He started working as an actor in his teenage years. As a Hollywood Icon and humanitarian, Townsend's mission is to create quality programming for everyone to enjoy and to create a classic body of work that would be timeless. Townsend later appeared in small parts in films like A Soldier's Story (1984), directed by Norman Jewison, and after its success garnered much more substantial parts in films like The Mighty Quinn(198… He used to go to Austin High school and completed his graduation in the year 1975. Townsend created The Robert Townsend Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to introduce and help new unsigned filmmakers. In 2013 Townsend was nominated for an Ovation Award in the category of "Lead Actor in a Musical" for his role as Dan in the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts production of Next to Normal. From the beginning of Washington’s meteoric rise, intelligence gathering helped shape his military career. Townsend also directed Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy (2009), a comedy documentary on the history of African America Comedians from slavery to present, with interviews including such legends as Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Chris Rock and the Wayans. This classic continues to be a favorite amongst audiences and one of the most talked about films in the industry. 188606356, citing Mount Barker Cemetery, Mount Barker, District Council of Mount Barker, South Australia, Australia ; Maintained by Nicki Peaston (contributor 48949513) . Tyler perry movies and shows are trash, the production value is trash, he only gets away with it because he's black. Townsend is also known for his role as Donald "Duck" Matthews in his 1991 film The Five Heartbeats. It opened the doors for subsequent waves of black directors to break into Hollywood — including Reginald Hudlin, Robert Townsend, Charles Burnett, … Robert Townsend transcends any medium he touches whether he's performing stand up, acting, writing, directing, producing, or running a television network. His Pic.tv webseries, Diary of a Single Mom is proving to be a runaway internet hit.The drama, now in it’s … Townsend directed the 2001 TV movie, Livin' for Love: The Natalie Cole Story for which Cole won the NAACP Image Award as Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. He had won the hearts of many people and he always has a smile for his people. Townsend was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second of four children[9] to Shirley (née Jenkins) and Ed Townsend. While he has many accolades none are more important than his family. Townsend … He was soon directing Eddie Murphy in Eddie Murphy: Raw (1987). As a kid Robert was always fascinated with television, watching and studying it tirelessly, he began to practice acting out scenes and impersonating famous characters. Robert Townsend transcends any medium he touches whether he's performing stand up, acting, writing, directing, producing, or running a television network. I have taught public and private school for over 15 years and at the university level for over 10 years. Woodhull enlisted Robert Townsend, a merchant who conducted business in Manhattan, to gather intelligence about British military plans. Frustrated by the lack of roles, Townsend created one for himself – and directed a landmark in American independent cinema … [6][14] Another of his films was The Five Heartbeats based on 1960s R&B male groups and the tribulations of the music industry. He also created and starred in the WB Network hit series The Parent 'Hood (1995).Townsend has made history by being nominated for over 30 NAACP Image Awards for film and television. He has traveled with The Milken Family Fund to Chicago, Boston, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Los Angeles to recognize deserving teachers and inspire and motive students around the country.Although he has many accolades, but none are more important than his family. He spent his childhood on the west side of the city. Townsend auditioned to be part of Saturday Night Live's 1980–1981 cast, but was rejected in favor of Eddie Murphy. During his reign, he created unprecedented original programming for the network. The service will be streamed on Facebook Live. He is the mastermind behind many of Hollywood’s favorite and best-remembered movies and hit series. He is the son of Ed and Shirley Townsend. Named the CEO & President of Production for The Black Family Channel. |  [3] He later wrote, directed and produced Making The Five Heartbeats (2018), a documentary film about the production process and behind the scenes insight into creating the film. They have received their first TV credit for the "B5 Christmas Special" aired on the BFC, a concept they came up with and pitched to their father. Publicity Listings The success of this film forced "Hollywood" to recognize and appreciate the visionary versatile talent of "Robert Townsend", Tinseltown's newest, talented actor and filmmaker.Following the success of "Hollywood Shuffle," film projects continued to pour in. How would one describe Robert Townsend? During the 1980s and early–1990s, Townsend gained national exposure through his stand-up comedy routines and appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Owns his own film production company, The Townsend Entertainment Corporation. Townsend tells NBCBLK the work of creators Jordan Peele, Ryan Coogler and Donald Glover have inspired him to keep going. A Chicago native, Townsend is often referred to as one of the "Godfathers" of the Independent Film World." "Robert Townsend: a new kind of Hollywood dreamer. A Chicago native, Townsend is often referred to as one of the "Godfathers" of the Independent Film World." With over 30 years in the business, he has made an indelible mark in Hollywood with an extensive list of credits. Growing up on the city's west side, Townsend attended