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Anderson's character Rochester, the manservant in the Jack Benny radio shows and films of the s and s and later on the Jack Benny Show on network television brought him fame and fortune and made him a household name in mid twentieth century America During the s and later most African American screen actors and actresses who took roles in white produced Hollywood films were depicted in subservient or demeaning parts Anderson however was the independent hilariously witty favorite loved by audiences across the nation His unique ability to stir his audience with humor and sympathy made him the highest paid black actor of his time Though his role as a manservant was superficially subservient he was in fact saucy sarcastic ironic and anything but subservient His trademark answer to his boss Yes Mister Benny was delivered in a tone that let viewers know that Anderson was from a show business family.

As a youngster Eddie sold newspapers on the streets of Oakland, a job that, according to his owninjured his voice and gave it the rasping quality that was long his trademark on radio. Between and Anderson's older brother Cornelius had a career in vaudeville as a song and dance man, and Eddie, who had little formal education, ed him occasionally.

With vaudeville dying, however, Eddie drifted toward Hollywood. In the depths of the Depression, pickings were slim. His first movie appearance was in in What Price Hollywood? For a few years he had only bit parts but then he secured a major role in The humor and energy between Benny and Anderson led to the development of a twenty-year collaboration that delighted radio, television, and film audiences. Anderson was born in Oakland, California. His parents performed in vaudeville, and he began acting when he was eight.

His formal show business career began in when he appeared in a black revue and continued when he and his older brother Cornelius toured as a two-man music and dance team. After appearing in his first film, Green Pastures Anderson In his family moved to Little Rock, where Bell later graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the city's Philander Smith College, following this with uncompleted ministerial training; he worked as a disc jockey throughout high school and college.

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Martin Luther King Jr. His SCLC involvement was short-lived, which Bell attributed to a difference in philosophy, explaining that King's strategy of nonviolent confrontation differed from his belief in the power of black capitalist entrepreneurship in effecting social change. An ambitious young man, Benson sang with the family band, performed in black vaudeville, and produced shows at Jackson's black theater, the Alamo. He also attended Jackson Normal College. In the s he moved to Chicago but returned to Jackson to weather the Great Depression. As the pains of the Depression eased, Benson moved back to Chicago, where he worked as a probation officer, a railroad cook, an interviewer for the Works Progress Administration WPAand a preacher before making his name as one of Chicago's leading radio personalities.

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He lived in Chicago with his wife, Norma, and their daughters, Arleta and Bertina, until he retired in Benson began his radio career as Reverend Arthur Leaner hosting a fifteen minute Sunday morning broadcast from his storefront church on Chicago s South Side When station Bostic graduated from college in In he married Dorothy Mitchell, whom he met at Morgan College; they went on to have two sons and a daughter. He hosted a new program called the Negro Business Hour which publicized local Black owned businesses as well as playing music from local Their names are not known.

Though Childress had intended to become a doctor when he entered college, he moved to New York City only months after graduation to begin an acting career. He performed on Broadway in stylized, sometimes stereotypical, roles in such plays as Savage RhythmBrown Sugarand Two on an Island For a good deal of his career Childress was affiliated with Off Broadway acting companies He ed the Federal Theater Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Childress was the youngest of three children.

His mother taught school and his father was a dentist. Childress graduated in from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, having taken numerous premedical science courses. Childress had also taken an active interest in campus theater productions that Venzalla Jones directed. Jones thought that Childress showed enough potential to become an actor on stage. Alvin's mother, Beatrice Childress, in addition to teaching, was also a home demonstration agent for Coahoma County, Mississippi. After Alvin graduated from college, she encouraged him to become an agent as well.

Moroccan novelist, dramatist, and radio commentator and producer, was born on 15 July in the French Moroccan town of Mazagan present-day el-Jadidanear Casablanca. His father was a fairly liberal tea merchant who regarded European education as a vestibule to a better Moroccan society.

In he left for Paris to study chemical engineering, graduating in However, he abandoned his graduate studies in neuropsychiatry just before receiving his doctorate. With a father who was a preacher and musical brothers, Cole grew up amid performance and music. As he lived in Chicago, Illinois, playing the organ in his father's church and performing in his brother Eddie's ensemble, the Solid Swingers.

