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A Jones for Hollywood

Orlando Jones, Class of 1989

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How do you go from studying international relations one day to starring roles in films and television shows seen around the world the next? If you’re Hollywood sensation Orlando Jones, you do so by way of the College of Charleston.

When he arrived from Mauldin, S.C., in 1985, Jones quickly proved he was a versatile freshman, moving seamlessly from the basketball players, to the brainiacs to the theatre rats. His unique mix of curiosity, social graces, quick wit and charisma has translated brilliantly into a career in entertainment.

At the College, Jones became enthralled with political science courses on international relations, but that was far from his only obsession. He was cast as a guard in the College production of Tina Howe’s Museum, and won a leading role in Home. His world opened wide in the communication department when professor Shirley Moore invited director Paul Aaron to teach a master class. With Aaron’s advice and encouragement, Jones secured an agent and started auditioning.

Fast-forward through numerous auditions and Jones eventually racked up credits as a sitcom writer for shows including Bill Cosby’s A Different World. The wild ride that is Hollywood raced full speed ahead when he was handpicked by Quincy Jones to be a writer and original cast member on MadTV, and he has since landed roles in films including Office Space, Drum Line and The Replacements.

That ride continues to speed along with roles on Fox’s hit show Sleepy Hollow and the online graphic-novel-style, live-action drama Tainted Love. Stay tuned for more inspired projects from this exemplary Cougar.

Read the full article from the College of Charleston Magazine.