Rocky Carroll

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Rocky Carroll
Carroll in 2012
Roscoe Carroll

(1963-07-08) July 8, 1963 (age 60)
EducationSchool for Creative and Performing Arts
Webster University
Occupation(s)Actor, director
Years active1989–present
Known forJoey Emerson on Roc
Director Leon Vance on NCIS
Gabrielle Bullock
(m. 1996)

Roscoe "Rocky" Carroll (born July 8, 1963) is an American actor and director. He is known for his roles as Joey Emerson on the Fox comedy-drama Roc (1991–94),[1] as Dr. Keith Wilkes on the CBS medical drama Chicago Hope,[2] and as NCIS Director Leon Vance on the CBS drama NCIS and its spinoffs Los Angeles and New Orleans. He also played a supporting role in the 1995 thriller film Crimson Tide.

Early life[edit]

Carroll was born Roscoe Carroll in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 8, 1963.[3] His acting career is rooted in the theater. In 1981, Carroll graduated from the famed School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati Ohio, in the Cincinnati Public School District. Determined to further his knowledge of acting, he attended The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, where he graduated with a B.F.A. degree. Carroll would later receive an honorary degree from his alma mater in 2009.[4] After graduating, Carroll decided to test the waters by moving to New York City, the heart of the theater community. There, he introduced many young children to the works of William Shakespeare by participating in Joe Papp's "Shakespeare on Broadway" series.[5]


As part of Joe Papp's acclaimed New York Shakespeare Festival, Carroll helped to open doors for actors of color, by taking on non-traditional roles that were rarely portrayed by Black actors in Shakespeare dramas. In 1987, Carroll was introduced to the works of August Wilson. The up-and-coming and talented young actor was allowed to recreate his role for the Broadway production of Wilson's critically acclaimed story The Piano Lesson. The play not only earned a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, but Carroll earned a Tony and Drama Desk nomination.

He is known for portraying ne'er-do-well musician Joey Emerson on the FOX comedy-drama Roc. He also had a starring role as Dr. Keith Wilkes in the TV series Chicago Hope. Carroll has guest starred in several other TV programs including The Agency, Boston Legal, Family Law, The West Wing, Law & Order, The Game, ER and Grey's Anatomy. Carroll has had roles in many Hollywood films such as Born on the Fourth of July, The Ladies Man, Crimson Tide, The Great White Hype, Prelude to a Kiss, The Chase, Best Laid Plans and Yes Man.

In the fifth season of the CBS drama NCIS, Carroll was featured in a recurring role as Assistant Director Leon Vance. In doing so, he had been reunited with his Chicago Hope castmates Mark Harmon and Lauren Holly. After the death of NCIS director Jenny Shepard (played by Holly), his character became the new director of NCIS, and replaced Holly in the main cast. He has also guest-starred as Vance in the NCIS spin-offs Los Angeles and New Orleans.

He shares his birthday with former NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly.

In addition to being a series regular on NCIS, Carroll has also directed fifteen episodes of NCIS, making his directorial debut with the Season 12 episode, "We Build, We Fight".

Personal life[edit]

Carroll married Gabrielle Bullock in 1996. They have one daughter, Elissa.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Born on the Fourth of July Willie
1992 Prelude to a Kiss Tom
1994 The Chase Byron Wilder
1995 Crimson Tide Lieutenant Darik Westerguard
1996 The Great White Hype Artemus St. John Saint
1999 Best Laid Plans Bad Ass Dude
2000 The Ladies Man Cyrus Cunningham
2008 Yes Man Wesley T. "Wes" Parker
2014 Justice League: War Silas Stone Voice, direct-to-video
2018 The Death of Superman Silas Stone, Perry White Voice, direct-to-video
2019 Reign of the Supermen Perry White Voice, direct-to-video


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Money, Power, Murder Dwan Television movie
1990 Law & Order Dr. Davids Episode: "Prescription for Death"
1991 American Experience James Gooding Voice, episode: "The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry"
1991–1994 Roc Joey Emerson 72 episodes
1994–1996 Gargoyles Derek Maza, Talon, Glasses Voice, 9 episodes
1995 Fantastic Four Silver Surfer Voice, 2 episodes
1996–2000 Chicago Hope Dr. Keith Wilkes 96 episodes
1997 Five Desperate Hours Lieutenant Frank Early Television movie
1998 Hercules Hylas Voice, episode: "Hercules and the Poseidon's Cup Adventure"
2000–2001 Welcome to New York Adrian Spencer 15 episodes
2001 The West Wing Corey Sykes Episode: "The Drop In"
2001–2003 The Agency Carl Reese 45 episodes
2004 ER Mr. Walker Episode: "The Student"
2004 Father of the Pride Chaz Voice, episode: "One Man's Meat Is Another Man's Girlfriend"
2004 Boston Legal Assistant District Attorney John Shubert Episode: "Hired Guns"
2004–2005 American Dreams Reverend Kingston Davis 2 episodes
2005 Kevin Hill Tony Banks Episode: "Occupational Hazard"
2005–2006 Invasion Healy 4 episodes
2006–2007 The Game Kenny "Coach T" Taylor 4 episodes
2007 Grey's Anatomy James Miller Episode: "Haunt You Every Day"
2008–present NCIS Leon Vance Recurring role (Season 5), Main role (Season 6–present)
2009–2014 NCIS: Los Angeles 10 episodes
2011 Glenn Martin, DDS Various Voice, episode: "Date with Destiny"
2014 Blue Robert 2 episodes
2014 NCIS: New Orleans Leon Vance 3 episodes
2017 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Sonny Lacks Television film

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers Willy Walker
2004 Spider-Man 2 Additional voices


Year Title Note(s)
2015–24 NCIS 23+ episodes
2020 Magnum P.I. Episode: "May the Best One Win"


  1. ^ Shales, Tom. "'Roc' on a roll with live shows". Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), August 19, 1992, p. D1. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
  2. ^ Spartanburg Herald-Journal. "Actor just wanted to be good at craft". January 23, 1997, p. A2. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
  3. ^ "Rocky Carroll". TV Guide. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "Honorary Degrees at Webster University". Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  5. ^ Elber, Lynn. "Carroll relishes his time on 'smart' sitcom". Eugene Register-Guard, December 26, 2000, p. 6E. Retrieved on July 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Hello, My Name Is ... Rocky Carroll NCIS' (and Los Angeles') Director Leon Vance". People. 72 (22). November 30, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2015.

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