HAIL TO THE CHIEF/ABC/1985
**(Glynn Turman) Secretary of State LaRue Hawkes, a black White House cabinet
official who served under the administration of President Julia Mansfield, the
first woman chief executive.
*(Fred Williamson/costar) Chester Long, the black boss at the Beverly Hills
Patrol, an expensive private security service for the rich and famous who
supervised a diminutive ex-cop named Rocky Nelson. Also featured was former NFL
player Bubba Smith as Beau, one of Rocky's co-workers.
HANGIN' WITH MR. COOPER/ABC/1992-97
*(Mark Curry) Mark Cooper, a black substitute elementary school teacher and
former basketball player living in Oakland, California. Regulars included Dawnn
Lewis and Holly Robinson Peete as Mark's single female roommates Robin (a music
teacher) and Vanessa (brokerage firm employee), on whom Mark had a crush and
later married; Saundra Quarterman as Geneva, Mark's cousin who moved in with her
daughter, Nicole (played by Raven Simone) after Robin moved out; Nell Carter as
P. J., Mark's school principal; Omar Gooding as Earvin Roman, one of Mark's
school pupils; and Marquise Wilson as Tyler, a local neighborhood kid.
*(Ray Grant) Ray Grant, the Master of Ceremonies of this black variety talent
program (the first with an all-Negro cast) televised on April 1, 1949 on WENR-TV
in Chicago, Illinois. Also featured were the Four Vagabonds, and the Modern
HARRIS AND COMPANY/NBC/1979
*(Bernie Casey) Mike Harris, a black auto worker who left Detroit after the
death of his wife and relocated his family to Los Angeles where he became
partner in a garage. His family members featured David Hubbard as David; Renee
Brown as Liz; Lia Jackson as Juanita Priscilla; Eddie Singleton as Tommy; and
Dain Turner as Richard Allen. Stu Gilliam and C. Tillery Banks appeared as their
cousins Charlie and Angie Adams.
HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS/SYN/1991-92
*(Kevin Peter Hall) Bigfoot, a huge forest creature who moved into a human
family's home in the Pacific Northwest. Black actor Kevin Peter Hall was the
actor beneath the hairy Bigfoot costume. Hall died in Los Angeles at the age of
35 in 1991. The seven foot, two inch actor had previously starred in the
theatrical movies "Harry and the Henderson's" (as Bigfoot) and in "Predator" and
Predator II" as a deadly, invisible alien.
HARTS OF THE WEST/CBS/1993-94
*(Sterling Macer, Jr.) Marcus St., Cloud, a manipulative black ex-con who worked
at the Flying Tumbleweed Ranch in Sholo, Nevada.
**(Francesca Roberts) Sally Coleman, a young, overzealous black secretary who
worked for a white parish priest, Monsignor Joseph "Mac" Mackenzie.
*(Wesley Snipes) Officer Lou Burton, policeman assigned to the Harlem Eastside
Lifesaving Program, a team of police officers, firefighters and medics serving
New York City.
HE'S THE MAYOR/ABC/1986
*(Kevin Hooks) Mayor Carl Burke, a 25-year-old black college graduate who ran
for Mayor and won after he was unable to find employment in his small
Pennsylvanian hometown. He got elected because his white opponent was caught in
a scandal days before the election. Also featured were Al Fann as Alvin Burke,
Carl's janitor father; and Wesley Thompson as Wardell Halsey, Carl's cousin and
HEAD OF THE CLASS/ABC/1986-91
**(Robin Givens) Darlene Merriman, an attractive black female high school
student, one of a group of IHP (Individual Honors Program) geniuses at New York
City's Filmore High School who were "mental giants but social misfits". Darlene
was the descendant of a famous black woman, Sally Hemmings, by whom Thomas
Jefferson had children. Also featured were Kimberly Russell as Sara Nevins, a
black classmate and friend; Rain Pryor as T. J., a tough talking but talented
teenage girl; and De Voreaux White as Aristotle McKenzie, an intelligent black
youth with spiked hair.
**(Lynn Whitefield) Dr. Corey Banks, an attractive black
obstetrician-gynecologist and mother of two, living and working at the Women's
Medical Arts Center in Los Angeles. Also featured was Robert Gossett as Dixon
*(Alex Desert/costar) Stan Lee, black teenage guitarist who belongs to a
blue-collar rock and roll group called The Heights. Ray Aranha appeared as
Stan’s father Mr. Mike, who owns a bar/pool hall where the band members (mostly
white) hang out and play their music.
