Richard L. Brooks (born December 9, 1962) is an American actor, singer, and director. He played the eccentric bounty hunter Jubal Early in the space-western Firefly and assistant district attorney Paul Robinette in the NBC drama series Law & Order from 1990 to 1993, later appearing as a defense attorney on that same show. In 2013, he began starring as Patrick Patterson in the BET drama series, Being Mary Jane.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Brooks studied acting, dance, and voice work at Interlochen Academy of Arts in Michigan. Later, he moved to New York City and was a student of the Circle in the Square Professional Theater School.
While in New York, Brooks performed in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference production of August Wilson’s Fences, which gained him a positive reputation. A subsequent move to Los Angeles found the actor landing television roles in Hill Street Blues and “The Russians Are Coming”, along with made-for-TV features such as Badge of the Assassin (1985) and Resting Place (1986). With Teen Wolf (1985), The Hidden (1987), Off Limits (1988), Shakedown (1988), and Shocker (1989), Brooks began his work in the world of feature films. Brooks appeared as OD in the award-winning film 84C MoPic (1989), directed by Patrick Sheane Duncan.
Throughout the 1990s, most of his popularity came from his widespread exposure in his role as Paul Robinette on Law & Order. However, the actor would constantly find himself alternating between the feature films, television, and the stage. After appearing in The Substitute and playing the villain in The Crow: City of Angels (both 1996), Brooks opted to try his hand at directing, and the result was Johnny B Good (1998). It is about a young, urban black man who makes a positive change after suffering amnesia. Brooks returned to television for the short-lived series G vs E in 1999. In 2001 he made a guest appearance in NYPD Blue. Brooks is also well known by some science fiction fans for his appearance on Joss Whedon’s Firefly, as a bounty hunter named Jubal Early in the existentialist series finale “Objects in Space”. He also appeared as Hasdrabul Skaras in “Slayer”, the fifth episode of the series Brimstone. He also appeared as Detective Ehrle in the short-lived Fox series Drive, alongside Nathan Fillion, with whom Brooks had worked on Firefly.
In addition to his film work, Brooks also founded his own production company, Flat Top Entertainment LLC. At the dawn of the millennium, Brooks released his first solo R&B album, Smooth Love, on Flat Top Records.
In March 2011, Brooks played the role of Harmond Wilkes in Radio Golf, written by August Wilson, at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York. He played Frederick Douglass in the 2013 PBS series The Abolitionists.
Brooks stars as Patrick in the BET original series Being Mary Jane. It premiered July 2, 2013.
Brooks stars as Lead Marshal Pollack in Person of Interest, season 3, “The Devil’s Share”.
Brooks played Warden Wolfe in season 4 of The Flash, and Dwight Wise in Seasons 5 and 6 of the show Bosch.
Brooks plays Augustus Barringer on the UMC network comedy The Rich and the Ruthless (2017–present).
|1986||Good to Go||Chemist|
|1990||To Sleep with Anger||Babe Brother|
|1996||Black Rose of Harlem||Yancey|
|1996||The Crow: City of Angels||Judah Earl|
|1998||Johnny B Good|
|1998||The Adventures of Ragtime||Agent Dooley|
|1999||In Too Deep||Wesley|
|2004||If Love Hadn’t Left Me Lonely||Ricardo French||Direct-to-video|
|2009||Dough Boys||Detective Nichols|
|2010||Who Da Man?||Dante||Short film|
|2011||In My Pocket||Dr. Barry|
|2013||Officer Down||McAlister’s Lawyer|