Austin High School; graduating in 1975. Townsend created and produced two television variety shows—the CableACE award–winning Robert Townsend and His Partners in Crime for HBO, and the Fox Television variety show Townsend Television (1993). The success of his first project helped him establish himself in the industry. Townsend was programming director at the Black Family Channel, but the network folded in 2007. Townsend is also a spokesman for the Milken Family Fund an organization created to recognize outstanding educators in the country, and stress to children the importance of education and respect for teachers. Despite his demanding schedule, Robert makes sure he spends quality time with his son, Max and his three daughters.Always a pioneer, Townsend took the helm as President and CEO of Production for The Black Family Channel (BFC) creating and spearheading production for BFC's top rated shows. Although comedy had been his forte during the early part of his career, he knew he was destined to be on the big screen. He first learned to use on-the-ground information from Native Americans and deserting French soldiers during the French and Indian War. [15], Townsend was married to Cheri Jones[16] from September 15, 1990, to August 9, 2001. The Meteor Man (1993) that he also wrote, directed and starred in included a stellar cast: James Earl Jones, Bill Cosby and Eddie Griffin.In between features, Robert created and produced his ground breaking Cable Ace award-winning Partners in Crime (2005) variety specials for HBO and highly praised Townsend Television (1993) for FOX television. Weldon Robert Townsend, 90, of Orange, passed away on January 13th, 2021, surrounded by his family. Robert Townsend transcends any medium he touches whether he's performing stand up, acting, writing, directing, producing, or running a television network. Robert Townsend was born about 1512 in Ludlow, Shropshire, England. Collier, Aldore. D irector Robert Townsend is on a roll. His daughter, Sierra, is best friends with Denzel Washington's daugther, Olivia. As a longtime speaker for the United Negro College Fund and the NAACP, his concern for inner city youth takes him through out the country to inspire young people to follow their dreams. Townsend is the last of a rare breed of artists that scrutinizes every word and syllable that is expressed in his work. Robert's body of work has been seen on MGM, Disney, Fox, NBC, HBO, WB and MTV.While busy as a performer and filmmaker, Robert always makes time to participate in humanitarian efforts and speak to various organizations. British authorities had caught Hale when he was on his way back to his regiment after having penetrated the British lines to gather information. I completed the Ph.D. at the University of Illinois and began a career in university teaching. His mother ended up raising him and his three siblings as a single parent. But the mother, who Solomon did not name, was the housekeeper in the New York apartment, which Robert Townsend shared with his brother William, and another unidentified relative. and Anne de Brewse. In 1982, Townsend appeared as one of the main characters in the PBS series Another Page, a program produced by Kentucky Educational Television that taught literacy to adults through serialized stories. In mid-September 1776, the American officer Nathan Hale was hanged without trial in New York City. Robert's genius first revealed itself in elementary school… Robert was appointed the King's Sergeant at law in 1541, and knighted at Hampton Court in 1545. In the year 1975, he played an uncredited role in the film titled Cooley High. Townshend was born in Chiswick, west London at the Chiswick Hospital, Netheravon Road.He came from a musical family: his father, Cliff Townshend, was a professional alto saxophonist in the Royal Air Force's dance band the Squadronaires and his mother, Betty (née Dennis), was a singer with the Sydney Torch and Les Douglass Orchestras. Testimonials; I've successfully worked with Terry in different capacities over the years. Robert's first film appearance was (uncredited) in popular urban classic, Cooley High (1975). Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. Robert Townsend net worth, biography, movies, children, married, wife, divorce | Robert Townsend is outstanding actor and he has amazing work on the movies and TV shows. As a coach and consultant, he is experienced, thorough, respected, and results … Hale’s death illustrated the grave dangers inherent in spying for the rebels during the Revolutionary War, especially in the British stronghold of New York. He landed the role of a lifetime co-starring opposite Denzel Washington in A Soldier's Story (1984), and appeared with Diane Lane in Streets of Fire (1984) and Kevin Costner in American Flyers (1985).Once in Hollywood, seeing the difficulty Black Actors had and the lack of good work available in the film industry, left a burning desire for Robert to step behind the camera. His daughters are named Alexia, Sierra, and Skylar. Robert’s body of work has been seen on various networks including Disney, Fox, NBC, HBO, WB, The N, USA, Nickelodeon and MTV. He also created and starred in the WB Network's sitcom The Parent 'Hood which originally ran from January 1995 to July 1999. The show is about Don Cornelius and Soul Train. Actor-producer-director plans to make films that uplift and transform Black audiences". "When the best leader's work is done, the people say, "We did it ourselves." Robert has appeared in the 2000 film Holiday Heart, the 2001 film Carmen: A Hip Hopera. Following in his footsteps, his 3 daughters; Grace, Sierra and Skylar aka "The T Unit". Name: Robert Townsend, Phone number: (540) 334-5038, State: VA, City: Wirtz, Zip Code: 24184 and more information Studies with Milton Katselas at The Beverly Hills Playhouse. Townsend auditioned to be part of Saturday Night Live's 1980–1981 