**(Whitman Mayo/costar) One Ball, pool-playing black man who assisted Father "Hardstep"
Rivers, a white ex-con-turned-priest assigned to St. Dominic's parish in the
ghetto area of East Los Angeles. Also featured was Vonetta McGee as Sister
**(Meadowlark Lemon) Meadowlark Lemon former Harlem Globetrotters basketball
star (playing himself) as the black owner of a sporting good store in Portland
HERE AND NOW/NBC/1992-93
*(Malcolm-Jamal Warner) Alexander "A. J." a young black graduate psychology
student who worked at the Manhattan Youth Center in New York City. Also featured
were Charles Brown as Uncle Sydney, a hotel doorman who shared his home with A.
J.; Rachel Crawford as Sydney's daughter, Danielle; Darryl "Chill" Mitchell as
A. J. 's friend and coworker "T"; S. Epatha Merkerson as Ms. Claudia St. Marth,
the director of the youth center; Pee Wee Love as Randall; Michel Alexander as
Malik; Shaun Weiss as William; Amir Williams as Everett; Afi McClendon as Shonna;
and Victoria Williams as Rahina.
**(Jason Bernard) Mr. Paul Bracken, a gruff but fair black editor and supervisor
of a group of researchers for a magazine publisher. Mr. Bracken seemingly "knows
facts about everything".
*(Blair Underwood) Mike Rhoades, black uniformed gang-unit officer working for
the El Camino Police Department in California. Lisa Vidal plays officer Jessie
Helgado, one of Rhodes' fellow officers.
**(Jason Bernard) O. T. "Fletch" Fletcher, black computer expert who assisted a
crack team of security agents based at High Performance, a security training
**(Ernie Hudson) Smythe, black valet to the late Berkley Blacke (killed in a
laboratory explosion) who now serves his widow living at Highcliffe Manor, a
huge stone mansion on the mysterious island off the coast of Massachusetts.
THE HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES/SYN/1992-98
**(Philip Akin) Charlie DeSalvo, a black martial artists who owned a gym later
purchased by a 400-year-old immortal called Duncan MacLeod. When MacLeod
returned to Paris, France, he gave the business back to Charlie. Still later
Charlie went off to fight in a revolution in a foreign country and gave the
martial arts business back to MacLeod.
**(Tim Russ) D.C. Montana, hip black electronics wizard who maintained a
high-tech twelve-ton eighteen-wheeler black Mack truck used by special agents
called Highwaymen to tracks down criminals for the U.S. Government.
HILL STREET BLUES/NBC/1981-87
**(Michael Warren) Bobby Hill, black police officer working in an large
unidentified American city precinct known as Hill Street Station. Also featured
were Taurean Blacque as a black streetwise plainclothes detective Neal
Washington; and J. A. Preston as Ozzie Cleveland, the city's black mayor.
*(Claude Brooks/costar) Busby Evans, a black A&R talent scout at HiTower Records
who searches local nightclubs for signs of new musical acts that he can present
to his seemingly evil boss.
**(Ivan Dixon) Corporal James Kinchloe, a black radio operator and American
prisoner of war detained in Stalag 13, a German P.O.W. camp behind the enemy
lines of World War II. Later in the series Kenneth Washington appeared as Sgt.
Richard Baker, who replaced the Kinchloe character from 1970-71
HOMEBOYS IN OUTER SPACE/UPN/1996-97
*(Flex/costar) Tyberius Walker, a black space explorer who traveled the space
corridors of the 23rd century in a spacecraft called the Hoopty with his partner
Morris Clay (played by Darryl M. Bell). Rhona L. Bennett costarred as the sassy,
opinionated computer personality Loquatia, whose face was displayed on the
ship's TV monitor. Also featured were Kevin Michael Richardson as Vashti, Ty‘s
brother-in-law; and Paulette Braxton as Amma, a gorgeous bounty hunter.
**(Hattie Winston, Dick Anthony Williams) Gloria and Abe Davis, a black husband
and wife team of domestic servants (maid and chauffeur) working for a wealthy
white family at the end of the WWII in the town of River Run, Ohio. Sterling
Macer, Jr. appeared as their son Corporal Robert Davis, who found it difficult
adjusting to home life after all the fighting in Europe and to the obvious
preferences all of the white soldiers were given on employment opportunities.
