As a child, he was called "Rockhead" because of his involvement in neighborhood rock fights. The nickname was shortened to "Roc" when he became an amateur boxer.
Served time in prison for manslaughter and other offenses.
In prison, started up a theater group after reading the play Day of Absence by Douglas Turner Ward.
In 1984, made professional stage debut in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the first Broadway play by Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson.
Wrote and performed a one-man play, From Jail to Yale: Serving Time on Stage (2008), about the journey from his troubled youth in Baltimore to becoming an accomplished actor.
1996, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
1985, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
1999, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Male: Nominee
2000, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special: Winner
1995, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
1999, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
2003, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
2000, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Male: Nominee
1990, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
2002, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
Debbi Morgan — Ex-wife
Barbara Dutton — Sister
Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown, Maryland, United States (AA, 1976); Towson University, Towson, Maryland, United States (BA in Theatre, 1978); Yale University, School of Drama, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (MFA, 1983)