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Thread: Howard Rollins, Jr

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    Howard Rollins, Jr

    [SIZE=4]Remember the Actor Howard Rollins, Jr ? He starred in the movie Ragtime, and the show In the Heat of the Night with Carroll O'Connor ? I believe he died from either AIDS or Lymphoma, but I also recall a few brushes with the law - including one where he was coked out of his mind, and cross dressed ? Was a very talented actor, but seemed to be such a tortured soul. If anyone has any info on him, please share.[/SIZE]


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    Rollins was one of my favorite actors. He did die from AIDS, and was indeed a flakey guy, off screen. Whether it was all the drugs he used or his natural self, he was a very flamboyant homosexual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poppie View Post
    Rollins was one of my favorite actors. He did die from AIDS, and was indeed a flakey guy, off screen. Whether it was all the drugs he used or his natural self, he was a very flamboyant homosexual.
    My heart is now broken...I love this guy. I think he was a great actor. I knew he had died, but I hate to hear he was flaky, on drugs and died of AIDS.

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    No Howard Rollin didn't have AIDS,He cleared up that rumor before he died.

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    I'm a big fan of "In The Heat of the Night".
    I remember hearing that Howard had a history
    of drug use that took him off the show.

    Hugh O' Connor committed suicide in
    March of 1995 and likewise dealt with
    a sad & long history of drug abuse.

    With Carrol O' Connor gone that makes
    three from the show total.

    Cheers,
    Doug

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    Unfortunately, there is documented proof of Howard Rollins drug abuse, and his arrests while cross dressed. I also remember when the cross dressing was revealed, I believe in the 80's that it was VERY prominently displayed in various outlets of the news media - however, I have looked at various CREDIBLE sources, and come up with either lymphoma or AIDS as cause of death. I do NOT remember Howard setting the record straight before his death, he pretty much kept the illness to himself, thus making his death that much more shocking when it happened. I hope you read this Scott, cuz I think Mr. Rollins would make a VERY interesting addition to FAD !!!!


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    The whole time I read this thread I was thinking of Henry Rollins and trying to remember him on In the Heat of the Night or anything else everyone was talking about. TMI, I know.

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    I work with Howard's brother. There is an Acting Scholarship established here in Baltimore in his honor.

    A fine actor. Wikipedia says the death was AIDS-related Lymphoma, but several sources do not cite the AIDS. This makes some sense. The crossdressing is also hush-hush; I can't find confirmation on the internet, but had heard that before as well.

  9. #9

    Howard Rollins

    I found this on him.


    [SIZE=5]Howard E. Rollins, Jr.[/SIZE]

    • Born: Oct 17, 1950 in Baltimore, Maryland
    • Died: Dec 08, 1996 in New York City, New York
    • Occupation: Actor
    • Active: '70s-'80s
    • Major Genres: Drama
    • Career Highlights: A Soldier's Story, Ragtime, For Us, The Living: The Story of Medgar Evers
    • First Major Screen Credit: Ragtime (1981)
    Biography

    Towson State College graduate Howard E. Rollins Jr. has been a stage leading man since the mid-1970s. The tall, imposing African-American actor earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of fiercely proud Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime (1981). As impressive as his theatre and film resumés are his TV credits, including such roles as Andrew Young in the 1978 miniseries King and George Haley in the 1979 multiparter Roots: The Next Generation. Howard E. Rollins was seen on a more regular basis on the ABC daytime drama Another World (for which he was Emmy-nominated); as explosives expert Bannister Parks on the 1985 "buddy western" series Wildside; and as Virgil Tibbs on the long-running (1988-92) TV adaptation of In the Heat of the Night. He made his final feature film appearance in Drunks (1995), a slice-of-life drama set at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Six weeks before he died on December 8, 1997, the 42-year-old Rollins had been diagnosed with lymphoid. Complications from the disease caused his demise. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

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    Does anyone remember when he was busted wearing women's clothes? My friend was telling me about it when it happened (during the filming of ITHOTN) and I said since when is it a crime to drive around wearing women's clothes? She said, well it is when you have an ounce of coke in the glovebox.
    GR6-1890
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  11. #11

    Howard Rollins

    Ragtime was such a great movie. It's on my top 10 list. I recall that Rollins had a drug problem, and that Carroll O'Connor tried to help him. I always thought he died of AIDS. Such a shame that he died so young.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishouldbeashamedofmyself View Post
    Ragtime was such a great movie. It's on my top 10 list. I recall that Rollins had a drug problem, and that Carroll O'Connor tried to help him. I always thought he died of AIDS. Such a shame that he died so young.
    Rollins died in 1996 after complications from AIDS-related lymphoma.

