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|Also Known As:||Dule Hill||Died:|
|Born:||May 3, 1975||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Orange, New Jersey, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor dancer|
A talented actor-dancer, Dulé Hill attracted notice as part of an ensemble cast on the critically-acclaimed political drama "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) prior to taking a co-starring role on the comedic police procedural "Psych" (USA, 2006-14). Classically trained in ballet and tap dance from a young age, Hill had appeared on Broadway in a production of the hit musical "The Tap Dance Kid," as well as several other off-Broadway productions before even graduating from high school. His return to Broadway as a cast member of the musical "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk" and his appearance in the romantic comedy "She's All That" (1999) preceded his breakout role on "The West Wing." Hill's endearing performance as Charlie Young, the earnest and fiercely intelligent personal aide to President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) earned the dancer praise for his dramatic work. When the opportunity to take on a lead role in a new series presented itself, Hill jumped at the chance, but also returned for several episodes of the final season of "The West Wing" that same year. The gamble paid off for Hill, when the quirky "Psych" quickly built up a fan base substantial enough to make it one of basic cable's longest-running original series. Whether dancing on stage, playing a dutiful government aide, or a button-downed sidekick, Hill never failed to charm in any role that came his way.
Karim Dulé Hill was born May 3, 1974 in Orange, NJ, the second of two children. His Jamaican parents, investment banker Bert and teacher Jennifer, raised him and his brother Bert, Jr. in nearby Sayreville. At just three years old, Hill's parents enrolled him in dance class. His acting career was a by-product of his extraordinary experience in dance - tap dancing in particular. He was rewarded by landing the understudy role to tap dance savant, Savion Glover, in the stage musical, "The Tap Dance Kid." He subsequently took over the lead role in the show's 16-month national tour. Before graduating from Sayreville War Memorial High School in 1993, Hill appeared in several other major musicals, including "Shenandoah," "Little Rascals" and "Black and Blue" as well as a few bit parts in film and on television, including the role of Wesley Snipes' 17-year-old incarnation in the film "Sugar Hill" (1994).
Although he moved on to South Orange's Seton Hall University and pursued a degree in business finance, he continued to act, most notably in national commercials and as a cast member of the critically acclaimed but extremely short-lived Saturday morning series "CityKids" (ABC, 1993-94). During his junior year, he could not resist the opportunity to reteam with Savion Glover as a member of the original cast of the acclaimed Broadway production of "Bring in Da' Noise, Bring in Da' Funk." He spent two-and-a-half years hoofing in the show, which brought with it a smattering of television guest spots, including dance-centric episodes of "Cosby" (CBS, 1996-2000) in 1997 and "Smart Guy" (The WB, 1997-99) in 1998.
After landing a brief role in the forgettable 1999 comedy, "She's All That," Hill landed the biggest break of his career up to that point. As Charlie Young, personal assistant to Martin Sheen's U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006), Hill displayed an affinity for creator Aaron Sorkin's particular brand of rapid-fire dialogue early on, often showcasing it in private moments both comedic and heartfelt with Sheen, whose American president treated Hill's character like an adopted son. So good was Hill in the role that in he was nominated for a 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama.
During his "West Wing" tenure, Hill appeared in several feature films, including "Men of Honor" (2000), "Holes" (2003) and the television movie "10.5" (NBC, 2005). Also notable were David Mamet's "Edmond" (2005) and the Kevin Costner/Ashton Kutcher U.S. Coast Guard vehicle, "The Guardian" (2006). He also participated in Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Challenge" (2003-05) during the second and seventh tables, earning seats at the championship table both times. After putting in six seasons at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he chose to leave the show at the beginning of the seventh season to star in a pilot for a new series on the USA Network, entitled "Psych" (2006-14). Cast as the co-lead Burton "Gus" Guster, the show featured Hill and his faux-psychic partner Shawn Spencer (James Roday) as investigators who work with the police to solve crimes. The show was met with generally positive reviews and found its niche audience. In the meantime, when the announcement was made that "The West Wing" would end its run in May of 2006, the ever-loyal Hill returned for the show's final episodes to finish out Charlie Young's storyline. In addition to his ongoing duties on "Psych," which maintained a modest, albeit dedicated fan base, Hill picked up the occasional film role on the side. He played a detective investigating the kidnapping of a boy who gives his abductors much more than they bargained for in the horror-thriller "Whisper" (2007). He next lent support to "Remarkable Power" (2010), a direct-to-DVD comedy starring Kevin Nealon and Tom Arnold.
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