cast, but was rejected in favor of Eddie Murphy. Townsend is also known for his production company Townsend Entertainment [4] which has produced films Playin' for Love,[5] In the Hive and more. Robert made an unforgettable mark in his hometown of Chicago, where he went onto New York's renowned comedy club the Improvisation that initiated his career as a stand-up comedian. During a reading of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex in high school, Townsend captured the attention of Chicago’s X Bag Theatre, The Experimental Black Actors Guild. Other Works Series American Soul which began airing in 2019. --- Robert Townsend. With his acting career in high gear, Robert's career took a turn for the best when Robert Townsend the "independent filmmaker" was born. [May 2004], Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me, Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy, View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro, Beverly Hills Hotel Gala Reopening (1995). |  [6], Learn how and when to remove this template message, "As Robert Townsend Sees It : He's Fighting Stereotypes With 'Meteor Man' and New TV Show", "1975 Austin High School Yearbook (Chicago, Illinois)", "2013 Ovation Awards Nominees — South by Southeast", Black Reel Award for Outstanding Director, TV Movie or Limited Series, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Robert_Townsend_(actor)&oldid=999993366, Articles lacking reliable references from July 2013, BLP articles lacking sources from July 2013, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Basketball player seen in the gym room (uncredited). At his school during a reading of Shakespeare's Oedipus Rex he dazzled the class with his ability to transform effortlessly into character, as a result Robert's remarkable versatile talent as a young actor was born and caught the attention of Chicago's Experimental Bag Theatre. [17] Together they have two daughters, Sierra and Skylar (Skye Townsend), both entertainers, and a son, Isiah. Intelligence, he learned, could make the difference between victory or death. At the 2001 NAACP Image Awards he directed three performers nominated in the best actor/actress category in three different films: Leon, for his role in NBC's Little Richard (2000); Alfre Woodard in the Showtime Movie Holiday Heart (2000) (which also garnered her a Golden Globe nomination) and Natalie Cole for her gripping self-portrayal in Livin' for Love: The Natalie Cole Story (2000) (for which she won the coveted Image Award for best actress). Robert studied law at the Society of Lincoln's Inn and with his father attended the Duke of Norfolk at the reception … He is a talented person and he was able to gain the legendary status even after being so successful, he continues to strive to be even better. Robert Townsend has almost made a career of being underrated. Townsend had a brief uncredited role in the 1975 movie Cooley High. He is especially known for his eponymous self-titled character, Robert Peterson as the starring role as on The WB sitcom The Parent 'Hood (1995–1999), a series which he created and of which directed select episodes. He was the second son of Sir Roger Townsend, Esq. Robert studied law at the Society of Lincoln's Inn and with his father attended the Duke of Norfolk at the reception of Lady Anne of Cleves, who married Henry VIII on January 1, 1539. That dream was not so much deferred as inverted into a nightmare once he came face to face with the film industry’s reductive, stereotypical views of African American life. His next film endeavor was the popular tearjerker classic The Five Heartbeats (1991)," a semi-autobiographical piece; reminiscent of the 60s R & B male groups and the ups and downs of the music industry. Robert Townsend took his own money and made his own black superhero movie. In the late 1990s, Robert Townsend, an economic theorist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ventured into Thai villages to document household finances and sketch the ties linking family and village finances to regional and national economies. Robert's genius first revealed itself in elementary school. He was born on 6thFebruary in the year 1957 in Chicago in Illinois. So in 1775, when the Second Continental Congress chose Washington as commander in chief of the Continental armi… Dude brags about shooting a whole movie in 7 days, but fails to mention he pocketed all the money. The result was the critically acclaimed Hollywood Shuffle (1987), a satire, depicting the trials and tribulations of Black Actors in Hollywood. Hollywood Shuffle, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Peter Deming, Robert Townsend. Then for Robert it was on to Hollywood, where he dabbled in a mixture of industries and found that with his versatile talent, he was able to adapt easily from being a comedian to a full-screen actor. Townsend's mother believed that he should complete his college education, but he felt that college took time away from his passion for acting, and he soon dropped out of school to pursue his acting career full-time. He just recently turned 59, and no longer frequents the comedy clubs where he started performing decades ago. His four children are the center of his heart. