Full Time Felon, 1997.

Awards: Drama Desk Award, Theater World Award, and Tony Award nomination, all 1985, all for Ma Raineys Black Bottom; Tony Award nomination, 1991, for The Piano lesson.

Addresses: c/o Twentieth Century-Fox Television, 5746 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Today. In my neighborhood, more guys went to prison than school. The product of a broken home, Dutton grew up strong and aggressive. Even his nickname bore evidence of the trouble to come. When I was a kid, we had rock fights, he explained in the Chicago Tribune. My gang would line up on one side of the street and another gang would line up on the other side, and wed let fly. I was always out front, leading the charge, and get my head busted about twice a month. As a result, the guys started calling me Rockhead. Somewhere along the line, the k and the head got dropped and its been Roc ever since.

Dutton had a nickname that would follow him to stardom, but several years would pass before he ever appeared on stage. Even though his family eventually moved out of the projects, he still got into trouble regularly and was in and out of reform school from the age of twelve. I quit school in the seventh grade, not because I couldnt make it academically, but because I thought there was more happening on the street corner, he declared in the Detroit Free Press. In my generation, you were expected to go to jail. All my buddies went, and all the guys we looked up to went.

At the age of 17, Roc Dutton fulfilled that expectation. A guy came at me in a fight and stabbed me eight times and I killed him, he stated matter-of-factly in USA Today. Convicted of manslaughter, he was sent to the penitentiary in 1967 but released on parole in less than two years. In 1969 he was sent back to jail for possession of deadly weapons. A three-year sentence became an eleven-year sentence when he was convicted for assaulting a prison guard. By the mid-1970s, Dutton found himself looking at a long stretch in a violent, overcrowded urban prison.

Prison Saved My Life

Dutton does not shrink from his memories of those desperate years in jail. Im neither proud nor am I ashamed, he disclosed in the San Francisco Examiner. As I see it now, prison saved my life. Dutton took his penchant for trouble making with him to jail, joined the Black Panthers and leftist movements, and quarreled with guards and other inmates. On one occasion, he refused to work and was sent into solitary confinement. The Chicago Tribunes Clark described the conditions: Solitary confinement meant a 5-by-7-foot cell with a sink, but no bed and no commode. The latter consisted of a hole in the floor [that] vindictive guards could back up at will, flooding the cell ankle-deep in sewage. Prisoners locked naked therein were fed once every three days and were allowed one piece of reading material, though the only light by which to read was that which seeped under the door.

Dutton had grabbed a book from his cell on the way to solitary. It was a collection of short plays by African American playwrights that had been sent to him by a girlfriend. Dutton had never read a play and had never seen one performed. The book was his only companion for three days, however, so he read all of the plays. The one that affected him most deeply was Day of Absence by Douglas Turner Ward. Its about the day all the blacks in a small Southern town decided not to come to work and the whites realized they couldnt live without them, Dutton described in the Chicago Tribune. Its played by a black cast in white-face and its hilarious. I read it over and over and told myself, When I get out of here, Im going to stage this. Dutton added, I found my humanity in that cell and I was a changed man when I got out. The prison officials all thought Id gone crazy, but they let me put on the play.

Dutton formed a theater group in the prison and prepared the play for presentation at a talent show. Doing the play before a sea of very hard men, I felt this eerie kind of power, theactor observed in the San Francisco Examiner. I could make them quiet, I could make them think. It was the only thing positive I had at that time in my life, the only immediate remedy for prison life. I suddenly knew what I was born to do.

Danger still threatened, however. Some weeks after Dutton had established a regular theater workshop in the prison, he was stabbed by a fellow inmate. The wound was severe, puncturing Duttons lung. He was hospitalized for two months and underwent several operations. Dutton recalled in the Los Angeles Times that the long recuperation period gave him time to think. Although the unspoken code of the prison called for Dutton to exact revenge, he decided that he was finished with violence. Dutton maintained, I told myself: If I live through this, Im retiring from this world of stupidity.

