Howard E. Rollins, Jr.
Date of Birth
Oct 17, 1950
Birth Place:
Baltimore, MD


Towson State College graduate Howard E. Rollins Jr. has been a stage leading man since the mid-1970s. The tall, imposing African-American actor earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of fiercely proud Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime (1981). As impressive as his theatre and film resum├ęs are his TV credits, including such roles as Andrew Young in the 1978 miniseries King and George Haley in the 1979 multiparter Roots: The Next Generation. Howard E. Rollins was seen on a more regular basis on the ABC daytime drama Another World (for which he was Emmy-nominated); as explosives expert Bannister Parks on the 1985 "buddy western" series Wildside; and as Virgil Tibbs on the long-running (1988-92) TV adaptation of In the Heat of the Night. He made his final feature film appearance in Drunks (1995), a slice-of-life drama set at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Six weeks before he died on December 8, 1997, the 42-year-old Rollins had been diagnosed with lymphoid. Complications from the disease caused his demise. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Provided by Rovi