*(Darryl Sivad) Darryl Harper, a black advertising jingle writer who left his
job to teach fourth graders in an inner city environment. Other cast members
were Penny Johnson as Darryl's wife, Virginia "Vicki" Harper, a medical student;
Bill Cobbs as her disapproving father, Phil Drexler; and Selone Araya, Trent
Cameron, Jahary Bennett and Billy Dee Willis as Darryl's grade school students.
HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET/NBC/1993-99
*(Yaphet Kotto/costar) Lt. Al “Gee” Giardello, a tough-talking black Sicilian
police supervisor in charge of a group of homicide detectives stationed in a
inner city precinct in Fells Point, Baltimore. MD. Lt. Al “Gee” Giardello’s
character is based on white Italian Baltimore police detective Lt. Gary “Dee”
D’Addario. When Giardello ran for Mayor of Baltimore, he was shot and killed by
a man angry over the death of his child. Gee’s homicide case was #298. Other
Blacks featured on the program included Clark Johnson as streetwise Detective
Meldrick Lewis; Andre Braugher as the very intense Detective Frank Pembleton
(who later resigned); Ami Brabson as Mary Whelan Pembleton, Franks’ wife;
Michael Michele as Lewis' new partner, Detective Rene Sheppard; Toni Lewis as
Detective Terri Stivers; and Giancarlo Esposito as Special FBI Agent Mike
Giardello (Lt. Al Giardello’s estranged son introduced during the 1998-99
season). Note; Yaphet Kotto was raised in Harlem-as a Jew. Yaphet (which means
beautiful in Hebrew) was a descendent of African royalty. His father, Njoki
Manga Bell, was the great-grandson of King Alexander Bell who ruled the Doula
region of the West Africa nation of Cameroon in the late 19th century. Kotto is
entitled to a chieftaincy in Camaroon should he decide to journey back to the
land of his family roots.
THE HOOP LIFE/SHO/1999-2000
*(Mykelti Williamson) Marvin Buxton, hot-tempered black basketball player hired
to hit hoops for the New England Knights, a pro basketball team of the UBA. “The
Hoop Life” follows the lives of three basketball players trying to survive the
high-stress environment of big money, big egos and overnight fame Among the
other players: Rick Peters as Greg Marr (Rick Peters), a womanizer going through
a messy divorce; and Cirroc Lofton as Curtis Thorpe, a high school sensation
recruited by the Knights. Other cast were Dorian Harewood as Eliot Pierce; Lynda
Gravatt as Celia Thorpe; and Michelyn Emelle as Sharon Thorpe. The 6 feet 3
inches tall, Mykelti Williamson played Bubba in Forrest Gump.
**(John Hancock) Clarence, aka "Chicken," a beefy, black owner of a greasy
roadside ribs/chili joint which was the hang out for two white police
detectives, Sgt. Joey La Fiamma and Sgt. LeVon Lundy.
**(Nathan Cook) Billy Griffin, a black ex-con gone straight working as head of
security for the San Francisco's posh St. Gregory Hotel. Shari Belafonte-Harper
played counter receptionist Julie Gillette.
*(D. L. Hughley) Darryl Hughley, a successful black vending-machine businessman
who moved his family to the comfort of a California suburbs to become the only
blacks in a sea of white folks. Also featured were Elise Neal as Darryl's wife,
Yvonne; Ashley Monique Clark and Dee Jay Daniels as their children; and John
Henton as Darryl's best (and black) friend. The show, based on the life of
stand-up comic D. L. Hughleys, begs to ask the questions "Is this black man
losing his blackness while he tries to keep up with the Jones?" and "When Daddy
loves Marvin Gaye and his son likes Hanson, can racial harmony be far behind?"
See also LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.
*(Trey Parker) Rapper #1, one of the four rapping/dancing high school students
("The Hull High Devils") who wandered the halls of Cordell Hull High School.
Also featured were Philip DeMarks as Rapper # 2; Carl Anthony Payne II as Rapper
# 3; and Bryan Anthony as Rapper #4.
**(Eriq LaSalle) Michael Stoven, black medical intern and one of a number of
students being instructed by Dr. Alex Murphy, a talented veteran physician
working at U.C.I., an inner city teaching hospital.
**(Kirk Baltz) Philo Marsden, black makeup maven who created computer generated
masks as disguises for Christopher Chance, a decoy-for-hire who impersonated
endangered people. Philo was headquartered aboard a huge black high-tech
aircraft called Blackwing.
**(Garrett Morris) Arnold "Sporty" James, a black, streetwise hustler introduced
in the fall of 1986 season. Comedian singer, Garrett Morris was formerly of
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (1975-80).
Back to Top