Lamman Rucker is an American actor, best known for his performances as 'Will Brown' in 'Meet the Browns' and 'Jacob Greenleaf' in 'Greenleaf.' He began his acting career with a regular role in the soap opera 'As the World Turns' and subsequently starred in many more. Rucker simultaneously worked in films, too, but he rose to prominence when he collaborated with film producer Tyler Perry. The two have worked on several projects, some of the notable ones being the film 'Why Did I Get Married?'; its sequel, 'Why Did I Get Married Too?’; and the TV adaptation of 'Meet the Browns.' Apart from being a talented actor, Rucker is a passionate activist, educator, and entrepreneur. He holds a master's degree in education and has experience as a high school teacher. Hence, Rucker actively participates in activities and edutainment initiatives that educate, empower, and inspire people and help them become progressive. Rucker is an avid advocate of social justice, community empowerment, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, the arts, and financial literacy. He has been a prominent international speaker, too.
Childhood & Early Life
Lamman Rucker was born on October 6, 1971, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., to Malaya Ray and Eric Rucker. He grew up in Washington, D.C., Maryland area. He has a younger sister and a brother.
He began participating in child pageants at a tender age, and this eventually helped him develop an interest in acting. Rucker was in fourth grade when he played Martin Luther King. By seventh grade, he was in the drama club of his school.
He graduated high school from the 'Duke Ellington School of the Arts' in Washington, D.C. and then attended the 'Carnegie-Mellon University' and 'Duquesne University.' He has an undergraduate degree in information technology and business and a graduate degree in education and curriculum development.
Rucker was part of the basketball team in college and briefly played as a semi-pro ball.
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Rucker made his acting debut in 1998, portraying American soul singer Jimmy Ruffin, the elder brother of David Ruffin of the band 'The Temptations,' in the 4-hour ‘NBC’ miniseries based on the history of the band, which was one of ‘Motown's longest-lived acts.
He gained prominence in 2002, with the regular role of 'T. Marshall Travers,' opposite Tamara Tunie (as 'Jessica Griffin'), in the ‘CBS’ daytime soap opera 'As the World Turns.' He quit the show the following year.
He was seen as 'Michael Suliman' in the 2003 independent comedy film 'Making Revolution.' Rucker subsequently appeared in short films such as 'Redirect' (as 'Bobby'), 'Let's Talk' (as 'Maurice'), and 'The Commission' (as 'Judge Harold Couch').
In 2004, he completed his three-episode run as 'Rick Harris' in the ‘UPN’ sitcom 'All of Us.' After making a single-episode appearance as 'Reggie Uggams' in 'Law & Order,' he began playing the regular role of 'Garret Williams' in the ‘ABC’ soap opera 'All My Children' in 2005.
Rucker was cast as 'Drake Moore' in the 2007 independent romantic comedy 'I'm Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks).’ His first collaboration with Tyler Perry was the 2007 comedy–drama 'Why Did I Get Married?,' adapted from Perry's play of the same name. Rucker played 'Troy Jackson,' the local sheriff, in the film. He reprised the role in the 2010 sequel, 'Why Did I Get Married Too?'
His most prominent collaboration with Perry on TV was the ‘TBS’ sitcom 'Meet the Browns,' a remake of Perry's 2008 romantic comedy film of the same name. The film featured him as 'Will Brown,' which was a reprisal of his role of 'Dr. Will,' opposite Denise Boutte as 'Sasha Brown.' He played the role from 2009 to 2011. Perry had, however, given a glimpse of the character in an episode of his sitcom 'House of Payne.' Rucker soon bagged an 'NAACP Image Award' nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.”
Rucker played 'Isaac Roberts' in the 2010 crime thriller 'N-Secure' and 'Roland' in the 2012 drama film 'The Undershepherd.' He was seen as 'Chase' in eight episodes of the ‘UPN’ sitcom 'Half & Half.'
He was cast in the lead role, opposite Anne Heche, in the ‘NBC’ comedy series 'Save Me' but quit the show after filming the pilot episode. Rucker subsequently made appearances in a string of short movies and TV movies, such as the 2012 TV movie 'Sugar Mommas,' 'Black Coffee' (as 'Hill’), 'Where's the Love?' (as 'Sebastian') 'First Impression' (as 'Vernon Richardson'), 'No More Mr Nice Guy' (as 'Bruce Wright'), 'The Man in 3B' (as 'Darryl Graham'), 'Love Won't Let Me Wait' (as 'Roger'), and 'Service to Man' (as 'Dr. Johnson’).
In 2015, Rucker was cast as the series regular 'Rev. Elijah Bledsoe,' a priest, opposite Mena Suvari, in the short-lived ‘WE tv’ drama series 'South of Hell.' That year, he was signed as one of the leads in the 'Oprah Winfrey Network' drama 'Greenleaf.'
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In 'Greenleaf,' Rucker played 'Jacob Greenleaf,' the eldest son of the "First Lady" 'Daisy Mae Greenleaf' (Lynn Whitfield) and 'Bishop James Greenleaf' (Keith David). His character was the husband of Kim Hawthorne (who played 'Kerissa Greenleaf,' a controlling wife).
Before filming the final episode of the third season of 'Greenleaf,' Rucker celebrated the success of the show with 'Duke Ellington School of the Arts,' as a gesture of his acknowledgement to the institution that gave shape to his successful career as an actor.
'Duke Ellington' organized the 'GREENLEAF Watch Party & Social Forum' in its newly renovated building. Rucker took the opportunity to speak on several sensitive topics, such as family dynamics, domestic abuse, and mental health. He also encouraged the guests to donate generously to the institution.
Family & Personal Life
Rucker's mother ran a dance company called the 'Pittsburgh Black Theater Dance Ensemble.' His father was a drummer.
He dated Jill Scott in 2008. He was also rumored to have dated Toccara Jones after footage of the two, walking hand-in-hand, surfaced on the internet. However, Rucker denied all such claims and made clear that they were just good friends.
In his spare time, Rucker enjoys working out, playing ball, going to the theater, and traveling.
In 1982, his younger brother's death impacted him profoundly.
Rucker is a spokesperson for the 'American Heart Association,' 'Art Creates Life,' 'The Black AIDS Institute,' 'BMe Community,' 'The Magic Johnson Foundation,' and 'The Black Gents.' He had established ‘The Black Gents’ to produce thought-provoking and high-quality entertainment to break the stereotype regarding black males. His non-profit organization also arranges youth empowerment campaigns and community services.
He has contributed to the bestselling book 'REACH: 40 Black Men Speak on Living. Learning, and Succeeding.'