The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Share on Social Media

Information about Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Profile image of Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor
Screenwriter
Stage Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Beans and Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Puerto Rico
Favorite Quote:
Love Is Love.

Birthplace

Born:
11/24/1956
Birth Location:
Lackawanna, New York

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor
Screenwriter
Stage Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Beans and Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Puerto Rico
Favorite Quote:
Love Is Love.

Birthplace

Born:
11/24/1956
Birth Location:
Lackawanna
See how Ruben Santiago-Hudson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Actor and writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson was born on November 24, 1956 in Lackawanna, New York to Alean Hudson and Ruben Santiago. He graduated from Lackawanna High School; and earned his B.A. degree in theatre from Binghamton University in 1978, and his M.F.A. degree from Wayne State University in 1982.

Santiago-Hudson first appeared in the 1988 film, Coming to America. He then played Captain Billy Cooper on the daytime drama Another World from 1990 to 1993. Santiago-Hudson made his Broadway debut as Buddy Bolden in Jelly’s Last Jam in 1992, and starred in August Wilson's Seven Guitars in 1995. He wrote the autobiographical play Lackawanna Blues in 2001, and adapted it into the award-winning 2005 HBO film of the same name. He co-starred opposite Phylicia Rashad in Gem of the Ocean on Broadway in 2004; and, in 2007, he starred in a PBS Nova documentary about the life of Percy Lavon Julian. From 2009 to 2011, he played Captain Roy Montgomery in ABC's Castle. Santiago-Hudson returned to Broadway to star in Stick Fly in 2011, and directed August Wilson’s JITNEY! on Broadway in 2017.

Santiago-Hudson’s other film credits include Bleeding Hearts, Blown Away, Domestic Disturbance, Which Way Home, The Devil’s Advocate, American Gangster, Mr. Brooks, Shaft, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Showtime’s Solomon and Sheba. He also made appearance on the television shows The Cosby Mysteries, New York Undercover, NYPD Blue, Touched by an Angel, The West Wing, Third Watch, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Showtime’s Billions, the TNT series Public Morals, and five episodes of Law & Order.

Santiago-Hudson received the 1996 Tony Award for Best Featured Performer in Seven Guitars, and was awarded the 2006 Humanitas Prize in writing for the HBO film adaptation of his play Lackawanna Blues, and the 2009 NAACP Lifetime Achievement Theatre Award. In 2013, Santiago-Hudson won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director, an Obie Award for Direction, and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for the Off-Broadway production of The Piano Lesson. In 2016, he won an Obie Award for Special Citations: Collaboration of the play Skeleton Crew. He also received an honorary doctorate of letters from Buffalo State College in 2006, and Wayne State University in 2015. In 2014, The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center was named in his honor in his hometown of Lackawanna, New York.

Santiago-Hudson and his wife, Jeannie Brittan, have two children: Trey and Lily, in addition to his two older sons: Broderick and Ruben III.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 8, 2016.

See how Ruben Santiago-Hudson is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ruben Santiago-Hudson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about his mother's drug addiction
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers his time with his mother and siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers his surrogate mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ruben Sanitago-Hudson describes his father's migration to the United States
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his father's career on the railroad
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes the demographics of Lackawanna, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls growing up in a rooming house
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls a visit from social services
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes Lackawanna, New York and Buffalo, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls the influence of his surrogate parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers the tenants of his surrogate mother's rooming house
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his surrogate mother's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers his godmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers the integration of Lackawanna High School in Lackawanna, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers the mentorship of Robert Ambrogi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the impact of integration on the black community in Lackawanna, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his godfather's political career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers the race riots at Lackawanna High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his struggles at the majority-white Lackawanna High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about interracial dating at Lackawanna High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his two eldest sons
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers the State University of New York at Binghamton
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his college mentors
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls his suspension from the State University of New York at Binghamton
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls his return to the State University of New York at Binghamton
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his early acting experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls his acting experiences in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls performing in 'Native Son'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago recalls his academic experiences at Wayne State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls receiving his master's degree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls moving to New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers his early acting career in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls auditioning for the Negro Ensemble Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls his roles with the Negro Ensemble Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers providing for his children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his experiences as a soap opera actor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers auditioning for August Wilson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls marrying his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson explains the origin of his twins' names
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his wife's career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the black theater community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls his role in 'Jelly's Last Jam'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers lessons from Gregory Hines
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson explains his choice of roles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his approach to film roles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls acting in August Wilson's 'Seven Guitars'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls starring on the television show 'Castle'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers his early directorial career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about his film roles
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls creating the stage play 'Lackawanna Blues'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers the first production of 'Lackawanna Blues'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls performing 'Lackawanna Blues' in Hollywood
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the film adaptation of 'Lackawanna Blues'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls the national response to 'Lackawanna Blues'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ruben Hudson-Santiago remembers a lesson from August Wilson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes the legacy of his surrogate mother
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the influence of everyday life on his writing
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers directing 'Gem of the Ocean'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers directing August Wilson's plays, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls the obstacles to his production of 'Jitney'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the preservation of August Wilson's plays
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the interpretations of August Wilson's plays
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes the cost of a Broadway production
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson remembers directing August Wilson's plays, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his directorial style
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls a lesson from his surrogate mother
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about his commitment to acting
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls directing 'The Piano Lesson,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson recalls directing 'The Piano Lesson,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his play, 'Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his creative inspiration
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his TED talk
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson shares his advice to young actors
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the importance of black theater
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about modern racism, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about modern racism, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his advice to a group of black construction workers
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about standing up for yourself, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about standing up for yourself, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson shares his advice to African American actors
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks about the current black television networks
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Ruben Santiago-Hudson describes his family