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Sun, 06.11.1944

Roscoe Orman, Actor, and Children’s Advocate born

Roscoe Orman

*Roscoe Orman was born on this date in 1944. He is a Black actor, writer, artist, and child advocate.

Orman was born in The Bronx, New York. While a student at New York City's High School of Art and Design, Orman made his theatrical debut in the 1962 topical revue "If We Grow Up." He was an early member of the Free Southern Theater in New Orleans for two years in the mid-1960s and a founding member of Robert Macbeth's New Lafayette Theatre in Harlem, NY.

He acted in and directed several plays by NLT's playwright-in-residence, Ed Bullins. His many other stage appearances have included roles in "Julius Caesar" and "Coriolanus" at Joseph Papp's Public Theater. The Broadway production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Fences," Manhattan Theatre Club's staging of Richard Wesley's "The Sirens," "The Last Street Play," and "The Talented Tenth," and Matt Robinson's one-person play The Confessions of Stepin Fetchit at the American Place Theatre. Orman is the recipient of two Audelco Theatre Awards and a five-time nominee.

He made his feature film debut in the title role of Universal Studios' 1974 drama Willie Dynamite and has since appeared in Sesame Street Presents: Follow That BirdTwilight's Last GleamingThe Adventures of Elmo in GrouchlandJeremy Fink and the Meaning of LifeHoliday Rush, and "You Can't Take My Daughter." His television credits include work on All My ChildrenKojakSanford and SonCosbySex and the CityThe WireLaw & Order, and Law and Order: SVU. He appeared in the HBO mini-series The Night Of.

Orman joined the Sesame Street cast in 1974, becoming the third actor to play Gordon. In 2006, Orman's memoir, Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of An Actor, was released. In September 2007, his children's book Ricky and Mobo was released. In 2008, he became the Chief Storyteller of (a service of, a website for parents, teachers, and children to connect, download, and listen to audiobooks on iPods, MP3 players, and computers. In this role, Orman narrates audiobooks and communicates with children, parents, and teachers online and at community, literacy, library events, lectures, conferences, and other media to encourage audiobooks to help build an interest in reading and develop literacy skills.

In 2016, his contract with Sesame Street was not renewed, but the organization said that Orman would continue to represent it at public events. He returned to play Gordon in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration.  He played in a couple of YouTube videos released in 2018, a 2019 CNN town hall, Coming Together: Standing Up To Racism, alongside former Sesame Street cast member Sonia Manzano, and a TV special released the same year, "The Power of We," also about racism.

Orman has five children with his former partner Sharon Orman and is the grandfather of eight. His son Miles Orman played Gordon and Susan's adopted son Miles Robinson on Sesame Street from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. He and his wife, Kimberley LaMarque Orman, reside in New Jersey.

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Sitting here alone, in peace With my private sadness Bared of the acquirements Of the mind’s eye Vision reversed, upended, Seeing only the holdings Inside the walls of me, Feeling the roots that bind me, To this... PRIVATE SADNESS by Bob Kaufman.
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