Earned Degree in Theater

When he recovered, Dutton was sent to another penitentiary, this one in western Maryland. There he was a model prisoner, earning his high school equivalency diploma with good grades. He persuaded the warden to allow him to take courses at the nearest junior college, and in 1976 the same year he was paroled for the last timehe received an Associate of Arts degree. He returned to Baltimore and finished his college education at Towson State University, majoring in theater.

A professor at Towson State persuaded Dutton to apply to the prestigious Yale Drama School in New Haven, Connecticut. Dutton was skeptical, but he paid the application fee and took the train north for an audition. He was baffled when he found out he had been accepted. I was afraid to leave my apartment for fear that something would prevent me from getting to Yale. That some twist of irony would destroy me at the very moment that life was turning toward the better, Dutton recounted in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Though irony did not intervene, Lloyd Richards and August Wilson did. As a student at Yale, Dutton worked closely with Richards, the longtime dean of the drama school. Dutton also met playwright Wilson, who began to create characters for him in works-in-progress. One such work was Ma Rainey s Black Bottom, the story of several jazz musicians in the 1920s. Dutton took a role in the play during repertory performances at Yale, then went with the show when it opened on Broadway. Duttons work in that drama earned him his first Tony Award nomination. More importantly, it paved the way for parts in other August Wilson works, including Joe Turners Come and Gone and The Piano Lesson.

By the time The Piano Lesson had its Broadway debut in 1990, Charles Dutton was a stage star. He had also worked sporadically in television, appearing on Miami Vice and Cagney & Lacey, and had taken some supporting roles in films. Still, he preferred live theater with its energy and audience response. I never imagined myself working in television or doing a sitcom, Dutton noted in the San Francisco Examiner. I was reluctant because I didnt want to come to Los Angeles as another hired hand on a television show. In the New Orleans Times-Picayune he pointed out, When you go to Yale Drama School and youre trained in the classics, you think you just want to do King Lear and Othello your entire life. Until you have to pay your rent.

From the Stage to the Big and Small Screens

Television producer Stan Daniels caught Duttons acclaimed performance in The Piano Lesson and offered the actor an attractive proposition. Daniels thought Dutton would prove a strong presence on the television screen, so they worked together to create a situation comedy about a working-class Baltimore family. Dutton even used his nickname for the central character, and he insisted that the other roles be filled with fellow stage actors. I think the ground-breaking aspect of this show is the acting, Dutton emphasized in the Times-Picayune when Roc debuted on the Fox network in 1991. These actors and these directors and these writers will find material that we can do something a little different with for situation comedy. Dutton himself contributed significant images and situations from his memories of Baltimore. Originally, I wanted to do the black mans version of [legendary actor-comedian] Jackie Gleasons The Honeymooners, he informed a San Francisco Chronicle correspondent. Ralph Kramden was always struggling for something better and I wanted to recapture that quality of the common man, show that the black man struggles just as hard. The Honeymooner part of it was changed around a lot, but we still tried to keep that Gleasonesque quality.

In addition to working on Roc, Dutton developed a career as a movie actor. He appeared in films such as Alien 3 (1992), The Distinguished Gentleman (1993) .Menace II Society (1993), Rudy (1993), Surviving the Game (1994), and A Low Down Dirty Shame (1995). Following the cancellation of Roc in 1995, Dutton continued to work in television and appeared in two episodes of the NBC drama Homicide: Life on the Street in 1996. That same year, he was cast as George in the Spike Lee film Get On the Bus, which told the fictional story of a group of African American men who were riding on a bus to the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. He also appeared as Sheriff Ozzie Walls in the film A Time to Kill

Dutton directed his first television show, Full Time Felon, for the HBO cable network in 1997. He also appeared as Josiah on the show True Women. In 1998, Dutton starred with Mira Sorvino in the science fiction thriller Mimic, and in the critically acclaimed film Blind Faith, which aired on Showtime. He also appeared with Patrick Swayze in the action adventure film Black Dog. In 1999, Dutton played the role of Willis Richland in the film Cookies Fortune starring Glenn Close and Julianne Moore. The film, directed by Robert Altmann, told the story of a murder mystery that occurred in a small Mississippi town. That same year, Dutton also appeared in the television miniseries The 60s and the Sydney Pollack film Random Hearts.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Gale, 1997.

