Random House unit grabs 'Jail to Yale'

Random House’s Crown Books will publish multihyphenate Charles S. Dutton’s memoirs in 2010. The book’s working title is “From Jail to Yale.”

In 1968, at age 17, the Baltimore native was convicted of manslaughter, and he served 7½ years in prison.

Less than two years later, he went back to prison after being convicted of possession of a deadly weapon. During his second stint behind bars, he became involved with prison theater groups and after his release went on to college and the Yale School of Drama.

Dutton originated the role of Levee in August Wilson’s 1984 Rialto debut, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which earned Dutton a Tony nod. He also starred in the original production of Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.”

Dutton gained national fame as the star of the Fox comedy “Roc,” which aired from 1991-94. The show, a critical fave, revolved around a Baltimore garbage collector and his family, with a cast that featured fellow legiters Carl Gordon, Rocky Carroll and Ella Joyce.

Dutton earned acting Emmys in 2002 and 2003 for guest shots on “The Practice” and “Without a Trace,” respectively.

Dutton also has a long list of directing credits, including episodes of Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell” and HBO’s “First Time Felon” and “The Corner,” which earned him a third Emmy in 2000. Last year, he signed an overall deal to develop, direct and act in series, movies and minis for HBO.

Among Dutton’s upcoming acting projects is the Screen Gems thriller “Legion.”

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