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A native of the Virgin Islands, black leading man Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs began popping up with regularity on American TV and movie screens in 1974. His earliest credits include the Diahann Carroll film Claudine (1974) and a well-distributed TV public service announcement produced by the United Negro College Fund. In 1975, Hilton-Jacobs was cast as wisecracking "sweathog" Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington on the TV sitcom Welcome Back Kotter; he won the role on the strength of his work in the 1975 theatrical feature Cooley High. During the long Kotter run, Hilton-Jacobs was one of several prominent black performers to appear in the groundbreaking miniseries Roots (1977). Like most of the rest of the Kotter cast, Hilton-Jacobs found the going a bit rough after the series was cancelled in 1979. His subsequent work has included a major role in the 1989 pilot film for the Fox Network series Alien Nation, and the part of Joseph Jackson in the top-rated 1992 TV biopic The Jacksons: The American Dream. Turning to directing in the early 1990s, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs has helmed such productions as Angel of the City (1990) and Sweetfire (1991).

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