Kevin Hooks was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, Robert Hooks, is a director and actor, which exposed him to the world of Hollywood from an early age.
Hooks began his career as an actor appearing in the show J.T. in 1969. After that, he became well known for his role as Morris Thorpe in the TV show The White Shadow. However, since the mid-80's, he has dedicated mostly to his role as director. His work on TV shows is prolific, directing episodes from many popular TV shows such as Without A Trace, NYPD Blue (with Currie Graham, Christopher Amitrano, and Ricky Schroder), 21 Jump Street, Lost (with Daniel Dae Kim), and Prison Break.