Robert (Bobby Dean) Hooks
by Dale Ricardo Shields
- What’s Up?
- Favorite Color:
- Gray, Green
- Favorite Food:
- Fruit, Vegetables, Fish
- Favorite Time of Year:
- Favorite Vacation Spot:
Laguna Beach, California
Born: April 18, 1937 (age 78), Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.
Spouse: Lorrie Marlow (m. 2008)
Kevin Hooks, Eric Hooks, Christopher Michael Carter, Cecilia Ann Hooks Onibudo, Kiyo Dean Tarpley Hooks, Robert (Rob) Hooks, Jr.
Parents: Edward Hooks, Bertha Hooks
Nominations: Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical
Robert Dean (Bobby) Hooks is an African-American actor of films, television, and stage. With a career as a producer, theatre builder, and political activist to his credit, he is most recognizable to the public for his over 100 roles in films and television.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT [ 2020 ]
Slide Presentation by Dale Ricardo Shields
DCN Presents: The Robert Hooks Story
The 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.
Robert Hooks is regarded, variously, as a gifted artist who has broken color barriers on stage, film, and television. A leading man when there were few 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 male 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.
Famously, Hooks, along with Douglas Turner Ward, founded The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC). 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. This important theater company has produced plays by Charles Fuller, Wole Soyinka, Peter Weiss, Derek Walcott, Samm Art Williams, Leslie Lee, and Joseph A. Walker and many others.
Additionally, Hooks is the sole founder of two significant Black theatre companies: the DC Black Repertory Company, and New York’s Group Theatre Workshop, that were created to mentor the talents of New York’s disadvantaged youth. He brought in Dr. Barbara Ann Teer to help teach classes and develop the workshop.
Robert Hooks was nominated for a Tony Award 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 Award for his PBS special Voices of Our People.
He passed down his passion for acting to two of his sons, Kevin Hooks, and Eric Hooks. Kevin Hooks is also a film director, and cast his father in two of his films: Passenger 57 (1992) and Fled (1996). Eric Hooks is an actor, known for Sounder (1972) and Just an Old Sweet Song (1976).
Significant roles for which Robert is known for 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.