Posts tagged "actors"
Percy Verwayne (1895-1968) was the original Sportin’ Life in the 1927 Broadway DuBose and Dorothy Heyward play, “Porgy,” the precursor to the iconic 1935 George Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess.” Mr. Verwayne was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) and appeared on Broadway, on radio and in several films for at least thirty years, but he was best known in his day for originating the role of Sportin’ Life. He was also a former athlete and that came in handy in 1941 when he was robbed of 75 cents by a very unwise 18-year-old within two blocks of his Harlem home at 400 West 128th street. The incident was gleefully reported in the New York Amsterdam News on August 9, 1941 under the headline, “Mugger Gets Wrong Victim.” According to the paper, when the mugger tried to run away, “Verwayne chased him for a block, grabbed him by the seat of his trousers and socked him into submission. When the cops arrived, Verwayne was in complete control of the situation.” I’ll bet he was… haha! Photo: New York Public Library, Billy Rose Theater Collection.

Percy Verwayne (1895-1968) was the original Sportin’ Life in the 1927 Broadway DuBose and Dorothy Heyward play, “Porgy,” the precursor to the iconic 1935 George Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess.” Mr. Verwayne was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) and appeared on Broadway, on radio and in several films for at least thirty years, but he was best known in his day for originating the role of Sportin’ Life. He was also a former athlete and that came in handy in 1941 when he was robbed of 75 cents by a very unwise 18-year-old within two blocks of his Harlem home at 400 West 128th street. The incident was gleefully reported in the New York Amsterdam News on August 9, 1941 under the headline, “Mugger Gets Wrong Victim.” According to the paper, when the mugger tried to run away, “Verwayne chased him for a block, grabbed him by the seat of his trousers and socked him into submission. When the cops arrived, Verwayne was in complete control of the situation.” I’ll bet he was… haha! Photo: New York Public Library, Billy Rose Theater Collection.

Cary Grant visits Eartha Kitt and Cab Calloway on the set of their film, “Anna Lucasta” in 1959.

Beautiful Alfre Woodard, onstage in a Boston University production of Thesmophoriazousae. Ms. Woodard, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, graduated from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts in 1974 with a degree in drama. She also received an honorary degree in 2004. Photo by BU Photography.

Actor Graham Brown, pictured on one of his actor composite photos from the 1960s. Born Robert Elwood Brown in Harlem on October 24, 1924, Mr. Brown was an actor whose career spanned more than five decades. A World War II veteran, he began acting in Army shows before enrolling in college at Howard University, where he was a member of the Howard University Players theater group and graduated in 1949. Over the last few months, I have had the honor of analyzing and organizing Mr. Brown’s personal collection of photographs, papers and other historically and culturally relevant ephemera, for donation to a major institution on behalf of his family. I could hardly believe my eyes at some of the things I held in my hands in the Harlem office where I spent hours examining Mr. Brown’s collection: a personal letter to Mr. Brown from Harold Jackman, a prominent Harlem Renaissance figure. Mr. Brown’s Howard Players member card, programs from their plays, and a photo of them in Norway at the home of the Norwegian ambassador, surrounding him at his piano in 1949. There are pages and pages of Mr. Brown’s writing: attempts at poems, short stories, English homework and drafts of articles he wrote for Howard’s school newspaper, “The Hilltop” and copies of the actual newspapers. There are Columbia University bursar’s receipts from 1952 (he briefly attended graduate school there) and show programs, posters, tickets, letters and photos from much of his life and career. Mr. Brown was a member of the Negro Ensemble Company, where he worked with actors such as Roxie Roker (his Howard classmate) in “The River Niger,” Laurence Fishburne and Esther Rolle. He was also in several productions of the Greenwich Mews Theater, a theater famous for it’s integrated productions in the 1950s and a member of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. In the 1960s and 1970s, made several appearances on Broadway (Gore Vidal’s “Weekend”) and with Joseph’s Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival, including “The Black Picture Show” in 1975. His film credits included “Malcolm X,” “Clockers,” “Sanford & Son,” and “Law & Order.” Mr. Brown died on December 13, 2011 at the age of 87.

