Derek Morgan, the actor, hails from the Spanish Harlem section of New York City and grew up in the famed George Washington Houses. Derek was raised by a single mother (Celestine Morgan) who encouraged her son to pursue that ‘itch’ so he spent his summers earning a weekly paycheck acting in stock theatre. While attending Benjamin Franklin High School, Derek started acting in the episodic radio show Compositions Live on WBAI Pacifica Radio which became his outlet from negative activities. The radio series kept him focused and out of trouble in school and on the streets of East Harlem. Derek graduated from California State University at Fullerton with degrees in acting. Derek did a tour in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman (Medic) where he was honorably discharged in San Diego, California. Derek saw an opportunity and worked his way up to Los Angeles to pursue the ‘scratch for that itch.’
Derek’s professional acting debut was in the role of Hud in a Chicago production of the love-rock musical Hair with Michael Butler as producer. Hair got him an agent and that began a series of small roles and some directing opportunities. Derek directed a production of the love-rock musical Hair in Houston, Texas (with some ambitious producers) to favorable reviews. He worked as co-director for the gospel musical Calling All Saints presented at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, then Derek was hired as second unit director for the music video Close 2 U by Lil’ Soldiers for No Limit Records, Master P’s (Percy Miller) production company.
Derek as Thomas Gibson on Lifetime’s For The People was his breakthrough role and he was heralded for his charisma and unique presence on the small screen. The unique television series Joan Of Arcadia gave him the chance to share the spotlight with some of the industry’s best actors and directors. Derek’s lead performance in the critically acclaimed theatrical production of Black Olive in Los Angeles, lead to his NAACP Theatre Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Derek is involved in several film and television projects in final development – keep your eyes open.