Roscoe “Rocky” Carroll (born July 8, 1963) is an American actor and director. He is known for his roles as Joey Emerson on the Fox comedy-drama Roc (1991–94), as Dr. Keith Wilkes on the CBS medical drama Chicago Hope, and as NCIS Director Leon Vance on the CBS drama NCIS and its spinoffs Los Angeles and New Orleans. He also played a supporting role in the 1995 thriller film Crimson Tide.
Carroll was born Roscoe Carroll in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 8, 1963. His acting career is rooted in the theater. In 1981, Carroll graduated from the famed School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati Ohio, in the Cincinnati Public School District. Determined to further his knowledge of acting, he attended The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, where he graduated with a B.F.A. degree. Carroll would later receive an honorary degree from his alma mater in 2009. After graduating, Carroll decided to test the waters by moving to New York City, the heart of the theater community. There, he introduced many young children to the works of William Shakespeare by participating in Joe Papp’s “Shakespeare on Broadway” series.
As part of Joe Papp’s acclaimed New York Shakespeare Festival, Carroll helped to open doors for actors of color, by taking on non-traditional roles that were rarely portrayed by Black actors in Shakespeare dramas. In 1987, Carroll was introduced to the works of August Wilson. The up-and-coming and talented young actor was allowed to recreate his role for the Broadway production of Wilson’s critically acclaimed story The Piano Lesson. The play not only earned a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, but Carroll earned a Tony and Drama Desk nomination.
He is known for portraying ne’er-do-well musician Joey Emerson on the FOX comedy-drama Roc. He also had a starring role as Dr. Keith Wilkes in the TV series Chicago Hope. Carroll has guest starred in several other TV programs including The Agency, Boston Legal, Family Law, The West Wing, Law & Order, The Game, ER and Grey’s Anatomy. Carroll has had roles in many Hollywood films such as Born on the Fourth of July, The Ladies Man, Crimson Tide, The Great White Hype, Prelude to a Kiss, The Chase, Best Laid Plans and Yes Man.
In the fifth season of the CBS drama NCIS, Carroll was featured in a recurring role as Assistant Director Leon Vance. In doing so, he had been reunited with his Chicago Hope castmates Mark Harmon and Lauren Holly. After the death of NCIS director Jenny Shepard (played by Holly), his character became the new director of NCIS, and replaced Holly in the main cast. He has also guest-starred as Vance in the NCIS spin-offs Los Angeles and New Orleans.
He shares his birthday with former NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly.
In addition to being a series regular on NCIS, Carroll has also directed fifteen episodes of NCIS, making his directorial debut with the Season 12 episode, “We Build, We Fight”.
Carroll married Gabrielle Bullock in 1996. They have one daughter, Elissa.
|1989||Born on the Fourth of July||Willie|
|1992||Prelude to a Kiss||Tom|
|1994||The Chase||Byron Wilder|
|1995||Crimson Tide||Lieutenant Darik Westerguard|
|1996||The Great White Hype||Artemus St. John Saint|
|1999||Best Laid Plans||Bad Ass Dude|
|2000||The Ladies Man||Cyrus Cunningham|
|2008||Yes Man||Wesley T. “Wes” Parker|
|2014||Justice League: War||Silas Stone (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2018||The Death of Superman||Silas Stone (voice) / Perry White (uncredited voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2019||Reign of the Supermen||Perry White (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|1989||Money, Power, Murder||Dwan||Television movie|
|1990||Law & Order||Dr. Davids||Episode: “Prescription for Death”|
|1991||American Experience||James Gooding (voice)||Television documentary series
Episode: “The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry”
|1991–1994||Roc||Joey Emerson||72 episodes|
|1994–1996||Gargoyles||Derek Maza, Talon, Glasses (voices)||9 episodes|
|1995||Fantastic Four: The Animated Series||Silver Surfer (voice)||Episodes: “Inhumans Saga: Part 2: The Inhumans Among Us” and “Inhumans Saga: Part 3: Beware the Hidden Land”|
|1996–2000||Chicago Hope||Dr. Keith Wilkes||96 episodes|
|1997||Five Desperate Hours||Lieutenant Frank Early||Television movie|
|1998||Hercules: The Animated Series||Hylas (voice)||Episode: “Hercules and the Poseidon’s Cup Adventure”|
|2000–2001||Welcome to New York||Adrian Spencer||15 episodes|
|2001||The West Wing||Corey Sykes||Episode: “The Drop In”|
|2004||ER||Mr. Walker||Episode: “The Student”|
|2004||Father of the Pride||Chaz (voice)||Episode: “One Man’s Meat Is Another Man’s Girlfriend”|
|2004||Boston Legal||Assistant District Attorney John Shubert||Episode: “Hired Guns”|
|2004–2005||American Dreams||Reverend Kingston Davis||Episodes: “So Long, Farewell” and “Starting Over”|
|2005||Kevin Hill||Tony Banks||Episode: “Occupational Hazard”|
|2006–2007||The Game||Kenny “Coach T” Taylor||4 episodes|
|2007||Grey’s Anatomy||James Miller||Episode: “Haunt You Every Day”|
|2008–present||NCIS||Leon Vance||Recurring role (Season 5), Main role (Season 6–present)|
|2009–2014||NCIS: Los Angeles||10 episodes|
|2011||Glenn Martin, DDS||Various (voice)||Episode: “Date with Destiny”|
|2014||NCIS: New Orleans||Leon Vance||3 episodes|
|2017||The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks||Sonny Lacks||Television film|
|1993||Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers||Willy Walker (voice)|
|2004||Spider-Man 2||Additional Voices (voice)|
|2020||Magnum P.I.||Episode: “May the Best One Win”|