He graduated from Bellevue High School in 1958 and briefly attended Everett Junior College in Everett, WA. Eager to begin acting, he traveled to Los Angeles in 1959. During his time in L.A., Robinson worked a variety of jobs before joining the United States Navy in September of 1960. He did his military basic training at the San Diego Naval Base, and the remainder of his military duty was spent in Brooklyn. He played the oboe and tenor saxophone, and began studying acting with renowned director/teacher Lloyd Richards.
Robinson received his Equity (union) card for a role in the off-Broadway production of Walk in Darkness in 1966, and has worked exclusively as an actor ever since. Robinson made his Broadway debut with Al Pacino in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? Subsequent Broadway appearances include Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death; Amen Corner – The Musical; The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards; Seven Guitars, for which he received a Tony Award nomination; Drowning Crow; and Joe Turner's Come and Gone, for which he received a Tony Award. He has appeared in more than 30 off-Broadway plays, with major roles in most of the prestigious Regional Theaters in the U.S. He also appeared in August Wilson's play Jitney at the Royal National Theater in London.
Robinson's television work has included an acclaimed performance in The Marcus/Nelson Murders, which was the CBS pilot for the Kojak series. Robinson subsequently played the recurring role of Gil Weaver for four seasons on the popular show. He was a Universal Studios contract player for four years, and has guest starred in over 75 television shows.
Robinson's movie credits include roles in Believe in Me, Willie Dynamite, Newman's Law, Meteor, Preaching to the Choir, and Brother to Brother, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination and won the Outfest Best Actor Award. He recently completed work on the independent feature film Foreclosure.
Robinson has three children, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Roger Robinson Facts
|May 2, 1940 (83)
|Seattle, Washington, USA