Vondie Curtis-Hall was born in Detroit the son of Angeline, a nurse, and Curtis, who owned a construction company. The oldest of three children he played in various rock and roll bands as a teenager as he was a big fan of Michigan-bred punk rock idol Iggy Pop. When drugs became part of his life in the early 1970s, it came close to leading him down the wrong road, and got him a whole set of problems at a local hospital while trying to get drugs out of his life because of not wanting his parents to know about his addiction, so he had no address to list on the forms and nor the friend who shared the experience with him had a Social Security card.
By the time Curtis-Hall got out of high school in 1974, he was through with drugs. Two years later he was living in New York City and attending the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in hopes of forging a career of music. While still a student there in 1980 he landed a role as a singer and dancer for a musical entitled Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. His commitment to the Broadway show forced him to leave Juilliard before completing his studies but it also jump-started his career on the New York City stage. Later he would complete his education at Richmond College in London, England.
Initially a stage actor, Curtis-Hall was a member of the original cast of the acclaimed Broadway musical Dreamgirls in 1985 and also scored critical praise for his work in the off-Broadway production of Williams and Walker (1986) for which he got the Audelco Award as Best actor.
Curtis Hall began working in TV around 1989 on the premiere episode of A Man Called Hawk and went on to co-star in the short-lived Cop Rock (1990) and play a recurring role as a train porter on the successful drama I'll Fly Away.
Curtis-Hall's big break came when he was cast in Passion Fish, which was released in 1992. His performance in the movie earned him rave notices and increased the number of offers coming his way. Two years later he made a pivotal decision by agreeing to play a suicidal transsexual in a guest spot on the highly popular TV series ER. The result was an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and a starring role on the other major medical TV series airing at the time, Chicago Hope. He gave life to Dr. Dennis Hancock, the voice of racial conscience, during four seasons of the series.
Between seasons of Chicago Hope, Curtis-Hall began pursuing his goal to both write and direct for the screen. His efforts came to fruition with the semi-autobiographical Gridlock'd, which hit the theaters in 1997. The film traced two days in the lives of three men; all of them drug addicts, after one of the men has to be rushed to the hospital due to an overdose. A number of favorable reviews claimed that Curtis- Hall had avoided the standard formulas of other films dealing with addiction at the same time that one of his actors, Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas before the movie was released.
Curtis-Hall remained a recognizable fixture though, on film and television with appearances in such high-profile films as Die Hard 2 (1990), William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Broken Arrow and Heaven's Prisoners (1996).
In addition to directing a pair of ER episodes in 2001, Curtis-Hall went to direct Redemption in 2004 and then turned his lens towards the action genre with Waist Deep, an urban Bonnie and Clyde tale for the gangster set, two short years later.
Intermingled with the latter, he got additional roles on such shows as The Sopranos, Soul Food, LAX, Law & Order, Medium and Criminal Minds.
