Richard Brooks (actor)

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Richard L. Brooks (born December 7, 1962) is an American actor, singer, and director. He is best known for his roles as Paul Robinette on Law & Order and the bounty hunter Jubal Early in the final episode of the Fox TV sci-fi show Firefly.

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Brooks studied acting, dance, and voice work at Interlochen Academy of Arts in Michigan. Later, he moved to New York City and was a student of the Circle in the Square Professional Theater School.[1]


While in New York, Brooks performed in the Eugene O'Neill Theater Conference production of August Wilson's Fences, which gained him a positive reputation.[1]

A subsequent move to Los Angeles found the actor landing numerous television roles, also with made-for-TV features as Badge of the Assassin (1985) and Resting Place (1986). With Teen Wolf (1985), The Hidden (1987), Off Limits (1988), Shakedown (1988), and Shocker (1989) Brooks began his start in the world of feature films.

Throughout the 1990s, most of his popularity came from his widespread exposure in his role as Paul Robinette on Law & Order.[2] However, the actor would constantly find himself alternating between the feature films, television, and the stage. After appearing in The Substitute and terrorizing the undead in The Crow: City of Angels (both 1996), Brooks opted to try his hand at directing, and the result was Johnny B Good (1998). It is about a young, urban black man who makes a positive change after suffering amnesia. Brooks returned to television for the short-lived series G vs E in 1999. In 2001 he made a guest appearance in NYPD Blue.

In addition to his film work, Brooks also founded his own production company, Flat Top Entertainment LLC. At the dawn of the millennium, Brooks released his first solo R&B album, Smooth Love, on Flat Top Records.

Brooks is also well known by some science fiction fans for his appearance on Joss Whedon's Firefly, as a bounty hunter named Jubal Early in the existentialist series finale "Objects in Space". He also appeared as Hasdrabul Skaras in "Slayer", the fifth episode of the series Brimstone. He also appeared as Detective Ehrle in the short-lived Fox series Drive, alongside Nathan Fillion, with whom Brooks had worked on Firefly.

Brooks appeared as OD in the award-winning film 84C MoPic, directed by Patrick Sheane Duncan.

In March 2011, Brooks played the role of Harmond Wilkes in Radio Golf, written by August Wilson, at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York.[3]

Brooks played Frederick Douglass in the 2013 PBS series The Abolitionists.

Brooks stars as Patrick in the BET original series Being Mary Jane. It premiered July 2, 2013.


  1. ^ a b "Richard Brooks - About This Person". The New York Times. 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "'Law & Order's' Richard Brooks to Star in Geva Theater's RADIO GOLF, 3/22 - 4/17". 2011-02-23. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Lomax, Janet (2011-03-24). "Former Law and Order star takes the stage at Geva in Radio Golf". Retrieved 3 September 2011. 

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