Richard Lawson (actor)

Richard Lee Lawson (born March 7, 1947) is an American actor who has starred in movies and on television. He is perhaps best known for his roles in genre films; he portrayed Ryan in the 1982 film Poltergeist, and Dr. Ben Taylor in the 1983 NBC miniseries V.

Richard Lawson
Lawson in Black Fist (1974).
Rickey Lee Lawson

(1947-03-07) March 7, 1947 (age 74)
Other namesRick Lawson
Years active1971–present
(m. 1978; div. 1989)
(m. 2015)
Children2, including Bianca Lawson

Life and careerEdit

Born Rickey Lee Lawson in Loma Linda, California, Lawson was drafted into the United States Army and became a medic. He served 21 months in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and was wounded in action.[2] After completing his military duty, he embarked on an acting career. His first feature film role (uncredited) was that of a gay man targeted for murder in the classic 1971 movie Dirty Harry. In 1973, he played Willis in Scream Blacula Scream. His other well known roles include the 1979 movie The Main Event, and the 1984 drama Streets of Fire, where he played Officer Ed Price. Lawson's first ongoing starring role in a television series was in Australian drama Hotel Story in 1977, however, that series was cancelled before the first episode aired. He later starred in the 1980s series Chicago Story; he took the ongoing role of Nick Kimball on the prime time soap opera Dynasty from 1986 to 1987, appeared in The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd as Detective Nathaniel Hawthorne from 1989 to 1991, and was in the day time soap opera All My Children as Lucas Barnes from 1992 to 1994. Lawson has made many guest appearances on television, including roles on Kojak, Get Christie Love!, Sister, Sister, Soul Food, The Bernie Mac Show, The Division and Strong Medicine.

Personal lifeEdit

Lawson was married to his first wife, actress Denise Gordy from New Year's Eve 1978 until 1989.[1] They have one daughter, actress Bianca Lawson, born in 1979. Lawson also has a son named Ricky, born in 1992.[3] On March 22, 1992, Lawson survived the USAir Flight 405 plane crash, after take-off from LaGuardia Airport, in Queens, New York City.[4] During the summer of 2013, he began dating Tina Knowles, fashion designer and mother of singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles.[5] Lawson and Knowles had known each for over 30 years, as she was the best friend of his late sister.[6] As a result, Lawson stated that he had "always admired her from afar and up close too."[7] The couple married on April 12, 2015.[8]