Whos Who Among African Americans, 11th edition, Gale, 1998.

Periodicals

Chicago Tribune, August 25, 1991.

Detroit Free Press, November 17, 1991.

Emerge, August 1992.

Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1990; August 25, 1991.

Orlando Sentinel, May 20, 1990.

Press (Atlantic City, NJ), June 1, 1992.

San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1991.

San Francisco Examiner, August 24, 1991; February 24, 1992.

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), September 13, 1991.

USA Today, April 17, 1990.

USA Weekend, February 28, 1992.

Other

Additional information for this profile was obtained from the National Black Arts Festival website; the E! Online web site; and the bigstar.com web site.

Mark Kram and David Oblender

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Dutton, Charles S. 1951–

Charles S. Dutton 1951

Actor

At a Glance

Prison Saved My Life

Earned Degree in Theater

From the Stage to the Big and Small Screens

Sources

Charles S. Dutton likes to joke that he went from jail to Yale. He is certainly the only star of a television series who ever did hard time in a state penitentiary, the only artist to leapfrog from the meanest streets in Baltimore to a prestigious Ivy League drama school, and from there to stardom on stage and screen. Dutton is best known as the character Roc on the FOX Network television show of the same name. He has also received some of the best roles available to black actors in stage plays by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author August Wilson. And in 1992 he even lent his talents to the big-budget film Alien 3. As John Stanley put it in the San Francisco Chronicle, Dutton has come to symbolize how the American dream can be ripped in halfbut then pasted back together.

By all odds, Charles Dutton should be dead, wrote Kenneth R. Clark in the Chicago Tribune. The life he was born to lead afforded hundreds of opportunities for an early demise, and he took advantage of most of them. Dutton has conceded that he has spent a dozen years of his life behind bars, if he includes his years in reform school. At one time, prison was all I knew, the actor admitted in the San Francisco Chronicle. I was a hell raiser, and Id come to enjoy it. The other prisoners would have scowls on their faces each morning, but I always had a smile. I was the kind whod never start a fight, but Id always finish it. There came the time when I envisioned myself doing something with the rest of my life. Something inside me told me that I wasnt going to be a hell raiser forever.

On Roc, Dutton portrays exactly the kind of man he wasnta law-abiding, hard-working citizen with a blue collar job, modest ambitions, and an intolerance for criminals. The show tackles tough issues such as urban crime and its effect on city residents, and Dutton helps to craft the scripts from his own firsthand experiences. [Roc] had to be grounded in a foundation of reality, he asserted in the San Francisco Examiner. Im not one to criticize comedy shows. But I was determined that this show would not be like any show before it. The emotions are real. The violence is real. The danger has to be real. Lets not play at it.

Dutton was born the second of three children on January 30, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland. He and his family lived in a public housing project just south of the Maryland Penitentiary, one of the toughest prisons in the nation. I

At a Glance

Born January 30, 1951, in Baltimore, MD; son of a laborer; married Debbi Morgan (an actress), 1990. Education: Hagerstown Junior College, A.A., 1976; Towson State University, B.A., 1978; Yale University, M.A., 1983.

Actor, 1978. Principal stage appearances include roles in Ma Raineys Black Bottom, 1984; Joe Turners Come and Gone, 1988; and The Piano Lesson, 1990. Principal motion picture appearances include roles in Crocodile Dundee II, 1988; Q &A; Mississippi Masala; Pretty Hatties Baby; Alien,3 1992; and The Distinguished Gentleman, 1992. Principal television appearances include roles in Miami Vice; Cagney Lacey; The Murder of Mary Phagan (miniseries); and the title role in Roc, broadcast on FOX, 1991. Also, creative consultant, Roc, 1991

Awards: Drama Desk Award, Theater World Award, and Tony Award nomination, all 1985, all for Ma Raineys Black Bottom; Tony Award nomination, 1991, for The Piano Lesson; NAACP Image Award, 1993.