Actor Graham Brown, pictured on one of his actor composite photos from the 1960s. Born Robert Elwood Brown in Harlem on October 24, 1924, Mr. Brown was an actor whose career spanned more than five decades. A World War II veteran, he began acting in Army shows before enrolling in college at Howard University, where he was a member of the Howard University Players theater group and graduated in 1949. Over the last few months, I have had the honor of analyzing and organizing Mr. Brown’s personal collection of photographs, papers and other historically and culturally relevant ephemera, for donation to a major institution on behalf of his family. I could hardly believe my eyes at some of the things I held in my hands in the Harlem office where I spent hours examining Mr. Brown’s collection: a personal letter to Mr. Brown from Harold Jackman, a prominent Harlem Renaissance figure. Mr. Brown’s Howard Players member card, programs from their plays, and a photo of them in Norway at the home of the Norwegian ambassador, surrounding him at his piano in 1949. There are pages and pages of Mr. Brown’s writing: attempts at poems, short stories, English homework and drafts of articles he wrote for Howard’s school newspaper, “The Hilltop” and copies of the actual newspapers. There are Columbia University bursar’s receipts from 1952 (he briefly attended graduate school there) and show programs, posters, tickets, letters and photos from much of his life and career. Mr. Brown was a member of the Negro Ensemble Company, where he worked with actors such as Roxie Roker (his Howard classmate) in “The River Niger,” Laurence Fishburne and Esther Rolle. He was also in several productions of the Greenwich Mews Theater, a theater famous for it’s integrated productions in the 1950s and a member of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. In the 1960s and 1970s, made several appearances on Broadway (Gore Vidal’s “Weekend”) and with Joseph’s Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival, including “The Black Picture Show” in 1975. His film credits included “Malcolm X,” “Clockers,” “Sanford & Son,” and “Law & Order.” Mr. Brown died on December 13, 2011 at the age of 87.

Remember that beautiful picture of Dorothy Dandridge with her “Tamango” co-star Alex Cressan in Paris? Well, here they are again, very likely at the same party in 1957. Photo: Jean Tesseyre/Paris Match via Getty Images.

Remember that beautiful picture of Dorothy Dandridge with her “Tamango” co-star Alex Cressan in Paris? Well, here they are again, very likely at the same party in 1957. Photo: Jean Tesseyre/Paris Match via Getty Images.

Happy 86th Birthday to absolutely magisterial Sidney Poitier! In this 1965 photo, Mr. Poitier is on the set of “The Slender Thread,” a 1966 film he did with Anne Bancroft (Sydney Pollack’s directorial debut - and Quincy Jones did the music!)  Photo: Cat’s Collection/Corbis.

Flip Wilson and Gail Fisher guest starring on an episode of “Love, American Style” called “Love and the Hustler.” This show aired one month before I was born, on September 29, 1969, but I definitely remember watching “Love, American Style” in repeats. I wonder if it still holds up today? Hmmm….  I’m sure most of you know the iconic comedian Flip Wilson, but Gail Fisher was an actress best known for her Emmy-winning role as Peggy Fair, secretary to a detective, in the groundbreaking television series, “Mannix.” Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images.

Flip Wilson and Gail Fisher guest starring on an episode of “Love, American Style” called “Love and the Hustler.” This show aired one month before I was born, on September 29, 1969, but I definitely remember watching “Love, American Style” in repeats. I wonder if it still holds up today? Hmmm….

I’m sure most of you know the iconic comedian Flip Wilson, but Gail Fisher was an actress best known for her Emmy-winning role as Peggy Fair, secretary to a detective, in the groundbreaking television series, “Mannix.” Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images.