Year Film Role Notes
1971 Dirty Harry (uncredited) Theatrical film
1973 Scream Blacula Scream Willis Daniels Theatrical film
1973 Fox Style Little Henry Theatrical film
1974 Sugar Hill Valentine Theatrical film
1974 Black Fist Leroy Fisk Theatrical film
1977 Audrey Rose Policeman #1 Theatrical film
1978 Coming Home Pat Theatrical film
1979 The Main Event Hector Mantilla Theatrical film
1982 Poltergeist Ryan Theatrical film
1984 Streets of Fire Officer Ed Price Theatrical film
1985 Stick Cornell Theatrical film
1997 Wag the Dog CIA Agent Theatrical film
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Jack Theatrical film
2000 Mars and Beyond Mission Flight Director Maynard Nixon Short
2001 Blue Hill Avenue Uncle Rob Theatrical film
2003 Out of the Rain Donald Theatrical film
2003 Black Listed Agent Gordon Direct-to-video film
2005 Guess Who Marcus Theatrical film
2006 The Last Stand Winston Theatrical film
2007 I'm Through with White Girls James Evans Theatrical film
2008 Love for Sale Uncle Mac Theatrical film
2009 The Business of Show Short
2010 Massacre Rich Cannon Theatrical film
2010 For Colored Girls Frank Theatrical film
2019 From Zero to I Love You Ron Logsdon Theatrical film
2019 The Corner Store Marvin Short
2019 Always a Bridesmaid Carlton Blakeston Sr Theatrical film
Year Title Role Notes
1973 Shaft Don Lewis 1 episode
1973 Kojak 1st Suspect 1 episode
1974 Get Christie Love! 1 episode
1975 The Streets of San Francisco Eddie Hill 1 episode
1975 Medical Center Andy Willis 1 episode
1975 Crossfire Officer Ken Dillard Television movie
1976 Bert D'Angelo/Superstar 1 episode
1976 Most Wanted 1 episode
1977 Hotel Story 7 episodes
1977 All in the Family Angry Black Man 1 episode
1977 The Fantastic Journey Barker 1 episode
1978 Good Times Raymond 1 episode
1978 Having Babies Bert Rollins 1 episode
1978 What Really Happened to the Class of '65? Lt. Sawyer 1 episode
1979 Charleston James Harris Television movie
1979 The Jericho Mile R.C. Stiles Television movie
1979 Buffalo Soldiers Caleb Holiday Television movie
1980 The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story Gene Davis Television movie
1981 The White Shadow David Mackey 1 episode
1982 T. J. Hooker Officer David McNeil 1 episode
1982 Chicago Story Det. O.Z. Tate 13 episodes
1983 V Dr. Ben Taylor Miniseries
1983 Hardcastle and McCormick Kid Calico 1 episode
1984 Magnum, P.I. Gerald Calvin 1 episode
1985 St. Elsewhere 1 episode
1985 Remington Steele Monroe Henderson 1 episode
1986 Comedy Factory Dr. Julius Pepper 1 episode
1986 Under the Influence Dr. Duran Television movie
1986 Johnnie Mae Gibson: FBI Adam Prentice Television movie
1986–1987 Dynasty Nick Kimball 11 episodes
1987 Amen Dr. Jonathan Wallace 1 episode
1988 CBS Summer Playhouse Nick Scott 1 episode
1988 Wiseguy Thurman McGill 1 episode
1988 227 Raymond Blake 1 episode
1988–1991 The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd Det. Nathaniel Hawthorne 21 episodes
1989 1st & Ten: The Championship Coleman King 2 episodes
1989 The Forgotten Sergeant Frank 'Doc' McDermott Television movie
1989 Double Your Pleasure Dash Television movie
1989–1991 MacGyver Jesse Colton 3 episodes
1991 Father Dowling Mysteries Brad Whitfield 1 episode
1991 The Cosby Show Mr. Bostic 1 episode
1992–1994 All My Children Lucas Barnes 12 episodes
1993 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Judge Thurston Jones 1 episode
1995 Picket Fences Dale "Sky" Betts 1 episode
1996 Pandora's Clock Captain Daniel Robb Television movie
1997 Good News Percy Shepperd 2 episodes
1997 Moesha Marlon James 1 episode
1998 The Parent 'Hood T.K.'s Father 1 episode
1998 L.A. Doctors Gary Miller 1 episode
1999 Justice Gus Television movie
1999 Sister, Sister Victor Sims 5 episodes
1999 Jackie's Back Milkman Summers (Jackie's Ex-Husband #1) Television movie
1999 Judging Amy Thomas Horne 1 episode
2000 Family Law Chuck 1 episode
2001 JAG Sgt. Dan Craig 1 episode
2001 Touched by an Angel Nicholas Freeman 1 episode
2001 Soul Food Reverend Bobby Baxter 1 episode
2001 Strong Medicine Alton Clayborne 1 episode
2001 The Bernie Mac Show Bishop 1 episode
2002 The District Commander Richard Gray 2 episodes
2002 For the People Clay Portman 1 episode
2003 Maniac Magee Mr. Beale Television movie
2003 Half & Half Ben 1 episode
2004 The Division LaBon 1 episode
2004 Dead Like Me William Garrett 1 episode
2004 Christmas at Water's Edge Mr. Turner Television movie
2005 E-Ring 1 episode
2006 All of Us Luther Brody 2 episodes
2008 Numb3rs Clay Porter, Sr. 1 episode
2011 Angry Boys Shwayne Senior 7 episodes
2013 Real Husbands of Hollywood Detective Smith 1 episode
2016 Saints & Sinners Pastor Evan Johnson Series regular
2017 Grey's Anatomy Bill Pierce 1 episode
2017 Searching for Neverland Joe Jackson Biographical television film
2018 In Contempt Earl Sullivan Ongoing


  1. ^ a b Nevada, Marriage Index, 1956-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007.
  2. ^ Collier, Aldore. "Richard Lawson's 5 Brushes With Death", Ebony, volume 47, number 9, July 1992, p. 32.
  3. ^ "Does Richard Lawson have children?". Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  4. ^ Kleinfield, N.R. (March 24, 1992). "Survivors of Mangled Plane Recall Fire, Water, Terror". The New York Times. pp. A1, B2. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  5. ^ "Tina Knowles Opens Up About Dating And Life After Mathew Knowles (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. October 7, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  6. ^ Uwumarogie, Victoria (October 6, 2014). "Tina Knowles Talks Life After Mathew And Finding Love Again". MadameNoire. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  7. ^ "Richard Lawson Shares A Bit On Marriage To Tina Lawson". Black America Web. April 23, 2018. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  8. ^ Fowler, Tara (April 13, 2015). "Tina Knowles Marries Richard Lawson". People. Time Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2017.

External linksEdit