Addresses: c/o FOX Television, 5746 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028.

could see it from my bedroom, Dutton recalled in USA Today. In my neighborhood, more guys went to prison than school. The product of a broken home, Dutton grew up strong and aggressive. Even his nickname bore evidence of the trouble to come. When I was a kid, we had rock fights, he explained in the Chicago Tribune. My gang would line up on one side of the street and another gang would line up on the other side, and wed let fly. I was always out front, leading the charge, and... [got] my head busted about twice a month. As a result, the guys started calling me Rockhead. Somewhere along the line, the k and the head got dropped and its been Roc ever since.

Dutton got a nickname that would follow him to stardom, but he had many years to fill before he ever saw a stage. Even though his family eventually moved out of the projects, he still got into trouble regularly and was in and out of reform school from the age of twelve. I quit school in the seventh grade, not because I couldnt make it academically, but because I thought there was more happening on the street corner, he declared in the Detroit Free Press. In my generation, you were expected to go to jail. All my buddies went, and all the guys we looked up to went.

At the age of 17, Roc Dutton fulfilled that expectation. A guy came at me in a fight and stabbed me eight times and I killed him, he stated matter-of-factly in USA Today. Convicted of manslaughter, he was sent to the penitentiary in 1967 but released on parole in less than two years. In 1969 he was sent back to jail for possession of deadly weapons. A three-year sentence became an eleven-year sentence when he was convicted for assaulting a prison guard. By the mid-1970s, Dutton found himself looking at a long stretch in a violent, overcrowded urban prison.

Prison Saved My Life

Dutton does not shrink from his memories of those desperate years in jail. Im neither proud nor am I ashamed, he disclosed in the San Francisco Chronicle. As I see it now, prison saved my life. For quite some time, it was touch-and-go, however. Dutton took his penchant for troublemaking along with him to jail, joined the Black Panthers and leftist movements, and quarreled with other inmates and guards alike. On one specific occasion, he refused to work and was sent into solitary confinement. The Chicago Tribunes Clark described the conditions: Solitary confinement meant a 5-by-7-foot cell with a sink, but no bed and no commode. The latter consisted of a hole in the floor [that] vindictive guards could back up at will, flooding the cell ankle-deep in sewage. Prisoners locked naked therein were fed once every three days and were allowed one piece of reading material, though the only light by which to read was that which seeped under the door.

Dutton had grabbed a book from his cell on the way to solitary. It was a collection of short plays by black play-wrights that a girlfriend from the outside had sent him. Dutton had never read a play and had never seen one performed. The book was his only companion for three days, though, so he read all of the plays. The one that struck him most forcefully was Day of Absence by Douglas Turner Ward. Its about the day all the blacks in a small Southern town decided not to come to work and the whites realized they couldnt live without them, Dutton described in the Chicago Tribune. Its played by a black cast in white-face and its hilarious. I read it over and over and told myself, When I get out of here, Im going to stage this. Dutton added, I found my humanity in that cell and I was a changed man when I got out. The prison officials all thought Id gone crazy, but they let me put on the play.

Dutton formed a theater group in the prison and prepared the play for presentation at a talent show. Doing the play before a sea of very hard men, I felt this eerie kind of power, the actor observed in the San Francisco Examiner. I could make them quiet, I could make them think. It was the only thing positive I had at that time in my life, the only immediate remedy for prison life. I suddenly knew what I was born to do.

Danger still threatened, however. Some weeks after Dutton had established a regular theater workshop in the prison, he was stabbed by a fellow inmate. The wound was severe, puncturing Duttons lung. He was hospitalized for two months and underwent several operations. Dutton recalled in the Los Angeles Times that the long recuperation period gave him time to think. Though the unspoken code of the prison called for revenge, he decided that enough was enough. Dutton maintained, I told myself: If I live through this, Im retiring from this world of stupidity.

Earned Degree in Theater

When he recovered, Dutton was sent to another penitentiary, this one in western Maryland. There he was a model prisoner, earning his high school equivalency diploma with good grades. He persuaded the warden to allow him to take courses at the nearest junior college, and in 1976the same year he was paroled for the last timehe received an Associate of Arts degree. He returned to Baltimore and finished his college education at Towson State University, majoring in theater.

