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February 24, 2023


Ruben Santiago-Hudson is a renowned American actor, playwright, and director who has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. He rose from humble beginnings to become a celebrated figure, having won several awards for his outstanding contributions to the arts. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the incredible story of Ruben Santiago-Hudson, exploring the highlights of his journey from struggling actor to Emmy award winner.

Section 1: Early Life and Education

Ruben Santiago-Hudson was born on November 24, 1956, in Lackawanna, New York, a small suburb of Buffalo. He grew up in a working-class family, the son of a factory worker and a nurse’s aide. Despite being raised in a humble environment, Ruben always had a passion for the arts. He attended Lackawanna High School, where he performed in school plays and musicals.

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After high school, Ruben went on to attend Binghamton University, where he majored in theatre and English. He honed his acting skills and learned the craft of playwriting while in college. Ruben earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978 and went on to pursue graduate studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he earned an MFA in acting.

Section 2: Early Career

After completing his graduate studies, Ruben Santiago-Hudson moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. However, as is common in the entertainment industry, the journey was not a smooth one. Ruben struggled to get roles and was often typecast in minor parts that didn’t showcase his talents.

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Despite the challenges, Ruben persisted, and in 1991, he made his Broadway debut in August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running.” He received critical acclaim for his performance, which earned him a Tony Award nomination. The role was a turning point in his career, and he went on to appear in several Broadway productions and off-Broadway shows.

Section 3: Television and Film Career

Ruben Santiago-Hudson has also made a name for himself in television and film, having appeared in several notable projects. He played Captain Roy Montgomery on ABC’s “Castle” and had a recurring role in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Ruben has also appeared in several films, including “The Devil’s Advocate,” “American Gangster,” and “Blown Away.”

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Despite his success on stage and screen, Ruben has always been passionate about playwriting. He has written several plays, including “Lackawanna Blues,” which he adapted into an HBO movie. The movie won an Emmy award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie, with Ruben earning an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special.

Section 4: Awards and Accolades

Ruben Santiago-Hudson has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career. In addition to his Tony and Emmy awards, he has won an Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award, and a NAACP Image Award. Ruben has also been inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and the American Theater Hall of Fame.

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Section 5: Personal Life

Off stage and screen, Ruben Santiago-Hudson is a proud father of two children. He has been married to his wife, Jeannie Brittan, since 1982. Ruben is also an active member of his community, having founded the Lackawanna Community Development Corporation, which aims to improve the quality of life for residents in his hometown.

Section 6: Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Legacy

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s contributions to the arts have been significant and transformative. He has broken barriers for African American actors, directors, and playwrights, paving the way for future generations. His writing has shed light on the struggles of the working class, particularly in African American communities, and his performances have inspired audiences worldwide.

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Section 7: FAQs

  • Q: What is Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s most famous role?
  • A: Ruben Santiago-Hudson is perhaps best known for his role as Captain Roy Montgomery on ABC’s “Castle.”
  • Q: How many Tony Awards has Ruben Santiago-Hudson won?
  • A: Ruben Santiago-Hudson has been nominated for two Tony Awards and has won one.
  • Q: What is Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s hometown?
  • A: Ruben Santiago-Hudson was born in Lackawanna, New York.
  • Q: What is Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s most notable play?
  • A: “Lackawanna Blues” is arguably Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s most famous play.
  • Q: How long has Ruben Santiago-Hudson been married?
  • A: Ruben Santiago-Hudson has been married to Jeannie Brittan since 1982.
  • Q: How has Ruben Santiago-Hudson impacted the entertainment industry?
  • A: Ruben Santiago-Hudson has broken barriers for African American actors, directors, and playwrights, paving the way for future generations, and his writing and performances have inspired audiences worldwide.
  • Q: How did Ruben Santiago-Hudson get into acting?
  • A: Ruben Santiago-Hudson developed a passion for acting while in high school and pursued it in college. After earning an MFA in acting, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
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Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s journey from a struggling actor to an Emmy award-winning playwright, director, and actor, is a testament to the power of persistence and hard work. His contributions to the arts have transformed the industry, paving the way for future generations of African American actors, directors, and playwrights. Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire and influence audiences for generations to come. If you’re a lover of the arts, take time to learn more about Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s life and work, and be inspired to fulfill your own dreams and passions.


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