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    Interesting read, thanks for the post.

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    In 1993, he spent about a month in jail for driving under the influence and reckless driving. Because of continued legal problems, Rollins was ultimately dropped from In the Heat of the Night and was replaced by Carl Weathers. Rollins was invited back as a guest star on several episodes in the seventh season, but further legal problems led to his being totally banned from the county where the series was filmed.

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    I started a thread on him, back when the boards first opened. It would be nice if the Mods could merge the threads.....we got responses from someone who knew him, if I recall correctly !


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    I have a personal report about Harold. In the heat of the night was filmed in my families home town. He was know as the nicest of people, until he because so heavily involved with drugs. When word got out that he was using, the drug dealers converged on this sleepy little town, and it because more than they could handle.

    A little trivia: My aunt's driveway was used in the TV show for a matter of minutes, and even less once it was shown on TV, and she was paid 500.00 for the use. No wonder those Hollywood people are so crazy. That was a lot of money to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazbabee View Post
    I started a thread on him, back when the boards first opened. It would be nice if the Mods could merge the threads.....we got responses from someone who knew him, if I recall correctly !
    It's right here:

    http://www.findadeath.com/forum/showthread.php?t=606

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    They brought him home here (Baltimore) for burial as well; ROLLINS is interred in WOODLAWN CEMETERY which is on the west side of town near the old Gwynn Oak Amusement Park .
    I'm not sure as to the validity of the stories, but they said that he was a 'cross dresser' who led a wild sex life.


    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...r&GRid=5816694

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    wasnt he in Private Benjamin too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishlass View Post
    wasnt he in Private Benjamin too
    He was in "A Soldier's Story" I can't recall him in Private Banjamin


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    I could be wrong, but I seemed to recall the tabloids had a field day with him. Didn't he dress as a woman at some point or am I thinking of someone else?

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    My grandmother was as straight laced as they come. She was in the grocery store one day, and saw him in drag. I asked her later what she said to him, and she said with a straight face, "Nice dress" It sure gave those old ladies something to talk about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazbabee View Post
    He was in "A Soldier's Story" I can't recall him in Private Banjamin
    Im thinking of Ted Ross ...sorry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie View Post
    My grandmother was as straight laced as they come. She was in the grocery store one day, and saw him in drag. I asked her later what she said to him, and she said with a straight face, "Nice dress" It sure gave those old ladies something to talk about.
    Bwahahahahaha!

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    I'm stunned. I had no idea.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazbabee View Post
    [SIZE=4]Remember the Actor Howard Rollins, Jr ? He starred in the movie Ragtime, and the show In the Heat of the Night with Carroll O'Connor ? I believe he died from either AIDS or Lymphoma, but I also recall a few brushes with the law - including one where he was coked out of his mind, and cross dressed ? Was a very talented actor, but seemed to be such a tortured soul. If anyone has any info on him, please share.[/SIZE]
    He died of lymphoma, I do believe. When he was stopped by the law he was wearing a dress and/or a woman's wig. He had so many brushes with the law that he was actually banned from Newnan County, Georgia, where ITHOTN was filmed. My Uncle Mack should have been banned from Gwinnett County, Georgia, for the same dang reason, but he wasn't famous--nor was he a cross dresser.

    I have just in the last few weeks begun to watch In the Heat of the Night in syndication on WGN. Love it. Rollins was a super actor with a lot of character in his face. When he got kicked off the show, Carl Weathers was hired. And, Honey, Carl is not Howard by any stretch of the word.
    Last edited by cindyt; 12-31-2010 at 12:03 PM.

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    Cindy,

    Newton county. That is the town my family grew up in. My aunts driveway was used for several shots. Paid her 300 dollars for it. lol

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    howard rollins

    Listen I hate to say it but I loaned Howard two evening dresses and never got them back.....................

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    He was HIV Postive wasn't he? I could've sworn I read that he was HIV+

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    Rollins was really a fine actor. I remember him from A Soldier's Story, where he was outstanding.

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    Rollins' soliloquy in "Ragtime" when he and his gang are holed up in the library was one of the most powerful acting moments I've ever seen. There used to be a mugshot floating around the web of him at his arrest, he had the haunted vacant stare of a guy who's run out of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morto View Post
    Listen I hate to say it but I loaned Howard two evening dresses and never got them back.....................
    lmao!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoxharding View Post
    I could be wrong, but I seemed to recall the tabloids had a field day with him. Didn't he dress as a woman at some point or am I thinking of someone else?
    Oh yeah, he did. My bff told me about his arrest in womens' clothes and I said since when is it a crime to dress in womens' clothes? And she said well it is when you have a glovebox full of cocaine......
    GR6-1890
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