Robert Hooks

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|name = Robert Hooks |image = Robert Hooks.jpg |birth_name = Robert Dean Hooks |birth_date = (1937-04-18) April 18, 1937 (age 81) |birth_place = Washington, D.C., United States |othername = Bobby Dean Hooks |occupation = Actor
Director }} Father of actor, writer, director Kevin Hooks

Robert Dean "Bobby" Hooks (born April 18, 1937) is an actor of films, television, and stage.[1] 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 films and television.


Early life[edit]

Youngest of five children, Hooks was born in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C., the son of Bertha (née Ward), a seamstress, and Edward Hooks, who worked on the railroad tracks, where he died.[2][3]

Personal Life[edit]

Hooks is the father of actor, television and film director Kevin Hooks.


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 originated 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.

In 1968 Hooks was the host of the new public affairs television program, Like It Is.[4]

Most famously, Hooks, along with Douglas Turner Ward, founded The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC).[5] He then brought Gerald Krone in as Production Manager. 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. Additionally Hooks is the sole founder of two significant black theatre companies: the DC Black Repertory Company, and New York's Group Theatre Workshop, built to mentor the talents of New York's disadvantaged youth. He soon brought in Dr. Barbara Ann Teer to teach classes and develop the workshop.[6]

Hooks 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 (1967), Mr. T. in the blaxploitation film Trouble Man (1972), grandpa Gene Donovan in the comedy Seventeen Again (2000), and Fleet Admiral Morrow in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). He also appeared on television in an episode of the NBC crime drama series The Eddie Capra Mysteries in 1978 and portrayed Doctor Walcott in the 1980s television series Dynasty.



  1. ^ "Lorrie Marlow and Robert Hooks". The New York Times. June 15, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Page not found - The HistoryMakers". Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "Robert Hooks Biography (1937-)". Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Gil Noble: Visionary Videos: NVLP: African American History". Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  5. ^ "American Masters: Negro Ensemble Company". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  6. ^ Hill, Anthony D.; Barnett, Douglas Q. (4 December 2008). "Historical Dictionary of African American Theater". Scarecrow Press. Retrieved 10 September 2017 – via Google Books. 

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