Robert Townsend

Biography: Townsend debuted onscreen at age 17 in Cooley High (1974), but then stopped acting. In his early 20s he performed stand-up and improvisational comedy with Chicago's Second City troupe, then joined the Experimental Black Actors Guild. He appeared in a half-dozen films in the first half of the '80s, then made his name as the producer, director, co-writer, and star of Hollywood Shuffle (1987), a humorous look at the problems encountered by black actors; the film has become a legend for its unconventional financing -- half the budget was supplied by credit cards and much of the film was donated. He also directed the Eddie Murphy concert film, Raw (1987), the highest-grossing concert film in screen history. He produced, directed, wrote, and starred in The Five Heartbeats (1991), and wrote, directed, and starred in Meteor Man (1993); both films performed poorly at the box office. He also starred in the short-lived TV sketch-comedy series "Townsend TV."

Robert Townsend's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 60
Highest Metascore: 74 Hollywood Shuffle
Lowest Metascore: 48 Taxman
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
7 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Making the Five Heartbeats Aug 27, 2018 Director / Producer / Writer / Himself tbd
48 Taxman Sep 17, 1999 Peyton Cody 3.7
71 The Mighty Quinn Feb 17, 1989 Maubee tbd
54 Eddie Murphy: Raw Dec 18, 1987 Director / Director 4.7
74 Hollywood Shuffle Mar 20, 1987 Director / Producer / Writer / Bobby Taylor/Jasper/Speed/Sam Ace/Rambro tbd
50 American Flyers Aug 16, 1985 Jerome tbd
66 A Soldier's Story Nov 2, 1984 Corporal Ellis tbd
59 Streets of Fire Jun 1, 1984 Lester - The Sorels / Lester - The Sorels tbd