One on One
Robert Ri'chard is a Daytime Emmy Award winning American actor, who won his award for his portrayal of Clay Crosby in the television film “In His Father's Shoes” (1997). He also picked up Young Artist nominations for his work on the Nickelodeon series “Cousin Skeeter” (1998-2003) and the made for TV film “Alley Cats Strike” (2000) and an Image nomination for playing Ziggy Malone on the film “Light It Up” (1999). Ri'chard is also known to TV audiences as Arnaz Ballard on the sitcom “One on One” (UPN, 2001-2006) and Derek on the TBS show “Meet the Browns” (9 episodes, 2009-2010). He has guest starred in popular series like “Boston Public,” “Touched By An Angel,” “CSI: Miami” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.” Ri'chard's film credits also include “Coach Carter” (2005, with Samuel L. Jackson), “House of Wax” (2005), “The Comebacks” (2007) and “Meet the Browns” (2008). He has tried his hands in producing with the 2004 short “Otto” and the comedy film “The Prospects,” which was shown at the Brooklyn International Film Festival in June 2010.
Childhood and Family:
Robert Ri'chard was born Robert Andrew Richard on January 7, 1983, in Los Angeles, California. He is an only child and is of Louisiana Creole (French, African American, Native American) and Spanish ancestry. He attended Palms middle school in Los Angeles, CA and Hamilton Academy of Music in Los Angeles.
A passionate athlete, Robert loves to play football, basketball and baseball. His favorite athletes are Michale Jordan and Shaquille O'neil. He mentions “The Simpsons” his favorite TV show and Robert DeNiro, Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington, Joe Pesci, Samuel L. Jackson, and Laurence Fishburne his favorite actors. He is also a fan of rappers Snoop Dogg, Babyface,Tupac, and Miles Davis.
In His Father's Shoes
Robert Ri'chard started his acting career at age 13 with a guest appearance on the ABC sitcom “Hangin' with Mr. Cooper,” starring Mark Curry and Holly Robinson. He played Gary in the episode “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (1996). It was followed by guest stints in “Nash Bridges” and “Touched by an Angel” (both also 1996) and an important role as Louis Gossett Jr.'s teen son, Clay, on the made for television “In His Father's Shoes” (Lifetime, 1997). Ri'chard's performance on “In His Father's Shoes” was critically praised and he was handed a 1998 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special and a Young Artist nomination for Best Performance in a TV Movie/Pilot/Mini-Series - Leading Young Actor.
Ri'chard made his series regular debut on the sitcom “Cousin Skeeter,” where he was cast in the leading role of Bobby, a young boy, whose life changed after his strange cousin Skeeter comes to live with his family. Created by Phil Beauman, Alonzo Brown and Brian Robbins, the show ran on Nickelodeon for three seasons from September 1, 1998 to May 19, 2003. For his bright acting, Ri'chard nabbed three Young Artist nominations in the category of Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series - Leading Young Actor (1999, 2000 and 2001). “Cousin Sketter” also starred Bill Bellamy as Skeeter, Meagan Good as Bobby's friend, Nina, Rondell Sheridan as Bobby's dad, Andre, and Angela Means as Bobby's mother, Vanessa.
During his tenure on the show, Ri'chard kept on busy working on other projects. He appeared in “4 Points” (1998), an episode of “Sports Theater with Shaquille O'Neal,” portrayed Bruce on the episodes “The Afterschool Special” and “We Got No Game” (both 1998) of The WB's hit sitcom, “The Jamie Foxx Show,” and provided the voice of Miles on the animated video “Our Friend, Martin” (1999), which was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming More Than One Hour. Among other actors who contributed voices to the film were Edward Asner, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, James Earl Jones, Lucas Black, LeVar Burton and Ashley Judd.
In 1999, Ri'chard made his feature film acting debut in “Light It Up,” a flop drama starring Usher Raymond, Rosario Dawson, Forest Whitaker, and Vanessa L. Williams, helmed and penned by Craig Bolotin and produced Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and his wife Tracy Edmonds. Playing Zacharias 'Ziggy' Malone (the narrator), he was nominated for a 2000 Image Award in the category of Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress. The actor next portrayed Todd McLemore in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Alley Cats Strike” (2000, opposite Kyle Schmid), from which he earned a Young Artits nomination for Best Performance in a TV Movie (Comedy) - Leading Young Actor, had a recurring role on the ABC family drama “Once and Again” (2000, as Jared) and guest starred in “Boston Public” (2001, as student), “My Wife and Kids” (2001, as Tommy) and “Touched by an Angel” (2001, as Alex Wilson), his second appearance on the show. Besides, he starred as Marcel Ste. Marie on Showtime's telepic, “Feast of All Saints” (2001), opposite Peter Gallagher, Gloria Reuben, Jennifer Beals, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Pam Grier.
Ri'chard returned to series television as a regular when he was cast as aspiring rock star Arnaz Leroy Ballard on the UPN hit sitcom “One on One,” opposite Flex Alexander and Kyla Pratt. He was on the show from its premiere on September 3, 2001 until its finale on May 15, 2006.
Prior to starting “One on One,” Ri'chard wrapped production on the film “Who's Your Daddy?,” which was directed by Andy Fickman. The film, which also starred Justin Berfield, Kadeem Hardison, Christine Lakin, Ali Landry and Marnette Patterson, however, was shelved for many years and was eventually released on video in January 2005. After a role in the short film “P.N.O.K.” (2005), the actor had a notable turn as Samuel L. Jackson's son, Damien Carter on “Coach Carter” (2005), which was based on a true story, where Richmond High School head basketball coach Ken Carter made headlines in 1999 for benching his unbeaten team because of poor academic results. Starring Jackson as the titular role, the film earned mixed reviews from critics, but was a success at the domestic box office. It opened at No. 1 on the US box office and has grossed more than $67 million to date. The same year, he also played Blake in the horror film “House of Wax,” opposite Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt, Paris Hilton and Jared Padalecki, and Tobey Hollins in an episode of “ CSI: Miami” called “ 48 Hours to Life.”
From 2006 to 2007, Ri'chard portrayed the recurring role of Mason on the Kristen Bell series “Veronica Mars” (4 episodes). He also appeared in the TV series “Eight Days a Week” (2007), was cast as Acl Tare, a talented running back who lives up to his name, on the satirical comedy feature “The Comebacks” (2007), which was directed by Tom Brady, teamed up with Clancy Brown, William Mapother, Laura Leighton and Sean Patrick Thomas on “The Burrowers” (2008), a horror/thriller movie directed by JT Petty, and played Derek on the comedy/romance “Meet the Browns” (2008), which was directed, written and starred by Tyler Perry.
After guest starring in “Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service” (2009), Ri'chard reprised his role of Derek, a fraternity student who lives next door to Brown Meadows, on the television series adaptation of “Meet the Browns,” which premiered on TBS on January 9, 2009. He has appeared on the show in nine episodes during November 2009 to January 2010.
Recently appearing in the drama film “Louis” (2010), Ri'chard is set to play Baquet in the upcoming drama “Bolden!” (2011), by director Dan Pritzker. Costars in the film include Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Rooker, Omari Hardwick, Reno Wilson, Anthony Mackie and Wendell Pierce. Besides, he will play Troy in the drama/thriller “4th & Alameda” (2011, directed by Richard Friedman and written by Corey Druskin) and star in the action/comedy “Kungfused” (2011), opposite Willy Ortlieb, Whitney Perry, Kathleen Reed, Stephanie Silva, Ryan Click and Ryan Tower.
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special, “In His Father's Shoes,” 1998