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Rockne Tarkington
Rockne Tarkington
Credits
Role Tommy Carter
Biographical Information
Full Name Rockne Booth Tarkington
Birthdate July 15, 1931
Birthplace Junction City, Kansas, United States
Death Date April 5, 2015 (age 83)
Death Place United States

Rockne Tarkington played boxing champ Tommy Carter in the second season episode, "Fastest Gun on Madison Avenue" (1966).

Biography[]

Rockne Booth Tarkington was an African-American stage, film and television actor. He was the first and only black actor to appear on The Andy Griffith Show with a speaking part, and was the first to appear in a recurring role in a television series, Daktari. He was also known for his incredible height of 6 feet, 5 inches.

Tarkington was born in Junction City, Kansas. He began his career as a stage actor and made the transition to television with guest appearances in episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Bewitched, Ben Casey, Mission: Impossible, and several other shows.

He also played “Too Mean” Malone during the 1983–1984 season of Matt Houston, and made appearances in episodes of MacGyver, Baretta, and other shows in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1968 he married fellow screen actor, Joan Blackman, and moved to Los Angeles. They had two sons, Rockne Jr. and Ngai. They divorced in 1970.

In 1997, he went home to be with his mother during an illness. He found a change of pace living in the quiet town and caring for his mother.

“When Mother got ill,” he recalls, “I began praying for the first time in a long while. But why should God listen to me when I hadn’t spoken to Him for years?” He began visiting different churches in the area. He joined the Mormon Church and was baptized on June 4, 1997.

Rockne Tarkington died on April 5, 2015. He was 83.

Sources[]

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