Cleavant Derricks Jr.
May 15, 1953
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Cleavant Derricks Jr. (born May 15, 1953) is an American actor and Tony Award winning singer-songwriter, who is best known for his role of Rembrandt Brown on Sliders.
Derricks was born in Knoxville, Tennessee to a pianist mother Cecile G. and Baptist preacher/composer Cleavant Derricks Sr., famous for his popular gospel music hymn Just a Little Talk with Jesus. His twin brother is actor and musician Clinton Derricks-Carroll. Derricks began his career as a Nashville gospel songwriter. With his father, he wrote the gospel album Satisfaction Guaranteed. He was the musical director and composer for the musical When Hell Freezes Over I'll Skate.
Derricks went to New York City to study acting with Vinnette Carroll at the Urban Arts Theatre. He received rave reviews for his performance in his Broadway shows, including But Never Jam Today. He also won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for creating the role of James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls. Off-Broadway he was in the William Finn musical Romance in Hard Times in 1989. He also starred in the Broadway musical Brooklyn as the Streetsinger.
Soon afterwards, Derricks appeared in films such as Moscow on the Hudson, Neil Simon's The Slugger's Wife and recently, Wes Craven's Carnival of Souls. He was a series regular on the short-lived television series Thea with Thea Vidale and Brandy, and Good Sports with Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal. His role as Rembrandt Brown on Sliders with Jerry O'Connell, Sabrina Lloyd and John Rhys-Davies was the only Sliders character to appear throughout the entire series. In addition, Derricks has had numerous guest-starring roles in series such as Roseanne, A Different World, Miami Vice, Spenser: For Hire, Charmed, and many others.
In 2019, Derricks took over the role of the Wizard of Oz in the 2nd U.S. tour of Wicked.