A professor at Towson State persuaded Dutton to apply to the prestigious Yale Drama School in New Haven, Connecticut. Dutton was skeptical, but he paid the application fee and took the train north for an audition. He was baffled when he found out he had been accepted. I was afraid to leave my apartment for fear that something would prevent me from getting to Yale. That some twist of irony would destroy me at the very moment that life was turning toward the better, Dutton recounted in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Though irony did not intervene, Lloyd Richards and August Wilson did. As a student at Yale, Dutton worked closely with Richards, the longtime dean of the drama school. Dutton also met playwright Wilson, who began to create characters for him in works-in-progress. One such work was Ma Raineys Black Bottom, the story of several jazz musicians in the 1920s. Dutton took a role in the play during repertory performances at Yale, then went with the show when it opened on Broadway. Duttons work in that drama earned him his first Tony Award nomination. More importantly, it paved the way for parts in other August Wilson works, including Joe Turners Come and Gone and The Piano Lesson.

By the time The Piano Lesson had its Broadway debut in 1990, Charles Dutton was a stage star. He had also worked sporadically in television, appearing on Miami Vice and Cagney & Lacey, and had taken some supporting roles in films. Still, he preferred live theater with its energy and audience response. I never imagined myself working in television or doing a sitcom, Dutton noted in the San Francisco Examiner. I was reluctant because I didnt want to come to Los Angeles as another hired hand on a television show. In the New Orleans Times-Picayune he pointed out, When you go to Yale Drama School and youre trained in the classics, you think you just want to do King Lear and Othello your entire life. Until you have to pay your rent.

From the Stage to the Big and Small Screens

Television producer Stan Daniels caught Duttons acclaimed performance in The Piano Lesson and offered the actor an attractive proposition. Daniels thought Dutton would prove a strong presence on the television screen, so they worked together to create a situation comedy about a working-class Baltimore family. Dutton even used his nickname for the central character, and he insisted that the other roles be filled with fellow stage actors. I think the ground-breaking aspect of this show is... the acting, Dutton emphasized in the Times-Picayune when Roc debuted on the FOX network. These actors and these directors and these writers will find material that we can do something a little different with for situation comedy. Dutton himself contributed significant images and situations from his memories of Baltimore. Originally, I wanted to do the black mans version of [legendary actor-comedian] Jackie Gleasons The Honeymooners, he informed a San Francisco Chronicle correspondent. Ralph Kramden was always struggling for something better and I wanted to recapture that quality of the common man, show that the black man struggles just as hard. The Honeymooner part of it was changed around a lot, but we still tried to keep that Gleasonesque quality.

When not filming Roc, Dutton took on roles in movies, including the 1992 summer hit Alien3. That part, in particular, offered some challenges to the actor, who had never before worked on a big-budget film. Many times, we had to imagine the monster, he reported in the Press of Atlantic City. We had to run away from it and scream and shout and be terrified, and there was nothing but a blank space there. In some sense, its like conjuring up the kid in you. At one point, I found myself getting bored, and I said to myself, Hey, wait a minute. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to really play like youre being chased by the boogyman. Have a good time with it. And I did.

Dutton may have run from the imaginary boogyman, but he has squarely faced his past and come to terms with it. Married to actress Debbi Morgan, he lives in Los Angeles but visits Baltimore occasionally and even sees some of his old buddies from the neighborhood. In 1991 he delivered a commencement speech to felons who had earned bachelors degrees while behind bars at one of the prisons where he served time. Dutton stressed in the San Francisco Examiner that he feels uncomfortable when he is viewed as an example of success at long odds. Im not looking to be a role model, he said. Role models are perfect. Im just a guy who took the second half of his life and took some responsibility for it.

Sources

Chicago Tribune, August 25, 1991.

Detroit Free Press, November 17, 1991.

Emerge, August 1992.

Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1990; August 25, 1991.

Orlando Sentinel, May 20, 1990.

