2017 Miami Carnival Grand Marshal
Robert Christopher Riley hails from the Flatbush section of Brooklyn (NY), but has deep Caribbean roots,
as he was raised by his Trinidadian mother and grandmother while having a father from Barbados.
Riley is a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School (‘98) where he earned a Regents diploma before
attending Lehigh University (’03) in Bethlehem, PA., for his B.A. in Theatre. While attending Lehigh, Riley
was cast in the role of ‘Walter Lee’ in the play, “A Raisin in the Sun” and later went on to co-write along
with Kashi Johnson (his professor and mentor), “Untold Truths: Why We Always Sit Together”.
While completing his degree (’06), he was cast in several independent films as well as numerous
commercials and print ads. In winter 2006, all of Riley’s challenging work began to pay off. He landed a
role in August Wilson’s “Fences, “which was a 6-month, 3-city tour (Hartford/Dallas/Portland). After
appearing in this production, in 2007, he was later cast as ‘Jeremy’ in a second August Wilson
production, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at Baltimore Center Stage.
As luck would have it, Riley was returning from a modeling job, on an off day from “Joe Turner,” and
received a call to audition for the 2008 Broadway production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. He was cast to
play the role of “Brick” as an understudy for Terrance Howard, which he performed for three weeks in
addition to his nightly role as “Brightie”. He starred opposite, James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad,
Giancarlo Esposito and Anika Noni Rose received nightly standing ovations, as it ran from September ’10
through May ’11.
After Lombardi, Riley relocated to Los Angeles, where he made an easy transition from stage to television
and film. He landed roles on VH1’s, “Single Ladies” and Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse”. Other shows
he has appeared on include, “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”, “Nurse Jackie”, “Royal Pains”, “Damages”
and “White Collar”.
In April 2012, he was casted as ‘Terrence Wall’ (a series regular) in VH1’s “Hit the Floor”. The show
premiered Memorial Day 2013 to phenomenal reviews and gained 4 million viewers every Monday in its
first three seasons, making it the #1 new scripted series on VH1.
His film credits include, “The Bourne Legacy”, “Sinister” and the upcoming independent films (2016), “The
Adventures of Sweet Yellow,” “Destined co-starring Corey Hardrict, Jesse Metcalfe and Hill Harper.
In 2016, Riley co-starred in the box-office movie “The Perfect Match” with Terrence J, Paula Patton,
Dasha Polanco, Donald Faison and in TV One’s hit movie Bad Dad Rehab with Malik Yoba, Wesley
Jonathan, Rick Gonzalez and Robert Richard.
Currently you can catch Rob in WGN hit show Underground as the character Hitch, the abusive love
interest of Ernestine played by actress Amirah Vann. Riley also had a recurring role in season 5 of the
CBS show Elementary as Roy Booker.
Fall season we will see more of Riley in the CW’s new show Dynasty a reboot of the iconic 1980’s soap
opera as Michael Culhane.
Currently Riley has directed is first music video for eOne’s recording artist Demetria McKinney and
produced a docu-series with his own production company Hollywood Massive, showing his travels to
different islands and cities covering culture, carnivals, and major festivals, with the aim of raising cultural