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Other people to enter into the Emerson family included Joey's musician friends, Miles Taylor, a pianist; and Curtis Vincent, a bass player; Crazy George Stevens, a regular at Charlaine's Bar who gets a job with Roc at the Department of Sanitation; Eleanor's social climbing mother, Margaret Carter who is ashamed of Roc's profession and tells her family that he is a doctor; Eleanor's brother, David. and Ruben Stiles, a popular actor who uses Roc as the model for film role. He mimicked Roc's mannerisms and voice and showcased them in a movie that aired six months later.

The tribulations of love often interfered into the life of the Emerson's. Here is a list of some of their more interesting bouts with it:

  • To help her win a promotion at the hospital, Eleanor asks Andrew to romance the head nurse, Matty. Andrew also dated a women that was dead ringer for his deceased wife.
  • Roc is distracted at work by a beautiful new worker named Angela Kimbro who admits she is attracted to Roc, despite his married status.
  • Andrew Emerson wakes up one morning and finds the woman he was dating dead in his bed. Shocked, he interprets this as an omen from his long-departed wife, Loretta (a waitress) warning him to stay away from other women.
  • Janet, Roc's former girlfriend reveals that she rejected Roc's marriage proposal only three months before he married Eleanor.
  • Against Andrew's objections, his goddaughter Nina seduces Joey.

The Cast of ROC

TRIVIA NOTE: The second season of the series was done live! (a.k.a. ROC LIVE). A contest was held to choose the name of the Emerson's baby boy. The viewers voted by a 900 phone number and chose the name Marcus (in honor of Jamaican-born Dr. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a black nationalist who founded the United Negro Improvement Association in 1914, a group similar to the NAACP).

Charles Dutton: Born January 30, 1951 in Maryland, Dutton grew up in the Latrobe Housing Project on Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore where he dropped out of school, and adopted a life of crime. His only sister was a recovering cocaine addict. His only brother, who died of AIDS in 1993 at age 44, had been a heroin addict for nearly 25 years. Allegedly, Dutton earned his street name "Roc" because he liked to put "rocks" inside snow balls before he tossed them.

In 1967, Roc was jailed for manslaughter for stabbing a man to death in a street fight at 17. Consequently, he spent 7.5 years in jail. Initially, he served two years but, then he was sent back for weapons possession and fighting with a white guard which extended his sentence.

During a stint in solitary confinement, Roc read an anthology of plays by black writers which inspired him to turned his energy from delinquency to drama. Consequently, he started a prison theater club and earned a high school equivalency.

Upon his release in 1976, he enrolled at Baltimore's Towson State University and then pursued his passion for theatre by enrolling in Yale School of Drama at Yale University (going from "jail to Yale."). There he studied under playwright August Wilson and director Lloyd Richards.

After graduation, he appeared off-Broadway in the play "Richard III" and then earned a Tony nomination for his role as progressive trumpeter Levee in August Wilson's Broadway production "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" as well as an Emmy nomination for the 1995 television movie The Piano Lesson. Dutton's screen credits include No Mercy, Crocodile Dundee 2; Rudy, Alien 3 and Nick of Time.

As of 1997, Dutton has turned his interest to directing. In 2000, he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing of The Corner, a six-part HBO miniseries. And he has completed the upcoming biopic Against the Ropes about Jackie Kallen, a female boxing manager played by Meg Ryan.

Dutton, who won an NAACP Image Award for Best Actor in 1993 has become an outspoken critic of racism in Hollywood.

Ella Joyce: Born 1954 as Cherron Hoye in Chicago and raised in Detroit, Ella Joyce attended Eastern Michigan University after graduating from Detroit's Cass Technical High School (Class of 1972) where she was cheerleader).

Her stage name (Ella Joyce) is a composite of the first names of her grandmother (Ella) and her mother (Joyce).

Her other credits include the movies Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992); Set It Off (1996), The Old Settler (2001), Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) and Salvation (2003). She also had a recurring role as Vanessa's mother, Jasmine Scott on the ABC sitcom MY WIFE & KIDS.

Joyce has also been the recipient of the prestigious NAACP Image Award.


Charles Dutton as Roc Emerson
Ella Joyce as Eleanor Emerson
Rocky Carroll as Joey Emerson
Carl Gordon as Andrew Emerson
Alexis Fields as Sheila Hendricks
Garrett Morris as Wiz
Oscar Brown, Jr. as Miles Taylor
Wally Taylor as Curtis Vincent
Heidi Swedberg as Helen
Jenise as Natalie Belcon
Charlaine as Anne Weldon/Jenifer Lewis
'Crazy' George Stevens as Jamie Foxx
André Thompson as Clifton Powell
Richard Roundtree as Russell Emerson

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