The family home was located near the Grand Terrace Ballroom, where Cole often heard his first and most important influence, pianist Earl Hines. In high school Cole played a variety of instruments in a band that included future jazz stars Hinton, Lionel Hampton, and Ray Nance His father eventually agreed to allow the teenager to play jazz on weeknights if he continued to play organ for Sunday services At about the age of sixteen Cole organized a The family, which included Nat's brother, Edward Jr.

All the Coles children demonstrated musical talent, each playing piano and organ at their father's services and singing in the church choir.

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From the age of twelve he received formal piano training. An influential jazz pianist, Nat King Cole transformed himself into a popular balladeer and one of the most successful entertainers of the s and early s.

Although he was criticized for his supposed commercialism and accommodation of segregation, Cole's appeal endured until his death from lung cancer in Born in Montgomery, Alabama, at age four Nathaniel Adams Coles moved to Chicago with his parents, part of the Great Migration of southern African Americans seeking a better life in northern cities. His father, Edward James Coles, ministered to a Baptist congregation, and his mother, Perlina Coles directed the church choir and encouraged her six children to study and perform music Cole he adopted his stage name in the late s sang and played organ in his father s church from age twelve and played piano for several bands in Chicago during and after Trinidadianactor and singer who settled in Britain in Connor's appealing voice and charming personality endeared him to the British public, and he became a major television and radio personality.

Connor saw himself as an ambassador for Trinidad and promoted Caribbean folk music and dance wherever he could. He married Pearl Nunez also from Trinidad in London in For almost two decades Connor played featured roles in a of British and American films, including Cry, the Beloved Country and Moby Dick Inwhen Paul Robeson turned down the role of Gower in Shakespeare'sPericles for the Stratford Memorial Theatre he recommended Connor for it Connor thus became the first black actor to appear in a Shakespeare season at His mother was a member of the Moravian Archer family of Tobago.

His father was from a Roman Catholic Trinidadian family. Both were cast out of their respective families when they decided to marry. The Anglican Church offered sanctuary. Mayaro was a place of cultural ferment where most of Trinidad s folk art and culture abounded and provided the basis of his career in the performing arts Being born into a musical family Connor was a singer in great demand at concerts by the time he reached his teens His formal education began at ten and at fifteen won a scholarship to the Royal Victoria Institute to study at Port of Spain the capital of Trinidad and Tobago His sister told him You do not belong to us you His successful radio career would span four decades and make him a wealthy man.

Cooper did not come from an entertainment background. Jack Cooper quit school after the fifth grade to help support his impoverished family. He held a of low-paying jobs and for a time got interested in boxing, winning more than a hundred bouts as a welterweight fighter.

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But he found his calling on the vaudeville stage, where he became a singer and dancer, beginning in and continuing well into the s. He was more than just a performer, writing and producing skits and entire shows, often in collaboration with his first wife Estelle Marine Corps. In he married his childhood sweetheart, Delores Harrison, with whom he had two sons, Anthony and Raymond. After a subsequent divorce, he married Viktoria Chapman in The couple divorced in When he returned to Chicago after eighteen months of service in Korea, Cornelius held several different jobs, first working as car salesman, then selling tires and insurance before a stint with the police department.

While issuing a traffic ticket, Cornelius was advised by the motorist he had stopped that with his resonant voice, he should get into broadcasting. The driver, Ed Cobb was a radio personality and he hired Cornelius as an Navy mess steward, and Anna Pearl Cosby. Many of the vicissitudes of Cosby's childhood in the poverty-stricken Richard Allen housing projects would be transformed later into fodder for his hilarious comedy routines and television shows.

As a youngster, Cosby worked many hours shining shoes and performing menial tasks at a local grocery. He attended the Germantown High School for Gifted Students, where he was elected captain of the track and football teams. At age nineteen, Cosby dropped out of school and enlisted in the U. Navy, in which he served for four years — During his stint in the navy, he managed to earn his high school equivalency diploma through correspondence and studied physical therapy. In with four years of military service under his Frances Crocker.

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There is some disagreement about his date of birth, which some sources have reported as Little is known about his early life; only that he began his career as a DJ while still a prelaw student at the University of Buffalo and also attended the University of Southern California. In he became the first black DJ at all white AM Ossie Davis was born in Cogdell, Georgia, the son of a railway engineer, and grew up in Waycross, Georgia. Following his theater debut, however, he received few job offers and for nearly a year found himself living on the street.

Davis never lost his sense of purpose. In he married fellow performer Ruby All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice.

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