Childhood & Early Life
Richard T. Jones was born as Richard Timothy Jones on January 16, 1972 in Kobe Japan to American parents. His father Clarence Jones was a former professional baseball player, while his mother Lorene Jones worked as a computer analyst. Richard was the second child in the family, and had an elder brother named Clarence Jones Jr.
Richard grew up playing football. Even though his father and brother were successful baseball players, Richard preferred to play football. In fact, he was not even interested in watching baseball games.
Richard graduated from ‘Bishop Montgomery High School’ in Torrance, California, where he played for the school’s football team. Despite his father’s advice that he pursue a career in sports, Richard decided to become a lawyer.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the ‘Tuskegee University’, which proved to be instrumental in making him an actor. He took acting class for fun, as his attendance was short.
One of his professors in the acting class discovered the talented actor in him and asked him to audition for plays. In fact, he was playfully threatened by the professor with lower grades in case he failed to do so.
Richard successfully gave his first audition for a play and thus, started his career on stage. He landed his first television and film roles in 1993, the year he graduated from the university.
Richard T. Jones made his television debut in the series ‘California Dreams’ in 1993. He only appeared in a single episode of the series. In the same year, he made his film debut with a small role in the movie ‘Helicopter’.
Despite coming from a non-film background, he was one of the lucky few actors who get a break in the entertainment industry without any real struggle. In his initial years, he appeared in guest roles in many series, such as ‘NYPD Blue’, ‘In the Heat of the Night’, ‘Courthouse’ and ‘Dangerous Minds’.
His film roles in the early phase of his career included small parts in projects, such as ‘Renaissance Man’ (1994) and ‘Jury Duty’ (1995).
Richard’s first major breakthrough came in 1996, when he was roped in to play the supporting role of Raymond in the thriller film ‘The Trigger Effect’. Even though the film was a commercial and critical failure, it was talked about long after its release.
He played supporting roles in films, such as ‘Johns’ (1996), ‘Event Horizon’ (1997) and ‘Kiss the Girls’ (1997). By then, he was regarded as a bankable supporting actor and consistently appeared in three to four films a year.
Apart from working in multiple films every year, he also remained active on television, playing a number of guest roles. In 1998, he was offered a leading role in the police procedural drama ‘Brooklyn South’. Richard appeared in 20 episodes of the series as Officer Clement Johnson.
In 1999, he was roped in to play Bruce Van Exel, a main character, in the highly successful legal drama ‘Judging Amy’. The series ran for six seasons until 2005, and Richard was part of it throughout its run.
His film career received a major boost when he played a leading role in the coming of age drama ‘The Wood’. He was cast as Laveinio Hightower in it. The film was a major box office hit, and Richard’s performance was also praised by the critics and audience alike.
In 2002, he played a lead role in the film ‘G’, which was based on the popular novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’. Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, the movie went on to be a critical and commercial success.
He appeared in supporting roles in the films ‘Phone Booth’ and ‘Moonlight Mile’. As for his television career in the 2000s, he was seen in guest roles in series, such as ‘Dirt’, ‘Las Vegas’ and ‘Time Bomb’. He also played a recurring role in the series ‘Girlfriends’, appearing in 10 of its episodes.
Richard had one of the main roles in the romantic comedy film ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ The 2007 movie was an average critical success but a major commercial hit. The makers of the movie came up with a sequel titled ‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’, which was equally successful as its predecessor.
In 2008, a breakthrough came in his television career, when he was signed to play James Ellison in the science fiction series ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’.
Richard started playing the recurring role of Governor Sam Denning in the series ‘Hawaii Five-0’ in 2011. In recent years, he was seen in supporting roles in series, such as ‘Santa Clarita Diet’, ‘Teachers’, ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ and ‘Narcos’. He continues to play the role of Wade Grey in the series ‘The Rookie’.
As far as his recent film roles are concerned, he appeared in films like 'A Question of Faith' (2017), 'Another You' (2017) and 'The Public' (2018). His movies ‘Concussion’, ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Forgiveness’ released in 2015.
His upcoming films are ‘Round of your life’, ‘Steele Justice’ and ‘Fool for your love’.