The Kennedy Center

Roscoe Orman


Roscoe Orman is widely known for his forty-two seasons as 'Gordon' on Sesame Street. TV audiences have also seen him on Sanford and Son, Kojak, All My Children, A Man Called Hawk, Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, Cosby, Sex and the City, The Wire, Alpha House, and, most recently, HBO's The Night Of. As a voice-over artist, he has narrated many documentary films, including Langston Hughes: The Dreamkeeper on PBS, Lifeline on Discovery, and Heritage of the Black West on National Geographic.

A Bronx, NY native, Orman began his acting studies at Manhattan's Circle In The Square Theatre School, making his professional debut with the Next Stage Theatre revue, If We Grow Up. He has since achieved a long and distinguished list of theatre, film, and television credits. In the mid-sixties, he toured throughout the Deep South for two years with The Free Southern Theater, serving as the company's artistic director for one season. As a founding member of Harlem's New Lafayette Theatre from 1967 to 1972, he appeared in such plays as Whose Got His Own, We Righteous Bombers, The Duplex, The Devil Catchers, and The Fabulous Miss Marie. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Brutus in the 1979 NY Shakespeare Festival production of Julius Caesar, and also for his performance in the role of Gabriel in the original Broadway production of Fences. His more recent stage roles have included Doaker Charles in The Piano Lesson, Jim Becker in Jitney, Troy Maxon in Fences, Hoke Colburn in Driving Miss Daisy, and Lincoln Perry in Fetch/Clay, Make/Man, He is a five time nominee and a two time recipient of the Audelco Theatre Award, in 2014 for his portrayal of Bill Horton in the New Federal Theatre revival of The Fabulous Miss Marie, and for his 1997 performance in NFT's Do Lord Remember Me.

As a director, Orman has staged productions of plays such as Ed Bullins' Goin'a Buffalo, Clara's Ole Man, How Do You Do, and House Party.

In 1973, Orman made his feature film debut in the title role of Universal Pictures' Willie Dynamite. His other films include Follow That Bird, FX, Striking Distance, New Jersey Drive, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, 30 Days, and Jeremy Fink and The Meaning of Life.

 Orman has hosted many child related events, including national telethons for the prevention of child abuse and violence among children as well as the Children's Defense Fund's Stand For Children and New York City's Kid's Day events."

He has toured extensively with his Gordon of Sesame Street concert series and with Matt Robinson's highly acclaimed one-man play The Confessions of Stepin Fetchit.

As a writer, Orman was a contributing editor of Black Theatre Magazine during the 1970s. His memoir, Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor was published in June 2006. His children's book Ricky & Mobo which he wrote and illustrated was published in 2007. From 2008 to 2009 he served as the Chief Storyteller and national spokesperson for AudibleKids. For more information go to
Roscoe Orman