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Black History NJ: Dulé Hill

Actor Karim Dulé Hill was born in East Brunswick, Middlesex County, on May 3, 1975. His parents immigrated to New Jersey from Jamaica before the birth of Hill’s older brother. Hill’s father was an entrepreneur; meanwhile, his mother taught ballet at the Marie Wildey School of Dance in East Orange, Essex County.

Dulé Hill grew up in Sayreville, which is where his family moved while he was still a baby. At just three years old, he began taking ballet and tap lessons at his mother’s school. Seven years later, Hill joined the cast of a big Broadway production; though only an understudy, the ten-year-old gained valuable theater experience during this time.

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Broadway Bound

In 1993, Dulé Hill graduated from Sayreville War Memorial High School. Shortly after, he enrolled the business finance program at Seton Hall University and the acting program at William Esper Studio. In addition, that same year he appeared in his first feature film, Sugar Hill. As a result, Hill left Seton Hall during his junior year to pursue acting.

Then, at 20 years old, Hill performed in the Broadway musical Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk. The show was originally an Off-Broadway production at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater in 1995. However, it moved to the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway during the spring of 1996. The show ran for nearly three years, earning four Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards along the way.

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Dulé Hill Heads to Hollywood

A couple weeks after ending his Broadway run, the romantic comedy She’s All That hit theaters. This widely distributed film featuring Hill garnered massive success, boosting his acting career. This then led to a starring role on the NBC drama The West Wing. He spent several seasons on the show before leaving to star on the USA Network detective comedy-drama series, Psych. The show lasted eight seasons, getting one movie as well as a musical. A second feature-length movie will debut on NBC’s streaming service in 2020.

To this day, Dulé Hill continues his prolific career in acting and performing. He has gone from his early days as a dancer in NJ to being a star in massive Hollywood blockbusters. While Hill continues to act, he spends much of his time with his son, Levi, and actress wife Jazmyn Simon. He regularly travels to Jamaica to visit relatives and embraces his home state of New Jersey as a key part in his pursuit of acting.

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Top (Hero) Photo: © Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
Other Photo Courtesy:
vagueonthehow / Wikimedia Commons

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