Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: Jonathan Rollins on L.A. Law was based, at least in part, on a young Barack Obama.
In 1987, the hit television series L.A. Law introduced a brand new character, a brilliant, young and charismatic African-American lawyer named Jonathan Rollins, played by Blair Underwood. The character was created by the show’s co-creator, Stephen Bochco.
The character would become a major part of the series, staying on the show for the rest of the series’ run (all the way to the finale in 1994) and the character would become more and more of a central figure as the show went on (as other stars, like Jimmy Smits and Harry Hamlin, left the series).
An interesting facet of Rollins’ back story on the show was that he was the first African-America President of the Harvard Law Review.
This has led people, looking back, to wonder if the character was based, even in part, on former United States President Barack Obama, who was the ACTUAL first African-American President of the Harvard Law Review.
After all, Obama’s history-making success at Harvard was big news at the time, with the “New York Times” even doing an article on the topic, “First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review.”
So it is certainly feasible that Bochko would hear about it. And it would be pretty cool if true, right? So IS it true?
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