Cleavant Derricks
Born Cleavant Derricks, Jr.
May 15, 1953
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Cleavant Derricks, Jr. (born May 15, 1953) is a Tony Award-winning American actor and singer/songwriter.


Derricks was born in Knoxville, Tennessee to a pianist mother and Baptist preacher/composer Cleavant Derricks, Sr.[1][2] His twin brother is actor and musician Clinton Derricks-Carroll. Derricks began his career as a Nashville gospel songwriter. With his father, he wrote the gospel album Satisfaction Guaranteed. He was the musical director and composer for the musical When Hell Freezes Over I'll Skate.

Derricks went to New York City to study acting with Vinnette Carroll at the Urban Arts Theatre. He received rave reviews for his performance in her Broadway shows, including But Never Jam Today. He also won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for creating the role of James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls. He also starred in the Broadway musical Brooklyn as the Streetsinger.

Soon afterward, Derricks appeared in films such as Moscow on the Hudson, Neil Simon's The Slugger's Wife and recently, Wes Craven's Carnival of Souls. He was a series regular on the television series Thea with Thea Vidale and Brandy, and Good Sports with Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal. His role as Rembrandt Brown (known as the Crying Man) on Sliders with Jerry O'Connell, Sabrina Lloyd and John Rhys-Davies is notable because Derricks is the only original Sliders actor to appear throughout the entire series. In addition, Derricks has had numerous guest-starring roles in series such as Roseanne, A Different World, Miami Vice, Spenser: For Hire, and many others.

Cleavant Derricks has a son, Cleavante Derricks III, 23, who is breaking into the hip hop world as a dancer.


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  • Cold Case (2007)
  • Wedding Bells (2007)
  • The Bernie Mac Show (2002) as Willie
  • World Traveler (2001) as Carl
  • The Practice (2001) as Mr. Lees
  • 18 Wheels of Justice (2000) as Harold Baines
  • Charmed (2000) as Cleavant Wilson
  • Touched by an Angel (1999) as Robert
  • Wes Craven's Carnival of Souls (1998) as Sid
  • Sliders (1995-2000) as Rembrandt 'Cryin' Man' Brown
  • Something Wilder (1994-1995) as Caleb
  • Thea (1993-1994) as Charles
  • Woops! (1992)
  • Drexel's Class (1991-1992) as George Foster
  • Good Sports (1991) as Jeff Mussberger
  • Sibs (1991)
  • L.A. Law (1991) as Mark Wright


  • A Different World (1991) as Larry
  • Roseanne (1989)
  • Moonlighting (1987) as Leonard Haven
  • Spenser: For Hire (1987) as Mac Dickerson
  • Bluffing It (1987) as Cal
  • Mickey and Nora (1987) as Marvin
  • The Equalizer (1986) as Sonny Raines
  • Off Beat (1986) as Abe Washington
  • Neil Simon's The Slugger's Wife (1985) as Manny Alvarado
  • Miami Vice (1985) as David Jones
  • Moscow on the Hudson (1984) as Lionel Witherspoon
  • The Ambush Murders (1982)
  • Fort Apache the Bronx (1981) as Suspect #4
  • When Hell Freezes Over, I'll Skate (1979)
  • Cindy (1978) as Michael Simpson¸
  • Knight Rider



  • Dreamgirls (Original Broadway Cast Album) (1982)
  • Beginnings (1999)
  • Brooklyn (2004)


  1. "Cleavant Derricks reveals his personal, professional soul". New York Amsterdam News (8 February 1997). Retrieved on 2008-07-06.
  2. "Cleavant Derricks Biography". filmreference (2008). Retrieved on 2008-07-06.

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