Towson State gets piece of the 'Roc'



* When actor Charles "Roc" Dutton was released from the Maryland Penitentiary in 1976, he went on to study acting at Towson State University. And now Dutton and the producers of his Fox Network series "Roc" are aiding other promising minority actors at the Towson campus.

At his TSU performance earlier this month in "An Evening of Shakespeare," Dutton said the proceeds would help establish the Charles S. Dutton Theatre Scholarship Endowment for Minority Students. And subsequently, the HBO cable network, producer of the show, has made a commitment to fund the balance of the scholarship in full, according to the university.

Dutton grew up in Baltimore off Greenmount Avenue and discovered acting in prison, where he was serving time for manslaughter and other charges. He formed a drama group in the penitentiary, and upon his release majored in theater at TSU before going on to Yale University's drama school. He was recently nominated for a Tony Award for his role in August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson" on Broadway.

* Another TSU alum who has gone on to a national stage is Howard Rollins of the NBC series "In the Heat of the Night." And the show tonight (9 p.m., WMAR-Channel 2) has as guest star singer Bobby Short, playing -- what else? -- a blues singer with a clue to a mystery.

* Baltimore's Thanksgiving Parade actually took place Saturday morning, but note that WNUV-Channel 54 is rebroadcasting the event on TV's traditional parade day, at 7 p.m. Thursday. The hosts are WMIX-FM 106.5 personalities Tamara Nelson and Scott Brady.

* The Virginia-based Viewers for Quality Television organization has voted to endorse three of the fall's new series entries, while also voting to remove the CBS show "Designing Women" from its fully endorsed list.

The new shows winning endorsement, via mail balloting of the national group's membership, are: CBS' "Brooklyn Bridge" and NBC's "I'll Fly Away" and "Reasonable Doubts."

But "Designing Women," previously on the list, was dropped to "tentative support" status, and VQT's announcement of the voting says "more than a majority of VQT members who write to us want these women to just converse with each other again."

* Been to see "The Addams Family" movie yet? Did anything look familiar? A sequence in which Gomez (Raul Julia) fires a golf ball into a neighbor's window, as seen from the perspective of the ball, was shot in Baltimore.

Specifically, the firm Vanderpool Films of Reisterstown shot the scene at a Victorian home off Joppa Road in Baltimore County, using the local services of Omni Helicopters.

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