Press (Atlantic City, NJ), June 1, 1992.

San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1991.

San Francisco Examiner, August 24, 1991; February 24, 1992.

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), September 13, 1991.

USA Today, April 17, 1990.

USA Weekend, February 28, 1992.

Mark Kram

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"Dutton, Charles S. 1951–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Dutton, Charles S. 1951–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/dutton-charles-s-1951

"Dutton, Charles S. 1951–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved April 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/dutton-charles-s-1951

Dutton, Charles S. 1951–(Charles Dutton)

DUTTON, Charles S. 1951(Charles Dutton)


PERSONAL


Born January 30, 1951, in Baltimore, MD; father, a truck driver; married Debbi Morgan (an actress), 1989 (divorced, 1994). Education: Hagerstown Junior College, A.A., 1976; Towson State University, B.A., 1978; Yale University, M.A., drama, 1983.


Addresses: Agent Charles King, William Morris Agency, 151 El Camino Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.


Career: Actor, producer, and director. Roc Productions, founder, 1991; consultant to Cash Money Pictures. As a prison inmate, founder and director of theatre workshops in the 1970s; American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA, guest artist, 198687; also performed standup comedy in New York City with partner Reg E. Cathy. Fly Guys (singing group), manager; also worked as amateur boxer under the nickname Roc.


Awards, Honors: Theatre World Award, 1984, Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actor in a featured dramatic role, 1985, Drama Desk Award, outstanding featured actor in a play, 1985, and Outer Critics' Circle Award nomination, all for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best leading actor, Drama Desk Award nomination, best actor, and Helen Hayes Award, outstanding lead actor in a nonresident production, Washington Theatre Awards Society, all 1990, for The Piano Lesson; Image Award, outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1994, for Roc; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or special, 1995, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a miniseries or motion picture made for television, 1996, and Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a television movie, miniseries, or drama series, 1996, all for "The Piano Lesson," Hallmark Hall of Fame; Image Award nominations, outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture, 1996, for Cry, the Beloved Country, and 1997, for A Time to Kill; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actor in a drama series, and Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, both 1999, for Oz; Independent Spirit Award nomination, best supporting male, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by an actor in a television movie or miniseries, and Grand Jury Award, outstanding actor in a feature film, Los Angeles Outfest, all 1999, for Blind Faith; Independent Spirit Award nomination, best supporting male, and Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture, both 2000, for Cookie's Fortune; Emmy Award, outstanding director of a miniseries, movie, or special, 2000, and Black Reel Award, best network or cable director, 2001, both for The Corner; Image Award nomination, outstanding actor in a television movie, miniseries, or dramatic special, 2001, for Deadlocked; Emmy Award, outstanding guest actor in a drama series, 2002, for "Killing Time," The Practice; Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, 2002, for "Another Toothpick," The Sopranos; Emmy Award, outstanding guest actor in a drama series, and Image Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, both 2003, for Without a Trace; Image Award, outstanding actor in a television movie, miniseries, or dramatic special, and Black Reel Award, best network or cable supporting actor, both 2003, for 10,000 Black Men Named George.


CREDITS


Film Appearances:

(As Charles Dutton) Dom, "The Ledge," Cat's Eye (also known as Stephen King's Cat's Eye ), MetroGoldwynMayer/United Artists, 1985.

(As Charles Dutton) Sergeant Savoy (some sources cite Sergeant Sandy), No Mercy, TriStar, 1986.

(As Charles Dutton) Leroy Brown, Crocodile Dundee II, Paramount, 1988.

(As Charles Dutton) White, Astonished, Leo Films, 1988.

(As Charles Dutton) Jake, Jacknife, Cineplex Odeon, 1989.

An Unremarkable Life, 1989.

(As Charles Dutton) Detective Sam Chapman, Q & A, TriStar, 1990.

Tyrone, Mississippi Masala, Samuel Goldwyn, 1991.

(As Charles Dutton) Pretty Hattie's Baby, 1991.

Elijah Hawkins, The Distinguished Gentleman, Buena Vista, 1992.

