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Roots Cast List

Updated June 14, 2019 40.5k views30 items

Roots cast list, including photos of the actors when available. This list includes all of the Roots main actors and actresses, so if they are an integral part of the show you'll find them below. You can various bits of trivia about these Roots stars, such as where the actor was born and what their year of birth is. This cast list of actors from Roots focuses primarily on the main characters, but there may be a few actors who played smaller roles on Roots that are on here as well.

This list contains items like Ian McShane and Ed Asner

If you are wondering, "Who are the actors from Roots?" or "Who starred on Roots?" then this list will help you answer those questions.

In most cases you can click on the names of these popular Roots actors and actresses to find out more information about them. If you're looking for a particular Roots actor or actress, then type their name into the "search" bar to find them directly.
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  • 1
    Alexander Murray Palmer Haley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer and the author of the 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family. ABC adapted the book as a television  ...more
  • 2
    Roots, Intruders
    Ben Vereen (born October 10, 1946) is an American actor, dancer, and singer who has appeared in numerous Broadway theatre shows. Vereen graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts.  ...more
  • 3
    Roots, The Rifleman
    Kevin Joseph Aloysius "Chuck" Connors (April 10, 1921 – November 10, 1992) was an American actor, writer, and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 13 athletes in the history  ...more
  • 4
    Roots, The Women of Brewster Place
    Cicely L. Tyson (December 19, 1924 – January 28, 2021) was an American actress and former fashion model. In a career spanning more than six decades, she became known for her portrayal of strong  ...more
  • 5
    Love of Life, The Redd Foxx Show
    Beverly Todd (born July 11, 1946) is an American actress, producer and writer. She is known for her roles in films Brother John (1971), Moving (1988), Lean on Me (1989) and The Bucket List (2007).  ...more
  • 6
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Gargoyles
    Eddie Asner (/ˈæznər/; November 15, 1929 – August 29, 2021) was an American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is best remembered for playing Lou Grant during the 1970s and  ...more
  • 7
    Roots, North and South
    Georg Stanford Brown (born June 24, 1943 in Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban-American actor and director, perhaps best known as one of the stars of the ABC police television series The Rookies from 1972–76.  ...more
  • 8
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times
    John Allen Amos Jr. (born December 27, 1939) is an American actor known for his roles as James Evans, Sr. on the CBS television series Good Times and in the 1977 miniseries, Roots, for which he  ...more
  • 9
    Roots, All My Children
    Leslie Marian Uggams (born May 25, 1943) is an American actress and singer. Beginning her career as a child in the early 1950s, Uggams is recognized for portraying Kizzy Reynolds in the television  ...more
  • 10
    The Virginian, Out of This World
    Douglas Osborne McClure (May 11, 1935 – February 5, 1995) was an American actor whose career in film and television extended from the 1950s to the 1990s. He is best known for his role as the cowboy  ...more
  • 11
    Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Planet and the Planeteers
    Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. (born February 16, 1957) is an American actor, presenter, director and author. He is best known for his role as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next  ...more
  • 12
    Roots, Police Story
    Lloyd Vernet Bridges Jr. (January 15, 1913 – March 10, 1998) was an American film, stage and television actor who starred in a number of television series and appeared in more than 150 feature films.  ...more
  • 13
    Bonanza, Roots
    Lorne Hyman Greene, (born February 12, 1915 – September 11, 1987) was a Canadian actor, radio personality and singer. His television roles include Ben Cartwright on the western Bonanza, and Commander  ...more
  • 14
    Roots, Touched by an Angel
    Louis Cameron Gossett Jr. (born May 27, 1936) is an American actor. He is best known for his Academy Award winning role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, and  ...more
  • 15
    Mission: Impossible, Roots
    Lynda Louise Day George (born December 11, 1944) is an American television and film actress whose career spanned three decades from the 1960s to the 1980s. She was a cast member on Mission:  ...more
  • 16
    Deadwood, Dallas
    Ian David McShane (born 29 September 1942) is an English actor. He is known for his television performances, particularly the title role in the BBC series Lovejoy (1986–1994) and as Al Swearengen on  ...more
  • 17
    Roots, The Richard Pryor Show
    Maya Angelou ( (listen); born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three  ...more
  • 18
    Roots, The Women of Brewster Place
    Moses Gunn (October 2, 1929 – December 16, 1993) was an American actor of stage and screen. An Obie Award-winning stage player, he co-founded the Negro Ensemble Company in the 1960s. His 1962  ...more
  • 19
    Roots, North and South
    Olivia Carlena Cole (November 26, 1942 – January 19, 2018) was an American actress.  ...more
  • 20
    Roots, Welcome Back
    Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (born September 4, 1953) is an American actor and singer. He has appeared in a number of films and television shows, including Claudine (1974), Cooley High (1975), Roots  ...more
  • 21
    NCIS, Carnivàle
    Ralph Waite (June 22, 1928 – February 13, 2014) was an American actor and political activist, best known for his role as John Walton, Sr. on The Waltons (1972–1981), which he occasionally directed.  ...more
  • 22
    The Brady Bunch, Roots
    Robert Reed (born John Robert Rietz Jr.; October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992) was an American actor. He played Kenneth Preston on the legal drama The Defenders from 1961 to 1965 alongside E. G. Marshall,  ...more
  • 23
    Roots, My Little Pony
    Sandra Kay "Sandy" Duncan (born February 20, 1946) is an American singer, dancer, comedian and actress of stage and television. She is known for her performances in the Broadway revival of Peter Pan  ...more
  • 24
    The Transformers, Roots
    Benjamin Sherman Crothers (May 23, 1910 – November 22, 1986), known professionally as Scatman Crothers, was an American actor and musician. He played Louie the Garbage Man on the TV show Chico and  ...more
  • 25
    Roots, The Sophisticated Gents
    Thalmus Rasulala (born Jack Crowder; November 15, 1939 – October 9, 1991) was an American actor with a long career in theater, television, and movies. Noted for starring roles in Blaxploitation  ...more