Rocky Carroll is Director Leon Vance on NCIS and plays the same character in NCIS offshoots, Los Angeles and New Orleans. He also plays a different kind of “director” for those shows too, going behind the camera on several episodes. Yesterday, much gentler that the gruff boss he plays on TV, Rocky brought his daughter, Elissa, to the Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors luncheon where he was awarded an American Spirit Award.
Rocky loves his work on NCIS, the most successful show on broadcast TV, and he told the audience that he wanted to share the experience of this honor with his teenager.
He revealed that he started on his path as an actor at age 11 when the city of Cincinnati created a school for the arts that was walking distance from his home and he stood out there for more than just his talent. A fellow student admitted to him that he was her first black friend and that everything she knew about people of color she had learned from television and film. At that young age Carroll found his purpose, “I realized I was representing something much greater than just me.” When asked about the sensational popularity of the series he exclaims, “Everybody cares about every detail and no one realizes how much fun we have!”