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Where he ran the cable network for four years before it was sold to the Gospel Music Channel in the Spring of 2007. Officiating will be Pastor Barry Bradley. Townsend continued to helm films for the small screen: Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001) for MTV Films, starring Beyoncé (one of the highest rated shows for MTV) and Image Award winner, 10,000 Black Men Named George (2002) for Showtime, a highly acclaimed period piece about the Pullman porter strike, starring Andre Braugher and Charles S. Dutton.Robert has worked with some of the top talent in Hollywood including: Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Alfre Woodard, Louis Gossett Jr., Keenen Ivory Wayans and Chris Tucker, just to name a few and is responsible for discovering many of Hollywood's A-List talent before they became household names. His break came while performing on various television comedy specials including Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me (1986) and Uptown Comedy Express (1987). In addition, Robert shares his business expertise with various Fortune 500 companies. He funneled his frustrations of being typecast in Hollywood into 1987’s Hollywood Shuffle, … In the mid-1980s, actor and comedian Robert Townsend had scored supporting roles in films like A Soldier’s Story and Streets of Fire, but was still limited in the opportunities available to him as a black performer. He performed in local plays while studying with the famed … Household businesses and small enterprises are a staple of villages in Thailand. Official Sites. In 2018, Townsend also directed 2 episodes for the B.E.T. Favorite Black Multimedia Superhero Character. Graduate of Austin High School in Chicago. He is the mastermind behind many of Hollywood's favorite and best-remembered movies and hit series. The Townsend kids were raised, mostly, in Ruxton, north of Baltimore, according to the Sun. This page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 00:20. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, January 17th, at 2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Orange. [10] He became interested in acting as a teenager. Townsend later appeared in small parts in films like A Soldier's Story (1984), directed by Norman Jewison, and after its success garnered much more substantial parts in films like The Mighty Quinn (1989) with Denzel Washington.[11][12][13]. Robert C. Townsend, a chairman and president of Avis Rent-a-Car who went on to write the best-selling book ''Up the Organization: How to Stop … A Chicago native, Townsend is often referred to as one of the \"Godfathers\" of the Independent Film World.\" With over 30 years in the business, he has made an indelible mark in Hollywood with an extensive list of credits. He has also directed Golden Globe winner Ving Rhames in a biopic about the troubled boxing legend Sonny Liston entitled Phantom Punch (2008). Burial will follow the service at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Bridge City, Texas. Robert Townsend is not the brash young upstart he once was in the 1980s. After high school, Townsend enrolled at Illinois State University, studied a year and later moved to New York to study at the Negro Ensemble Company. Filmmaker, actor and comedian Robert Townsend, best known for 'The Hollywood Shuffle,' tells his life story in new show at The Marsh Berkeley. Townsend later auditioned for parts at Chicago's Experimental Black Actors' Guild and performed in local plays studying at the famed Second City comedy workshop for improvisation in 1974. Early life and education. Townsend has worked with talent including Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Chris Tucker, Beyoncé, Denzel Washington and many more.[6][7][8]. Townsend also directed two television movies in 2001 and 2002 respectively, Carmen: A Hip Hopera and 10,000 Black Men Named George. Robert Townsend spun a dream of acting in Hollywood while gazing out of his mother’s West Side Chicago apartment window in the late 1960s. Meanwhile, Benjamin Tallmadge, … He took admission to Illinois State University and studied there for one yea… His mother was the one who raised him with his three other siblings. Known for his work with young singers; Robert Townsend has created a work that makes an excellent concert opener or finale. In 1982, Townsend appeared as one of the main characters in the PBS series Another Page, a program produced by Kentucky Educational Television that taught literacy to adults through serialized stories. P.C. In addition, I have had opportunites to lead programs at the P-12 school level, in … In 1987, Townsend wrote, directed and produced Hollywood Shuffle, a satire based on the hardships and obstacles that black actors undergo in the film industry. Features I Will Sing by : Robert Townsend. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com: accessed ), memorial page for Robert “Bob” Townsend (1 Apr 1953–6 Dec 2013), Find a Grave Memorial no. Develop authentic gospel style with this upbeat original for younger choirs. Robert Townsend (born February 6, 1957) is an American actor, director, comedian, and writer. One similar experience they shared was the NIC at Night drill, which Robert Townsend did his own rendition of in 1986. He wanted to do something to fill this void and without formal film education or outside funding (he used his own credit cards to finance), Robert wrote, directed, produced and starred in his own first film. [1][2] Townsend is best known for directing the films Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Eddie Murphy Raw (1987), The Meteor Man (1993), The Five Heartbeats (1991) and various other films and stand-up specials. Showing his unstoppable genius, in his short time as a television executive Townsend reached several milestones; he created over 15 new shows for the network with limited financing; of which two shows were nominated for a prestigious NAIMC Vision Award (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications), The Thou$and Dollar Bee and Lisa Knight and the Round Table), and he was voted one of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable by Cable World Magazine.Townsend has recently returned in front of the camera to star opposite Angela Bassett in the faith based film Of Boys and Men (2008). Robert Townsend was born in 1957 in Chicago, Illinois and he has a long career in the entertainment industry, having worked in acting, writing, directing and producing. 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