Stephen Emmanuel Rollins (born September 10, 1974) is an American actor, writer, producer, and director. In addition to being a former professional hockey player, Rollins began a film career with his acting debut in the films Glory and Career Opportunities as well as the television series In the Heat of the Night and I'll Fly Away. He has appeared in over 30 feature films and television productions. Rollins is CEO of Lightning Pictures LLC. He wrote, produced, and made his directorial debut with the film American Identity, a tribute to David Angell, the victims of 9/11, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Early life Rollins was born on September 10, 1974, to Dianne (born Dorothy Dianne Hicks), a telecommunications specialist with BellSouth and President of the Atlanta chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America, and James Rollins, a Fulton County, Georgia deputy sheriff. Stephen is a graduate of Lithia Springs High School, in Lithia Springs, Georgia. Stephen attended Mercer University, majoring in Communications, Business Management, and Law. In 1993, Stephen began play in professional hockey, skating with the Atlanta Knights and Kansas City Blades of the International Hockey League. In 1994, Stephen played with the New Jersey Rockin Rollers of the RHI league, a professional roller hockey league. Stephen skated with several different professional teams until an ankle injury in 2004 finally took him off skates. In 2004. Stephen launched the EHL, Exhibition Hockey League. The EHL was set up as a non-profit league with the proceeds of each game going to benefit local charities during the 2004 NHL lockout. Career In 1991, Stephen added producer to his resume, launching his own production company and producing the short film Mikey Was Here, which garnered Academy Award "Best Live Action Short Film" consideration. Throughout the 90's, his career continued to progress, including the presentation of the "Young Filmmaker's Horizons Award" for his accomplishments in front of and behind the camera. In 1995, Stephen was also recognized for his growing work by being mentioned in the "Top 100 in Young Hollywood". In 1996, Stephen was cast as the lead in his first leading role, the UPN sitcom Billy's Magic. In September 2001, while in New York City to work on film a production, witnessed the events of 9/11. Rollins wrote and developed the film American Identity as a personal tribute.