Avery Brooks (Hawk)

Avery Brooks über Hawks Sprache (Avery Brooks about Hawks language)

But there was another role that garnered him early TV fame. He portrayed Hawk, the sidekick of Boston private eye Spenser (portrayed by Robert Urich) in the mid-'80s show Spenser: For Hire, based on Robert B. Parker's novels. Brooks played Hawk four years, and also appeared in the brief spin-off series A Man Called Hawk. But his recollections about that time aren't nearly as favorable as those of Deep Space Nine.

"When I saw the pilot script for Spenser, the first thing I thought was I don't know any black people who speak like this," Brooks recalled. "I would have been ridiculed and laughed at by anyone who knows me if they saw me reciting some of that stuff. So I took a cue from Amiri Baraka's 'Blues People' about bad cats who are bigger than life, and created my character from that.

"Mr. Parker wasn't very happy at first. He would tell me, 'That's not what I wrote, you're saying things that aren't what I wrote.' But later he got very comfortable with what I was doing. They let me do things like wear shades all the time and select my own wardrobe, pick my car, really tailor that character to fit my imagination. Then when they did the spin-off, they listed both Mr. Parker and Mr. Urich as 'consultants,' even though they weren't consulting with me about anything. That really wasn't one of my favorite experiences."


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