Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brooks matriculated at the Interlochen Arts Academy before heading to NYC to study acting in the Circle in the Square training program. Stage roles in plays like "Equus" and "Twelfth Night" followed, as well as the opportunity to create a role in the premiere of August Wilson's "Fences" at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. By 1984, he had begun to make inroads on the small screen, appearing in small roles in TV-movies and the following year, he made his feature debut in the comedy "Teen Wolf." After marking time in mostly little-seen projects, Brooks garnered attention for his turn as the sergeant in Patrick Sheane Duncan's Vietnam drama "84 Charlie MoPic" (1989). Charles Burnett tapped him to play the troubled son in "To Sleep With Anger" (1990) before he landed his breakthrough TV role. As Robinette, Brooks perfectly complemented Michael Moriarty's firebrand Ben Stone. Despite the nature of the show, which rarely delved into the private lives of the regulars and concentrated on their workplace roles, the actor found ways to keep his characterization fresh and compelling. When the network reportedly wanted to add a female presence to the cast, Brooks was let go--reportedly one week after he had turn down a role in Spike Lee's "Crooklyn" (1994). As such, his film career has been somewhat hampered, although he offered an impressive turn as the villainous drug lord in "The Crow: City of Angels" (1996). While continuing to have a presence on the small screen via guest appearances and TV-movies (notably 1998's "The Wedding" on ABC), Brooks had avoided returning to the weekly grind until "GvsE/Good vs. Evil" (USA Network, 1999; Sci-Fi Channel, 1999-2000), a comedy-thriller created by the Pate brothers about undead bounty hunters. Cast as the ultra-cool stuck in the 70s veteran Henry McNeil, he perfectly embodied the deadpan style the zany material required to be believable and his chemistry with co-star Clayton Rohner, as the rookie agent helped make the series eminently watchable.