Brother Bruce Hawkins
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Bruce Hawkins (1952-2016) was an award-winning actor, model, dancer, puppeteer, visual artist, writer, and professional make-up artist.
Brother Bruce first began his professional acting career at Baltimore’s Center Stage in the musical The Me Nobody Knows and then went on to Broadway in the same show. A Theater Arts graduate of Morgan State College (now University), Bruce received the coveted AUDELCO Black Theater Achievement Award for Outstanding Male Musical Theater Performance for his song and dance work in the New Federal Theater production of Melvin Van Peebles’ musical play about Bessie Smith, The Champeen’, where he played 10 different characters with 27 costume changes. He was also featured in Golden Boy at the Billie Holliday Theater, toured the US with Cab Calloway in his Cotton Club Revue, and played the Scarecrow in the touring company of The Wiz.
His television acting credits included Guiding Light, All My Children, One Life to Live, Chappelle’s Show, Law and Order, 30 Rock, Kojak, The Equalizer, and many other independent films and movies. He was also frequently requested for national commercials and film ADR voice work and has appeared in music videos for Atlantic Starr, Orange “Juice” Jones, and was in-house choreographer for Atlantis Productions. Bruce can also be seen in the films The Preacher’s Wife, Crooklyn, My Brother, Moscow On the Hudson, and Black Nativity.
Bruce danced in six New York based Black dance companies and traveled and taught dance all over the world, working personally with renowned choreographers and instructors such as Louis Johnson, Fred Benjamin, Talley Beatty, Katherine Dunham, Rick Odums, Gary DeLoatch, Romare and Nanette Bearden, Otis Sallid, Bernard Johnson, Lynn Simonson, Roumel Reaux, Finis Jhung, George Faison, Debbie Allen, and Keith Young. His international dance travels took him to Africa, Japan, Europe, Alaska, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and throughout the continental United States. Bruce also worked for several years as a hand and rod puppeteer with the famed Crowations of the Brewery Puppets.
Before he retired from dancing full time in 1995, Bruce taught for several years on the professional dance faculty of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He also taught dance internationally in private dance studios and in colleges and universities, Bruce was an adjunct professor of dance and guest artist at SUNY Purchase, New York University, Adelphi University, Lehman College for the Performing Arts, and the University of Washington,
In nightclubs, Bruce worked with Cheryl Lynn, Cab Calloway, Ebony JoAnn, Jann Parker, Dee Watkins and Gage, Adrienne and Marvin, Pucci Amanda Jhones, The Uptown Girls and Lucy Blanco.
Up until his death, Bruce continued to work as an actor/model and published book author primarily in New York and sometimes Los Angeles. He was a vested retired member of SAG/AFTRA that still regularly frelanced for advertising print work, voiceovers, and commercials through several top East Coast model agencies in a senior category.
Brother Bruce, a charter member of New York City’s Delta Chapter, was the first member of Gamma Xi Phi to pass away.