Robert Hooks (born Bobby Dean Hooks, April 18, 1937) is an American actor of films, television and stage.[With a career as a producer and political activist to his credit, he is most recognizable to the public for his over 100 roles in films and television.Hooks has been regarded, variously, as a gifted artist who broke the color barriers in stage, film and television before the term "colorblind casting" even existed, and a leading man when there were no African American matinee idols. He originated roles on the New York stage in such classics as Dutchman, A Taste of Honey and Where's Daddy? for which he won the Theatre World Award. He was the first African American lead on a television drama, the original N.Y.P.D. Hooks was nominated for a Tony for his lead role in the musical, Hallelujah, Baby!, has received both the Pioneer Award and the NAACP Image Award for Lifetime Achievement, and has been inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. He also won an Emmy.