To his colleagues in the business, Rollins was an extraordinarily gifted performer who felt deeply the emotions of the parts he played. He just broke down. He was a tortured soul. In his early years, Rollins vaguely considered becoming a teacher. At 17, a friend convinced him to attend a casting call at a local Baltimore theater where he won a role in Of Mice and Men. Rollins surprised himself with the talent he displayed. When Rollins tried out for Ragtime, the movie for which he was later nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes, he beat out other actors for the leading role including O.
Travel back in time to check out the early roles of some of Hollywood's heavy hitters. Plus, see what some of your favorite '90s stars look like now. See the full gallery. Looking for something to watch? Choose an adventure below and discover your next favorite movie or TV show. Visit our What to Watch page. Sign In. Howard E. Rollins Jr.
Homicide detective Virgil Tibbs was born in the novel, but he was brought indelibly to life by Sidney Poitier in the Oscar-winning film and its sequels. The year-old Baltimore native came to the role with an unusually diverse resume: Broadway, an Emmy-nominated turn on TV, and an Oscar nomination, all in just a decade and a half. Rollins made Tibbs his own with a charmingly low key performance that entertained audiences for six seasons — and continues to delight getTV viewers today. In , year-old Howard Ellsworth Rollins, Jr. His last Broadway role was the Vietnam War drama G.
Howard Rollins, an actor who was nominated for an Academy Award in for his work in the film ''Ragtime'' and was written out of the hit television series ''In the Heat of the Night'' in because of drug problems, died on Sunday at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan. He was A hospital spokeswoman, Sandra Salisbury, said that Mr. Rollins was admitted on Saturday but that his family had asked that no information be given out on the cause of death. Rollins, also declined to provide any information about the death. Rollins's death was not unexpected or suspicious.