Richard Lawson is a prolific African American actor whose career has transcended stereotypical casting. Born in Loma Linda, California, Lawson served in the Army for a tour of Vietnam, returning to attend Chabot Junior College. It was the attention he received for his dramatic style on the debate team that led Lawson to pursue acting. His first on-screen appearance was an uncredited role in the 1971 police feature "Dirty Harry." In 1973, he played the man who resurrects the black vampire in "Scream Blacula Scream," and in 1974, he starred as a street fighter in the blaxploitation feature "Bogard." By the mid-70s, Lawson was appearing regularly in guest spots on television, and he continued to rack up credits over the next three decades. His recurring parts include a role as geologist Nick Kimball on the nighttime soap "Dynasty" (1986) as well as a recurring love interest for the lead in 1988's "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd," a rare interracial TV romance. In 1992, he began a regular stint on the daytime soap opera "All My Children," playing architect Lucas Barnes. He also played heroic doctor Ben Taylor in the popular 1983 sci-fi mini-series "V." Among his motion picture roles are a paranormal investigator in the 1982 Steven Spielberg-produced hit, "Poltergeist," and the role of the fickle Frank in Tyler Perry's 2010 adaptation of the play "For Colored Girls." Lawson has worked extensively as an acting coach and as a director at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.