Dillon, Alien 3, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1992.

The Colors of Love, 1992.

Mr. Butler, Menace II Society, New Line Cinema, 1993.

(As Charles Dutton) Fortune, Rudy, TriStar, 1993.

(As Charles Dutton) Rothmiller, A Low Down Dirty Shame (also known as Mister Cool ), Buena Vista, 1994.

(As Charles Dutton) Howlin' Wolf, Foreign Student (also known as L'etudiant etranger ), Gramercy, 1994.

(As Charles Dutton) Walter Cole, Surviving the Game, New Line Cinema, 1994.

John Kumalo, Cry, the Beloved Country, Miramax, 1995.

Huey, Nick of Time, Paramount, 1995.

(Uncredited) Cop, Se7en, 1995.

(As Charles Dutton) Sheriff Ozzie Walls, A Time to Kill, Warner Bros., 1996.

George, Get on the Bus, Columbia TriStar, 1996.

(Uncredited) John Henry Reese, Last Dance, Buena Vista, 1996.

Leonard, Mimic, Dimension Films, 1997.

(As Charles Dutton) FBI agent Allen Ford, Black Dog, Universal, 1998.

Willis Richland, Cookie's Fortune, October Films, 1999.

Alcee, Random Hearts, Columbia, 1999.

Charlie "Chuck" Hendricks, Dtox (also known as Eye See You and Im Auge der Angst ), Universal, 2002.

Dr. Doug Grey, Gothika, Columbia TriStar/Warner Bros., 2003.

Felix Reynolds, Against the Ropes, Paramount, 2004.


Film Director:

Against the Ropes, Paramount, 2004.


Television Appearances; Series:

(As Charles Dutton) Roc Emerson, Roc (also known as Roc Live ), Fox, 19911994.


Television Appearances; Miniseries:

(As Charles Dutton) Jim Conley, The Murder of Mary Phagan, 1988.

(As Charles Dutton) Arlo McDaniel, A Matter of Justice (also known as Final Justice ), 1993.

(As Charles Dutton) Josiah, True Women, 1997.

(As Charles Dutton) Reverend Willie Taylor, The '60s, NBC, 1999.

Mayor Bruce Lincoln, Aftershock (also known as Aftershock: Earthquake in New York ), CBS, 1999.


Television Appearances; Movies:

(As Charles Dutton) Assistant district attorney, Apology, HBO, 1986.

(As Charles Dutton) Equal Justice, 1990.

Charles Silvera, Jack Reed: A Search for Justice (also known as Deadly Justice ), NBC, 1994.

(As Charles Dutton) Boy Willie Charles, "The Piano Lesson," Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS, 1995.

(As Charles Dutton) Emmett, Zooman, 1995.

(As Charles Dutton) Charles Silvera, Jack Reed: One of Our Own, 1995.

(As Charles Dutton) Charles Silvera, Jack Reed: A Killer among Us (also known as Jack Reed: A Killer among Us ), NBC, 1996.

Charles Silvera, Jack Reed: Death and Vengeance, NBC, 1996.

Dr. Eldon James, Night Visitors, NBC, 1996.

(Uncredited) Inmate, First Time Felon, HBO, 1997.

Charles Williams, Blind Faith, Showtime, 1998 (later released theatrically).

Jacob Doyle, Deadlocked (also known as DeadlockedDie fuenfte Gewalt ), TNT, 2000.

Dizzy Gillespie, For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (also known as The Arturo Sandoval Story ), HBO, 2000.

Milton Webster, 10,000 Black Men Named George, Showtime, 2002.

McGill, Conviction, Showtime, 2002.

Chief Charles Moose, D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear, USA Network, 2003.

Television Appearances; Specials:

(As Charles Dutton) Colby, "Runaway," Wonderworks, PBS, 1989.

(As Charles Dutton) Cyrus Quarles, Traitor in My House, PBS, 1990.

The Meaning of Life, CBS, 1991.

Muhammad Ali's 50th Birthday Celebration, ABC, 1992.

The Making of "Alien 3, " 1992.

