Began acting at the age of 6 after a teacher suggested that the "class clown" audition for a play.
Introduced many minority youths to the works of Shakespeare through his participation in Joseph Papp's Shakespeare productions in New York. He would like to play Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.
His first feature role was in the Oscar-winning 1989 Oliver Stone film, Born on the Fourth of July.
His performance in August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Piano Lesson earned a 1990 Tony nomination. He originated his character, Lymon, at Yale Rep in 1987.
Wanted a change from his Roc sitcom character (a wisecracking woman-chaser), which led him, thanks to his friendship with Mark Harmon from their Chicago Hope days, to a serious dramatic role as NCIS director Leon Vance on NCIS. (On-screen, his character and Harmon's have a tense relationship.)
1990, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
1997, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
Gabrielle Bullock — Wife
Conservatory of Theare Arts at Webster University, St. Louis, Ohio, United States (BFA)