In the '90s, Larenz Tate
was one of the hottest actors in Black Hollywood. His career started in television with small roles on Family Matters
, The Royal Family
and Oprah Winfrey
's The Women Of Brewster Place
. It was his role in 1993's Menace II Society
, playing O-Dog, that officially made him a star.
Tate could've easily got lumped in the gangster films of the decade, but he would expand his horizons in films like The Inkwell
, Dead Presidents
and playing Frankie Lymon
in the biopic Why Do Fools Fall In Love
, which also included Vivica Fox
and Halle Berry
But, it was his role as Darius Lovehall in 1997's Love Jones
that made him a sex symbol. Playing opposite Nia Long
, the film captured a time in young Black America where the poetry scene was huge, neo-soul music was about to explode and folks were tiring of the gangster films.
There was talk of a sequel
, but Nia Long told BET.com, "I heard that it’s possible there might be a sequel in the works that’s going straight to video with two other actors because I would never do that and Larenz [Tate] wouldn’t either. I think that’s going to be the biggest mistake they could ever make. It’s a cult classic and people love that movie. If you try to serve that up with different actors and a sequel straight to video, you’re going to piss a lot of people off."
Larenz Tate's career has continued to flourish with roles in 2004's Crash
and he is currently on the FX Network's Rescue Me
. Larenz turns 35 today!
Check out the clip below of Larenz and Nia at this year's BET Awards.