(January 3, 2012 UPDATED) BALTIMORE – Anthony Michael Hobbs, a child actor and second grade student at Baltimore’s Our Lady of Victory catholic school, will portray a young Frederick Douglass in the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) special The Abolitionist to premiere Jan. 8. Actor/director Richard Brooks (Law & Order, The Crow) will play the adult Frederick Douglass.
The three-hour documentary airs in three parts on Jan. 8, 15 and 23 as part of PBS’ American Experience Series. Frederick Douglass is one of five abolitionists highlighted who pushed to end slavery. The other four abolitionists included William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimke.
The actor and model who will turn eight in April expressed his desire to act at the age of four, according to Kerri Hobbs, his mother and manager. Confused about how actress Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer could be one character on True Jackson, VP he watched on the Nickelodeon Channel and another character in the Tyler Perry movie Madea’s Family Reunion, he was told by his mother that the girl “learned to make pretend to make a story.” Anthony then announced he wanted to do that, too, she said.
Having honed his reading skills with books two age levels ahead of him, he was able to read scripts at the age of five, and soon learned to memorize them in just a few minutes--often with assistance from his actress-mother, he quickly racked up a list of performance credits.
He is an otherwise normal grade-schooler, except that when he is absent for a audition, he has a lot to share at show-and-tell, when he returns to class.
A client of several acting/modeling/voice-over agencies such as Wilhelmina Philadelphia and Prestige Management in New York, he most recently appeared in a new United Way public service announement that started airing in December and was in a Norwegian Cruise-Line commercial that started airing in October. An extended version of the commercial is airing during the cruise-line voyages.
Hobbs also stars in the PBS Sprout Network mini-segment on the Sunnyside Up Show, to start airing March. On top of that, the talented young actor stars in a PSA spot for the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) that started airing in October, 2012.
Hobbs also stars in the DreamWorks documentary How to Train Your Dragon: Dragons and Dinosaurs. The DreamWorks documentary is also available on DVD.
Hobbs can also be seen in the national classroom program called KinderRhyme. KinderRhyme is a program of Success for All Foundation (SFAF), which appears in over 2600 preschool, elementary, middle and high school programs.
Hobbs is the winner of eight Global Stars Network acting awards., Hobbs can also be seen on two other PBS Sprout Network segments, Claritin Kids Allergy Medicine and Good Night Show.
As a voice over actor Anthony’s voice can be heard on an instructional video for advertising firm TBWA World Wide, the largest advertising holding company in the world.
Other acting projects include the film Waiting for Godot; an industrial commercial for the U.S. National Park Service; a Baltimore County recycling commercial; a Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger commercial, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture Healthy Kids 2011 print campaign.
Trailer for Douglass film: http://video.pbs.org/video/2321796209).