On Criminal MindsEdit
- The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009) - James Brasser
- Life Is Hot in Cracktown (2009)
- Criminal Minds - Cold Comfort (2009) TV episode - Stanley Usher
- Fear Itself - Chance (2009) TV episode - Walter Markham
- Crenshaw Nights (2008) - Frank 'Jupiter' Johnson
- Honeydripper (2007) - Slick
- Talk to Me (2007) - Sunny Jim Kelsey
- Medium - Second Opinion (2007) TV episode - Scanlon's Friend
- Law & Order - Positive (2006) TV episode - Dr. Andrew Copelan
- LAX - Cease & Assist (2005) TV episode - Dele Ekoku
- Soul Food - 6 episodes (2004) TV episodes - Charles Miller
- Dense (2004) - Ross
- Deceit (2004) - Detective Hal Kazin
- 1-800-Missing - Pilot (2003) TV episode - Agent Vic Martinsen
- Fastlane - Pilot (2002) and Overkill (2003) TV episode - Andre Hayes
- The Sopranos - Watching Too Much Television (2002) TV episode - Maurice Tiffen
- ER - ER Confidential (1994) - Henry Colton/Lena and 7 episodes (2001) TV episodes - Roger McGrath
- Turn It Up (2000) - Cliff
- Ali: An American Hero (2000) - Drew 'Bundini' Brown
- Freedom Song (2000) - Daniel Wall
- Sirens (1999) - Vincent Morgan
- Chicago Hope - 104 episodes (1995-1999) TV episodes - Dr. Dennis Hancock
- Dr. Hugo (1998) - Dr. Hugo
- Don King: Only in America (1997) - Lloyd Price
- Eve's Bayou (1997) - Julian Grayraven
- Gridlock'd (1997) - D-Reper
- Romeo + Juliet (1996) - Captain Prince
- Heaven's Prisoners (1996) - Minos P. Dautrieve
- Broken Arrow (1996) - Chief Sam Rhodes
- Zooman (1995) - Davis
- Tuesday Morning Ride (1995)
- Drop Squad (1994) - Rocky Seavers
- Clear and Present Danger (1994) - Voice-Print Analyst
- South Central - Dad (1994) TV episode - James Mosely
- Crooklyn (1994) - Uncle Brown
- Dead Man's Revenge (1994) - Jessup Bush
- L.A. Law - Three on a Patch (1994) TV episode - Atty. Clay
- Keys (1994) - Louche Amarant
- Sugar Hill (1993) - Mark Doby
- Fallen Angels - Dead End for Delia (1993) TV episode - David O'Connor
- There Was a Little Boy (1993) - Danforth
- Falling Down (1993) - Not Economically Viable Man
- I'll Fly Away - 6 episodes (1992-1993) TV episodes - Joe Clay
- Civil Wars - The Old Man and the 'C' (1992) TV episode
- Passion Fish (1992) - Sugar LeDoux
- Nightmare Cafe - Sanctuary for a Child (1992) TV episode - Thomas
- The Mambo Kings (1992) - Miguel Montoya
- What She Doesn't Know (1992) - Vinnie
- Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story (1992) - C. Yernon Mason
- ...And Then She Was Gone (1991) - Det. Gary Hopkins
- China Beach - Through and Through (1991) TV episode - Bill
- One Good Cop (1991) - Father Wills
- Cop Rock (1990) TV series - Cmdr. Warren Osborne (unknown episodes)
- Heat Wave (1990) - Clifford Turpin
- Die Hard 2 (1990) - Miller
- Black Rain (1989/I) - Detective
- Mystery Train (1989) - Ed (segment Lost In Space)
- A Man Called Hawk - The Master's Mirror (1989) TV episode - Tracton
- Coming to America (1988) - Basketball Game Vendor
- Shakedown (1988) (voice) - Speaker Voice
- The Starter Wife - Das Booty Call (2008) TV episode
- Gossip Girl - Pret-a-Poor-J (2008) TV episode
- Boston Legal - Glow in the Dark (2008) TV episode
- Sleeper Cell - Torture (2006) TV episode
- Waist Deep (2006)
- The Shield - Insurgents (2005) TV episode
- Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004)
- Firefly - Our Mrs. Reynolds (2002) TV episode
- MDs (2002) TV series (unknown episodes)
- ER - Start All Over Again (2001) and It's All in Your Head (2002) TV episodes
- Glitter (2001)
- Gridlock'd (1997)
- Waist Deep (2006) (screenplay)
- Gridlock'd (1997) (writer)
- Durval Discos (2002) (technical advisor: Sundance Institute Screenwriters Laboratory)
- Gridlock'd (1997) (additional vocalist)
- For an up-to-date Filmography: imdb.com/Vondie Curtis-Hall
- His brother is the design and creative director of the House of Halston.
- His guest appearance in Criminal Minds reunited him with fellow actor and former Chicago Hope cast member Thomas Gibson.