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Skipp Sudduth in 2005
|Born||Robert Lee Sudduth IV
August 23, 1956
Wareham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Robert Lee Sudduth IV (born August 23, 1956), generally known by his stage name Skipp Sudduth, is an American theater, film, and TV actor. Sudduth is perhaps best known for his role in the movie Ronin and his lead in the TV drama Third Watch.
Born in Wareham, Massachusetts, the son of an engineer and a nurse, Sudduth attended George Washington High School in Danville, Virginia. Sudduth then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC).
He worked for a year as Director of Alumni Relations at his alma mater in the administration of the college's then-new president Josiah Bunting III, author of The Lionheads and future commandant of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.
Sudduth then worked for a year as apprentice to the winemaker with poet and vintner Tom O'Grady at Rose Bower Vineyard and Winery. At that time, Rose Bower was only the seventh Estate Vineyard to be licensed in Virginia since the time of Thomas Jefferson. During this period, Sudduth was acting in community and campus theater and writing original comedy and directing and producing the annual comedy review, Parting Shots, at H-SC.
The following year, he returned to school entering the acting program in the Department of Drama at the University of Virginia. At UVA he met and worked with his first and most dynamic acting teacher, Spencer Golub, who would go on to head the Drama Department at Brown University. Golub's emphasis on physically liberating the imagination through extensive guided improvisation became the foundation for Sudduth's approach to acting. Sudduth acted extensively during his time at UVA playing leading roles in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class (opposite Nip/Tuck's Dylan Walsh), and Peter Shaffer's Equus, which featured the first full male and female nudity ever allowed on stage in a production at UVA. Sudduth received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in acting from UVA in 1985.
Sudduth moved to Chicago in December 1985 aspiring to work with the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company. During his four and a half years in Chicago, Sudduth played in many stage productions including Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Emily Mann's Execution of Justice, and Nebraska (by screenwriter John Logan, who penned The Aviator). He has appeared in stage adaptations of The Grapes of Wrath, On the Waterfront and A Clockwork Orange, and acted in the 1999 Broadway production of The Iceman Cometh (alongside Kevin Spacey) and the 2003 debut performance of Woody Allen's play Riverside Drive (starring with Paul Reiser). He also appeared in Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center (with Helen Hunt).
Sudduth's movie career has seen him play numerous small parts in 54 (1998), A Cool, Dry Place (1998), and Spike Lee's Clockers (1995), as well larger roles with Robert De Niro in Ronin (1998) and Flawless (1999). Sudduth, who is a keen amateur racing/stunt driver, performed nearly all of the driving his character does in Ronin.
Skipp Sudduth had a recurring role in the TV soap opera One Life to Live, but is better known for his portrayal of NYPD officer John "Sully" Sullivan in the NBC drama Third Watch. Sudduth appeared in all six seasons of the show and his character is one of the leading ensemble of eight around whom the underlying story arc revolves. He earned his Directors Guild of America card directing the episode "Collateral Damage, Part II" in season 4. Sudduth has also made guest appearances in Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order, Oz, Trinity, Cosby, and Mad About You. Recently the actor also appeared on Third Watch producer John Wells' Southland.
The multi-talented Sudduth is also a singer-songwriter; his acoustic-rock band Minus Ted has released three albums: Hope and Damage (1994), Really Really (1999) and Hope and Damage Revisited (2005). The last two are available on iTunes. He was a member of New York's Rumble in the Redroom comedy troupe (1996–99) and has recorded several notable audio books including one short story in the acclaimed Stephen King collection, Just After Sunset and Peter Canellos's biography of Ted Kennedy, Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy, both for Simon and Schuster.
Sudduth finished the year appearing in the New York premiere of Prayer for My Enemy, a play by Craig Lucas. The play was the second time Sudduth worked with director, Bartlett Sher who had also directed South Pacific. The production ran at the esteemed Off-Broadway theater Playwright's Horizons from November 14 to December 21 and also featured Victoria Clark, Michele Pawk, and Jonathan Groff. In the play, Sudduth played a recovering alcoholic coping with his son's return from the Iraq War.
Sudduth officially began his career as a director during his years in the cast of Third Watch by directing one episode in each of the last three years of the series. Since then, Sudduth has directed episodes of ER, Criminal Minds and Women's Murder Club and "The Good Wife". He is currently at work developing projects for film, television, and theater. He has recently starred on the short lived police drama NYC 22 as NYPD Detective Tommy Luster.