Actor-singer-composer Cleavant Derricks began his career writing Gospel music in Nashville, Tennessee. His songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Bonnie Porter and Dale Evans.
Along with his father - a Baptist Minister and gospel composer - Cleavant wrote a gospel album, Satisfaction Guaranteed, which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
As the years progressed, Cleavant went to New York City to pursue an acting career. Studying with Vinette Carrol at the Urban Arts Theatre, he received rave reviews in her Broadway shows Your Arm's Too Short To Box With God and But Never Jam Today. Again, working with Vinette Carrol, Cleavant served as composer, musical directory, and featured actor for the musical, When Hell Freezes Over I'll Skate, which later aired as a PBS special.
Creating the role of James Thunder Early for Michael Bennett's Broadway production of Dreamgirls, Cleavant received a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award. He also won an LA Drama Critic Circles Award for the vocal arrangements.
Film roles soon followed with Paul Masursky's Moscow On The Hudson with Robin Williams, Neil Simon's Slugger's Wife, Michael Diner's Offbeat, Wes Craven's Carnival of Souls, and World Traveler, with Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup.
Cleavant Derricks and Robin Williams
in Moscow On The Hudson.
During his last few years in New York City, Cleavant had an opportunity to star in one of Bob Fosse's last musicals. Big Deal became another success for Cleavant, being nominated for a Tony and Drama Desk Award as Best Actor in a Musical.
Television credits include series regulars on ABC's Thea with pop sensation Brandy, Fox's Drexell's Class with Dabney Coleman, CBS's Good Sports with Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal and Witt Thomas's Woops! on Fox. His most recent series, Sliders, has a huge fan base. Cleavant is the true original "Slider," having been with the show since its original premiere on FOX.
In addition, Cleavant has guest starred on many critically acclaimed and Emmy award winning series such as Roseanne, A Different World, LA Law, Moonlighting, Spencer For Hire, Miami Vice, Something Wilder, The Equalizer, Private Eye, Sibs, Touched By An Angel, Charmed, The Practice, and The Bernie Mac Show.
A project true to his heart was an ABC Movie of the Week, Bluffing It, with Dennis Weaver, in which he addressed illiteracy in this country.
With a strong love for music, Cleavant's CD Beginnings is a dream come true.
The Sliders Cast of Season 4 from left to right:
Cleavant Derricks, Kari Wuhrer, Jerry O'Connell, and Charlie O'Connell
Touring with Broadway's The Full Monty, Cleavant received a 2003 NAACP Theatre Award as Best Male Performance in a musical. He was also nominated for his performance as Best Supporting Actor for the Helen Hayes Award. Cleavant also performed at the Mark Taper Forum in Cy Coleman's musical Like Jazz with Patti Austin and Lillias White.
After completing his critically acclaimed performance in Broadway's hit musical, Brooklyn, Cleavant was awarded the "2005 Heroes and Legends Award" as Outstanding Achievement in Theatre.
Cleavant was last seen in Broadway's hit musical, Brooklyn. The tour soon followed, where Cleavant starred with American Idol's Diane DeGarbo and Tony Award winner, Melba Moore.