Menace II Society
Actor Larenz Tate appeared as Curtis Royal in the CBS sitcom “The Royal Family” (1991-1992) and in guest roles in series like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1992) before portraying street gangster O-Dog in the Hughes brothers film “Menace II Society” (1993). After the successful breakout role, Tate delivered good performances in such films as “Dead Presidents” (1995, again directed by the Hughes brothers), “Love Jones” (1997, earned an Acapulco Black Film Festival and Image nomination), “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” (1998, won an Acapulco Black Film Festival award), “Biker Boyz” (2003), “A Man Apart” (2003), “Ray” (2004) and Paul Haggis' “Crash” (2004, netted a SAG Award, a Black Reel Award and an Image nomination). Despite his hectic film schedule, he also had regular roles in the series “South Central” (1994), “Waterfront,” “Love Monkey” (both 2006) and “Rescue Me” (2007-2009).
The 5' 7½” star of Ashanti’s music video “Rain on Me” has been married to Tomasina Parrott since 2006. They have a son named Miles Xavier. Tate enjoys music by The Notorious B.I.G. and mentions “Lady Sings the Blues” as his favorite film and “The Cosby Show” and “Sanford and Son” as his favorite TV programs. His favorite book is the Sidney Poitier autobiography “The Measure of a Man.”
Along with his brothers, writer-producer Lahmard Tate and actor Larron Tate, Larenz established a production company called “Tate Men Entertainment.” The trio also founded The Tate Bros. Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps sick children.
Childhood and Family:
Larenz Tate was born on September 8, 1975, in Chicago, Illinois, to Larry Tate, a teacher, and Peggy. The youngest of three sons moved with his family to Bell Gardens, California, when he was nine years old. He and his brothers, Larron (born in 1970) and Lahmard (born in 1972), attended a drama program at the Inner City Cultural Center.
In 2006, Larenz tied the knot with dancer/choreographer/actress Tomasina Parrott. They have a son named Miles Xavier and live in California.
Inspired by his classmate, actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner who had a regular role in the popular TV sitcom “The Cosby Show,” Larenz Tate began to take acting more seriously. His effort paid off in 1985 when he landed his first TV guest spot in the CBS revival of “The Twilight Zone.” More episodic roles followed in such series as “Hunter” (1987), “21 Jump Street,” “The Wonder Years” and “Matlock” (all 1989). His miniseries debut arrived in 1989 with the celebrated “The Women of Brewster Place,” which starred Oprah Winfrey.
Tate entered the 1990s with a regular role in the short-lived ABC sitcom “New Attitude.” It was followed with a recurring role on the family comedy series “Family Matters,” where he appeared as Willie Fuffner on two episodes during the 1990-1991 seasons, and a regular gig on the CBS comedy series “The Royal Family” (1991-1992), where he portrayed the son of Della Reese and Redd Foxx. The latter role brought the actor a 1992 Young Artist nomination for Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Series. He nabbed his second Young Artist nomination the following year for his guest performance in “That's No Lady, That's My Cousin,” a 1992 episode of the TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” He also acted in the TV films “Seeds of Tragedy” and “Clippers” (both 1991).
Tate made his big screen debut in 1993 when he won the costarring role of Kevin 'O-Dog' in the Hughes brothers directed “Menace II Society” (1993). He then returned to the small screen the following year to play a regular role on Fox’s “South Central” before again appearing on the large screen in Matty Rich's “The Inkwell” (also 1994), where he starred with Joe Morton and Suzzanne Douglass.
Tate rejoined the Hughes brothers for the movie “Dead Presidents” (1995), where he starred as Anthony Curtis, and portrayed poet Darius Lovehall in Theodore Witcher's “Love Jones” (1997), for which he picked up an Acapulco Black Film Festival nomination for Best Actor and an Image nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture. In the biopic “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” (1998), he took home the 1999 Acapulco Black Film Festival award for his starring role of pop singer Frankie Lymon. Tate was also seen portraying Ford Lincoln Mercury in “The Postman” (1997), which was directed by and starred Kevin Costner.
2000 saw Tate star as Neville Carter and make his debut as an executive producer in the independent film “Love Come Down,” which also starred Martin Cummins and Debra Cox. Two years later, he teamed up with Laurence Fishburne and Derek Luke for the motorcycle drama “Biker Boyz” and costarred with Vin Diesel in “A Man Apart,” which was directed by F. Gary Gray. In the biopic “Ray” (2004), based on the life of musician Ray Charles (played by Jamie Foxx), Tate played Qunicy Jones and jointly received a 2005 Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The same year, he was also seen in the Oscar winner “Crash,” which marked Paul Haggis' directorial debut. The film brought Tate a 2006 Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, a Black Reel for Best Ensemble and many additional nominations.
After making his directorial debut in “The Hot Spot” (2005), a comedy starring Derrick Tate and Madd Marv that went straight to video release, Tate supported Tyrese Gibson and Meagan Good in the gangster film “Waist Deep” (2006), by director Vondie Curtis-Hall. He also revisited the small screen to costar with Joe Pantoliano, William Baldwin and Mary Stuart Masterson in the short-lived series “Waterfront” (2006), played the regular role of Shooter Cooper in the comedy series “Love Monkey” (2006), which also had a short life, and appeared in the television movie “Blue Blood” (2008). The previous year, he joined the cast of the successful series “Rescue Me” (2007-2009).
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, “Crash,” 2006
Black Reel: Best Ensemble, “Crash,” 2006
Acapulco Black Film Festival: Best Actor, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” 1999