LaRoyce Hawkins (born May 4, 1988) is an American television, film, and theatre actor. Born and raised in Harvey, Illinois in the Chicago South Suburbs. He was raised by his mother Leah Bradley and his father Leonard Hawkins. His first major motion picture role in the feature film The Express, the biopic of Ernie Davis, portraying Davis' teammate Art Baker. Since January 2014, he has starred as Detective Kevin Atwater in the NBC drama series Chicago P.D.
Hawkins was born and raised in Harvey, Illinois, a south suburb of Chicago, which struggles with high levels of crime rates, poverty, and unemployment. While LaRoyce was growing up he lived with his grandparents until he was 13 and he credits them with shaping his life and the lives of his siblings.
Hawkins attended Thornton High School where he was originally recruited to play basketball. Impacted by his grandfather’s advice to “choose what makes you feel better”, LaRoyce left the basketball team sophomore year and joined the speech team where he became a two-time state champion in comedy speech writing and was awarded twice by the Illinois High Speech Association; “original comedy” his junior year and “humorous acting duet” his senior year.
Hawkins attended Illinois State University on a full tuition scholastic scholarship where he majored in Theatre Arts. In first college play, he starred as Toledo from the August Wilson production Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. While in college, he landed his first major motion picture role in the feature film The Express, the biopic of Ernie Davis, portraying Davis' teammate Art Baker.
Notes and Trivia
- He attended Illinois State University on a full tuition scholarship where he majored in Acting.