Vibrant Lives. Vibrant Stories.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson 1956 - Present
This biography was originally released on August 15, 2022 as a part of our on going series titled: Vibrant Lives. Vibrant Stories.
Written by Madison Matthews on the Staff of The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission
Ruben Santiago-Hudson was born November 24, 1956 in Lackawanna, New York to Alean Hudson and Ruben Santiago. Santiago went to the Lackawanna High School then to Binghamton University where he earned his bachelor's degree, Wayne State University where he earned his master’s degree, and his honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Buffalo State College and Wayne State University. Eventually, Hudson married Jeannie Brittan where they had two kids together and in a previous relationship he had another two kids. After college, Hudson became an actor, playwright, and director.
In 1992 Ruben Santiago-Hudson appeared on Broadway in “Jelly’s Last Jam” and he wrote the “Lackawanna Blues” in 2001 which was an autobiographical play where portrayed himself. Then in 2003 he was the reader in the “Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives”. In 2007 he played in a PBS Nova documentary and from 2009 to 2011 he was on the “Captain Roy Montgomery”. Furthermore, in November of 2011 he played in the “Stick Fly” and in 2013 he played in the “Low Winter Sun”. Santiago has also appeared on “Another World”, “All My Children”, “The Cosby Mysteries”, “New York Undercover”, and “NYPD Blue”. As Well as “Touched by an Angel”, “The West Wing”, “Third Watch”, “Law & Order”, and “Castle”.
With all the work that Santiago has done, he has been an awardee of many awards. So, in 1996 he was awarded with a Tony Award for best Actor in a play for his performance in “August Wilson’s Seven Guitars”. Then in 2005 he was awarded with the Humanities Prize, an Emmy, and Writers Guild of America Award for his role in a 2005 HBO film. In 2006 he was awarded with a Humanitas Award for his “Lackawanna Blues” play. In addition to that, he was awarded with the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in “Their Eyes Were Watching God” in 2009. Along with the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director in 2013 for his role in “The Piano Lesson. Lastly, in 2016 he won an Obie Awards Special Citation for his work on the “Skeleton Crew”.
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