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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Happy Birthday, Rocky Carroll!

CBS Television

Happy Birthday to "NCIS" star Rocky Carroll, one of the most versatile actors from Cincinnati. Hope you get a long-overdue present on July 14 -- your first Emmy nomination.

Born Roscoe Fulton Carroll here on July 8, 1963, he's best known as NCIS Director Leon Vance.  He's played that role on the CBS drama since 2008, and on two spin-offs, "NCIS: Los Angeles" (10 times) and "NCIS: New Orleans" (three times).

He's done comedy ("Roc," "Ladies Man," "Yes Man," "Welcome to New York"), and dramas ("Crimson Tide," "Chicago Hope," "The Agency") and guest starring roles ("Grey's Anatomy," "ER," "The West Wing," "Law & Order"). He's been nominated for a Tony Award for August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson" on Broadway.

But he's never been nominated for an Emmy. That's not right.

I first met Carroll just before he made his TV debut on Fox's "Roc" in 1991. He co-starred with Charles S. Dutton on Fox, as they did on Broadway in the Pulitzer-prize winning play, "The Piano Lesson," which earned Carroll a Tony Award nomination.

His first movie role was a small part in the Oscar-winning "Born on the Fourth of July" in 1989.

In 25 years since his "Roc" debut, Rocky has worked constantly in a variety of TV and movies. CBS loves him, giving him starring roles in "Chicago Hope" (1996-2000) with future "NCIS" star Mark Harmon; "Welcome to New York" (2000-01) with Jim Gaffigan; "The Agency" (2001-03), and "NCIS" since 2008.

Credit CBS Television
"NCIS" cast from last season from left: Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Mark Harmon, Emily Wickersham, Michael Weatherly and Sean Murray.

He also starred in "The Game" (2006-07) on CW with Tia Mowry, and "The IT Crowd" (2007) on NBC with Joel McHale.

The Mount Auburn native graduated from the School for Creative & Performing Arts in 1981, and Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis. 

In addition to his Broadway run in  “The Piano Lesson,” he starred in a national tour of Wilson’s “Radio Golf” play in 2005. He's also added "director" to his resume, shooting three episodes of "NCIS."

Carroll lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. Follow him on Twitter at @RockyCOfficial.

Happy Birthday, Rocky! Hope you get that long-overdue present July 14 from the Emmy Awards folks.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.