Initially gaining widespread exposure thanks to his role as ADA Paul Robinette on Law & Order in the early '90s, stage and screen actor Richard Brooks has expanded his responsibilities to include directing with the release of his freshman feature Johnny B. (1998). A native of Cleveland who studied acting, dance, and voice work at Michigan's Interlochen Academy of Arts, it wasn't long before Brooks was packing his bags for New York. He excelled as a student of the famed Circle in the Square Professional Theater School and his performances in the Eugene O'Neil Theater Conference production of August Wilson's Fences quickly gained him a reputation as a stage force to be reckoned with. A subsequent move to Los Angeles found the burgeoning actor landing numerous television roles, and with such made-for-TV features as Badge of the Assassin (1985) and Resting Place (1986), he began to come into his own as a notable screen presence, as well. With Teen Wolf (1985) and The Hidden (1987), Brooks began his ascent in the world of feature films. Throughout the '90s, most of his popularity came from his role in Law & Order, and the busy actor would constantly find himself alternating between the big screen, the small screen, and the bright lights of the stage. After turning up in The Substitute and terrorizing the undead in The Crow: City of Angels (both 1996), Brooks opted to try his hand at directing, and the result was the refreshingly honest Johnny B. Good. Although his tale of a young, urban black man who makes a positive change after suffering amnesia went largely unseen, those who did give it a chance as a video rental received a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Returning to the small screen for the short-lived G vs E in 1999, many cited Brooks as one of the strongest aspects of the wild, supernatural pop-culture actioner. In addition to his film work, Brooks also founded his own production company Flat Top Entertainment LLC. At the dawn of the millennium, Brooks released his first solo R&B album, Smooth Love, on Flat Top Records.