Narrator, Overture: East Meets West in Music, PBS, 1993.

Narrator, Mo' Funny: Black Comedy in America, HBO, 1993.

Voice of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass: When the Lion Wrote History, PBS, 1994.

Narrator, Lock Up/Lock Down, The Disney Channel, 2000.

Voice, Homecoming: Sometimes I Am Haunted by Memories of Red Dirt and Clay, PBS, 2000.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

(As Charles Dutton) Abmennet, "Bump and Run," The Equalizer, CBS, 1985.

(As Charles Dutton) Pearson, "Prodigal Son," Miami Vice, 1985.

(As Charles Dutton) McCain, "The Good Collar," Miami Vice, 1986.

(As Charles Dutton) Mr. Johnson, "The Marathon," Cagney & Lacey, 1986.

(As Charles Dutton) Charles Hodges, "Hear No Evil," A Man Called Hawk, 1989.

"Choice of Change," A Man Called Hawk, 1989.

Guest, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, 1990, 1991.

Guest, Late Show with David Letterman, 1990, 1992, 1997.

(As Charles Dutton) Captain Jonas Cutter, "The Tale of Cutter's Treasure: Parts 1 & 2," Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Nickelodeon, 1992.

Marcus Emerson, Roc (also known as Roc Live ), Fox, 1993.

Storytime, PBS, 1994.

Voice of 'Ol George, "Pinocchio," Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (animated), HBO, 1995.

(As Charles Dutton) Elijah Sanborn, "Prison Riot," Homicide: Life on the Street, NBC, 1996.

"Lockdown," Homicide: Life on the Street, NBC, 1996.

Professor Alvah Case, "The Tip," Oz, HBO, 1998.

Reverend Thomas Carver, "Valentine's Day," Ed, NBC, 2001.

Officer Leon Wilmore, "Another Toothpick," The Sopranos, HBO, 2001.

Leonard Marshall, "Killing Time," The Practice, ABC, 2001.

(As Charles Dutton) Chet Collins, "Between the Cracks," Without a Trace, CBS, 2002.

(As Charles Dutton) Chet Collins, "Hang On to Me," Without a Trace, CBS, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 24th Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1992.

The 19th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, syndicated, 1992.

Presenter, The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1992.

The 19th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1993.

The 35th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1993.

The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, NBC, 2002.

Presenter, The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 2003.

Television Work; Series:

(As Charles Dutton) Producer and executive consultant, Roc (also known as Roc Live ), Fox, 1991.

Executive producer, Roc (also known as Roc Live ), Fox, 19931994.

Television Work; Miniseries:

(As Charles Dutton) Executive producer, Laurel Avenue, 1993.

Creator, director, and director of photography, The Corner, HBO, 2000.

Television Work; Movies:

Director, First Time Felon, HBO, 1997.

Stage Appearances:

Rip Van Winkle; or "The Works, " Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1981.

Beef, No Chicken, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1981.

Astopovo, Yale Repertory Theatre, 19821983.

Levee, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Yale Repertory Theatre, then Cort Theatre, New York City, 19841985.

Title role, Othello, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1986, then American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 19861987.

Herald Loomis, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1986, then American Conservatory Theatre, 19861987.

Pantomime, 1986.

Fried Chicken and Invisibility, 1987.

Boy Willie, The Piano Lesson, Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA, 19871988, later Walter Kerr Theatre, New York City, 19901991, also at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, c. 1990.

Ira Aldridge, Splendid Mummer (solo show), American Place Theatre, New York City, 1988.

Levee, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Royale Theatre, New York City, 2003.


Also appeared in A Day of Absence.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 22, Gale, 1999.

Who's Who among African Americans, 16th edition, Gale, 2003.

Periodicals:

Jet, March 30, 1992, p. 58.

Premiere, July, 1988.

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"Dutton, Charles S. 1951–(Charles Dutton)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Dutton, Charles S. 1951–(Charles Dutton)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/dutton-charles-s-1951-charles-dutton

"Dutton, Charles S. 1951–(Charles Dutton)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved April 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/dutton-charles-s-1951-charles-dutton