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Ernie Hudson Actor

Ernie Hudson, co-star of the "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous" Movie!

Actor Ernie Hudson received his training at Wayne State, Yale School of Drama and the University of Minnesota. Following a hitch with the Marines, Hudson appeared in such stage productions as The Great White Hope, The Cage and Daddy Goodness. He made his earlier film appearance in 1976's Leadbelly. Most of us know Hudson best as Winston Zeddmore in the two Ghostbusters films, a role he repeated in Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" music video. His best--and most controversial--screen assignment was the The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992); Hudson played retarded handyman Solomon, virtually the only character in the film who doesn't buy into the "perfect" facade of homicidal baby-sitter Rebecca DeMornay. On TV, Ernie Hudson has been seen as Smythe in Highcliffe Manor (1977), undercover officer "Night Train" Lane in The Last Precinct (1986), and kleptomaniac cop Toby Baker in Broken Badges (1990).

Ernie Hudson Makes House Calls

Actor to star in patient education videos.

Actor Ernie Hudson may pop up in the waiting room during your next doctor’s visit. The star of such films as "Ghostbusters," "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and the HBO series “OZ,” has been tapped by the African American Medical Network to host its new in-office patient education video magazine.

African American Medical, a new placed-based television network which will deliver advertiser-supported, educational programming to millions of African American patients, will be installed nationwide this year in 3,000 doctors' offices that serve the African American population. Thereafter, monthly updated DVD magazines will be provided to each subscriber.

Comprised of fast-paced segments one to three-minutes in length, each video message will cover such topics as hypertension, diabetes, breast cancer, asthma, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, obesity, immunizations, glaucoma, lung cancer, cholesterol, and prostate cancer.

"Health disparities in the African American community are enormous," notes Hudson. "It's important for each of us to do what we can because a small difference can make all the difference."

Hudson will soon be seen in the films "Miss Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School," "Miss Congeniality II" and HBO's "Lackawanna Blues.”

Ernie Hudson : Fine cast brings life to 'Blues' on HBO

When you think of the wellsprings of African-American culture, upstate New York doesn't rank with, say, Harlem or the Mississippi Delta. But that's where actor-playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson grew up, and where he has set his superb "Lackawanna Blues."

It began as an autobiographical monologue the author performed off-Broadway in 2000 with musical accompaniment by Bill Sims Jr. Ruben Santiago-Hudson was incredibly rich in ways that can't be quantified when he thought he was scuffling through childhood. Now he's sharing his good fortune with the world in Lackawanna Blues. HBO has adapted his acclaimed one-man stage play into a huge cinematic ensemble piece that is a joyful entertainment experience from beginning to end.

The autobiographical film vividly re-creates Santiago-Hudson's youth growing up in the '50s and '60s in a spacious old rooming house in New York. It was also home to a colorful array of drifters, grifters, musicians, hell-raisers and down-on-their-luck characters, who needed a welcoming place to crash. They had names like Ol' Po' Carl, Numb Finger Pete, Sweet Tooth Sam, Mr. Luscious, Small Paul and Miss Jadie, and had tales as fascinating as their names to tell young Ruben; some were even true.

The proprietor, a beloved and extraordinarily generous woman known as "Nanny" Crosby, delivered Ruben, then became his surrogate mother when his natural parents prioritized good times over responsibility.

"Nanny always told me I was special," Santiago-Hudson said. "I think as I got older, I realized how special I was. As a child, you got taunted a lot. You live in a rooming house with a bunch of crazy people, you get taunted. So I didn't realize how special it was until I started hearing about people who had a mother, father, a dog and a yard, and what they had to say. Then, getting to college, people asked me, `Do your parents know you're an actor?' I said, `Yeah.' They said, `What did they tell you?' I said, `They told me I'd be wonderful.' And I thought, `Wow, I am really special.'"

This feeling pervades Lackawanna Blues, which still needed help from a well-connected friend to make the transition from off-Broadway to HBO. Halle Berry has known Santiago-Hudson since both were striving to make it in New York more than a decade ago. "He was the first real actor I think I met when I first moved to New York," she said. "He's someone I admired and looked up to. So when I heard he was performing his one-man show at The Public in New York, of course I went. I was blown away. He played every character and he brought them all to life so brilliantly."

Berry, who would become an executive producer of the movie, sensed the play would make a terrific film and took the idea to HBO, where she had won an Emmy for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. "Ever since my Dorothy Dandridge project, I've felt like family," she said.

Indeed, she was treated like family, getting an accelerated green light. Then again, when Halle Berry, who subsequently took home an Oscar for Monster's Ball, walks in the door with an idea, especially one as well developed as Lackawanna Blues, the negotiations aren't going to be difficult under any circumstances.

The only significant change was turning the one-man show into a multi-player movie, although Tony Ward-winning director George C. Wolfe was hired to maintain the original feel. A galaxy of stars was enlisted to re-create the roles Santiago-Hudson, who has only a small part in the film, had portrayed solo. They include Delroy Lindo, Ernie Hudson, Mos Def (who was in Monster's Ball with Berry), Louis Gossett Jr., Hill Harper, Macy Gray, Jimmy Smits, Carmen Ejogo, Henry Simmons, Terrence Howard and Marcus Carl Franklin as young Ruben. They carry on like ball players at an all-star game, each trying to outshine the flashiest work of respected colleagues.

None shines brighter than S. Epatha Merkerson, who gets a chance to stretch well beyond the confines of Law & Order as Nanny and offers a stunningly brilliant, nuanced performance, which will have fans of the NBC drama shaking their heads at the realization of how underutilized she has been all these years.

"This was the opportunity of my career," she said. "There are certain things [Anita] Van Buren [her L&O character] does every week. It's constant and consistent. Every now and then, you get to see a little quirk in her, a little sense of humor. But basically, she tells the guys what to do, they go and do it, and if it comes back wrong, she goes after them. It was absolutely liberating to laugh and to cry and to really think about what a person is doing and, having had that person in the world, to do that justice."

Some shows you watch because they're what's on. Others you tape because you have better things to do. Lackawanna Blues is special enough to cancel other Saturday night plans.



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