About This Interview
In his two-hour Archive interview, Roscoe Orman discusses his childhood in the Bronx and chronicles his theater work at the start of his career. He recounts his participation in the Civil Rights Movement, and recalls meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. Orman then details his three decades playing "Gordon Robinson" on the groundbreaking children's series Sesame Street. He describes how he won the role, which puppets are his favorites, and what he believes the legacy of Sesame Street will be. Orman shares some of his favorite episodes and storylines from the program, including the memorable "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" episode, and the adoption of "Gordon's" son, "Milo." He also touches on his television work on All My Children, Sanford and Son, Sex and the City, and Kojak. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 20, 2004 at the Sesame Workshop in New York, NY.
Related To This Video
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- Roscoe Orman on his Sesame Street character "Gordon"
Clip begins at: 13:04, Duration: 03m 46s
- Roscoe Orman on learning to relate to Muppets, and to the kids on Sesame Street
Clip begins at: 24:16, Duration: 02m 39s
- Roscoe Orman on Jim Henson and how "Ernie" even more so than "Kermit" represented Jim
Clip begins at: 05:49, Duration: 02m 58s
- Roscoe Orman on Carroll Spinney's "Big Bird" and "Oscar the Grouch"
Clip begins at: 08:47, Duration: 02m 18s
- Roscoe Orman on Sesame Street's: "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"
Clip begins at: 22:18, Duration: 01m 13s
- Part 1
- On his childhood and early influences; on growing up in the Bronx; on his talent for drawing; on performing in school plays; on performing off-Broadway during his senior year of high school
Clip begins at: 0:48
- On attending the Manhattan School of Music; on joining Actors Equity; on his first television appearance - in Philadelphia; on Matt Robinson, the original "Gordon" on Sesame Street
Clip begins at: 09:36
- On his early recollections of television; on meeting Roy Rogers; on his awareness of the lack of diversity on television during his childhood; on his early stage performances; on joining the Free Southern Theater and getting arrested in the segregated South for trying to integrate a New Orleans bar; on joining the New Lafayette Theater in Harlem
Clip begins at: 16:35
- Part 2
- On meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights Leaders in the South; on acting and directing at the New Lafayette Theater in Harlem; on starring in the film Willie Dynamite in Hollywood
Clip begins at: 0:26
- On Morgan Freeman on The Electric Company; on returning to New York Theater; on how he got his start on Sesame Street; on his audition for "Gordon" on Sesame Street; on his first days on Sesame Street and trying to win over the kids on set; on the Muppets/puppets he relates to best
Clip begins at: 14:23
- Part 3
- On Kevin Clash and "Elmo;" on "Grover" being his favorite puppet; on Jim Henson; on Carroll Spinney's "Big Bird" and "Oscar the Grouch; " on "Trash Gordon;" on his character - "Gordon" on Sesame Street
Clip begins at: 0:27
- On rules for playing "Gordon;" on feedback from parents; on "Gordon's" relationship with "Susan" on Sesame Street; on Sesame Street's: "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" in which the characters explain to "Big Bird" that Mr. Hooper died; on important Sesame Street storylines;
Clip begins at: 16:50
- Roscoe Orman on some of his favorite guests on Sesame Street; on his memory of Ray Charles' appearance on the show
Clip begins at: 26:38
- Part 4
- On the legacy of Sesame Street; on Joan Ganz Cooney; on his role on All My Children; on his role on Sanford and Son; on his appearance on Sex and the City
Clip begins at: 0:29
- On his appearance on Kojak; on advice to an aspiring actor; on people recognizing him
Clip begins at: 10:26