|2013||Mr. Sophistication||Floyd Cash|
|2015||The Sin Seer||Jake Ballard|
|2020||Noah’s Arc: The ‘Rona Chronicles||Wade’s Dad||Short film|
|2020||Troubled Waters||Floyd Cash|
|1983||Hill Street Blues||Tyrone Crane||Episode: “The Russians Are Coming”|
|1984||With Intent to Kill||Eddie Cox||Television movie|
|1985||Badge of the Assassin||Anthony “Tony” Bottom||Television movie|
|1986||Resting Place||Booker T. Douglas||Television movie|
|1987||A Special Friendship||Matt Bowser||Television movie|
|1988||Spenser: For Hire||Robert||Episode: “The Siege”|
|1989||Terror on Highway 91||Television movie|
|1989||Tour of Duty||Private First Class Marsten||Episode: “True Grit”|
|1989||Almost Grown||Curtis||Episode: “Jersey Blues”|
|1989||The Neon Empire||Tampa||Television movie|
|1990–2006||Law & Order||Defense Attorney Paul Robinette||69 episodes
Main cast (Seasons 1–3)
Guest cast (Seasons 6, 16–17)
|1992||Memphis||Eben Kinship||Television movie|
|1994||ER||Mr. Freeman||Episode: “Chicago Heat”|
|1994||Chicago Hope||Henry Lavelle||Episode: “Shutt Down”|
|1994||Diagnosis: Murder||Mercury “The Heat” Jones||Episode: “Standing Eight Count”|
|1995||Renegade||Barry||Episode: “Repo Raines”|
|1996||Code Name: Wolverine||Special Agent John Baines||Television movie|
|1997||Renegade||Agent Marcus Donner||Episode: “Top Ten with a Bullet”|
|1997||Nash Bridges||Max Moore||Episode: “Found Money”|
|1998||The Wedding||Lincoln Odis||Television movie|
|1998||NYPD Blue||Everette McRae||Episode: “Hammer Time”|
|1998||Brimstone||Hasdrabul Skaras||Episode: “Slayer”|
|1999||WWE Raw||Henry McNeil||Episode: “Rebellion Results”|
|1999–2000||G vs E||Henry McNeil||Main cast
|1999||Judging Amy||Mr. Plymouth||Episode: “Presumed Innocent”|
|2001||NYPD Blue||Captain Eric Knowlton||Episode: “Franco, My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn”|
|2001||Dead Last||Tyrell Nitro “TNT” Thompson||Episode: “The Problem with Corruption”|
|2002||Firefly||Jubal Early||Episode: “Objects in Space”|
|2003||NCIS||Lieutenant Colonel Walsh||Episode: “Marine Down”|
|2006||Close to Home||Phil Raab||Episode: “Community”|
|2006||Spy Games: The Black Wolf Hunt||Television movie|
|2007||Drive||Detective Ehrle||3 episodes|
|2009||Lie to Me||Mark Boulware||Episode: “Life is Priceless”|
|2011||Childrens Hospital||Robert||Episode: “Father’s Day”|
|2011||Charlie’s Angels||Richard Umbaque||Episode: “Royal Angels”|
|2013||American Experience||Frederick Douglass||3 episodes
Television documentary series
|2013–2019||Being Mary Jane||Patrick Patterson||34 episodes|
|2013||Person of Interest||Lead Marshal Pollack||Episode: “The Devil’s Share”|
|2014||The Arsenio Hall Show||Himself||1 episode|
|2015||Elementary||Detective Demps||Episode: “For All You Know”|
|2016||The Good Wife||Ace Barnstone||Episode: “Targets”|
|2016||You Can’t Hurry Love||Pastor Avery||Television movie|
|2017||Chicago Justice||Defense Attorney Paul Robinette||Episode: “Uncertainty Principle”|
|2017–2018||The Flash||Warden Gregory Wolfe||4 episodes|
|2017–present||The Rich and the Ruthless||Augustus Barringer||Main cast
Nominated – Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series (2018)
|2018–2019||Jacqueline and Jilly||Magnus Mitchell||6 episodes|
|2019||The Blacklist||Mitchell Young||Episode: “Olivia Olson (No. 115)”|
|2019–2020||Bosch||Dwight Wise||9 episodes|
|2019–2021||Good Trouble||Joseph||9 episodes|
|2019||All Rise||Assistant Chief Jack Healy||Episodes: “Pilot” and “A View from the Bus”|
|2020||The Haves and the Have Nots||Al||5 episodes|
|2021||Chicago P.D.||Lieutenant Mike Carey||Episode: “Tender Age”|
|2021||Shameless Hall of Shame||Big Liam||Episode: “Frank: Ghosts of Gallagher Past”|