Film/TV

Black actors, directors, producers, and writers within the industry.

Michael Clarke Duncan showed a quiet strength


Michael Clarke Duncan

*Michael Clarke Duncan was born this date in 1957. He was an African American laborer, bodyguard and Academy Award nominated actor.

Sherman Hemsley, actor born


Sherman Hemsley

*Sherman Hemsley was born on February this date in 1938. He was an African American actor.

Don Cornelius, Soul Train creator


Don Cornelius

*Don Cornelius was born on this date in 1936. He was an African American television show host and producer.

Donald Cortez Cornelius was born in Chicago in 1936. After high school, he sold insurance before becoming one of the early employees of Chicago's WVON radio. During that time as a radio journalist inspired by the civil rights movement, Cornelius recognized that in the late 1960s there was no television venue in America for soul music.

Vivian Harris, Voice of the Apollo


Vivian Harris

*Vivian Harris was born on this date in 1902. She was an African American Comedian, Chorus Girl and Longtime “Voice of the Apollo.”

Pam Grier, an opinionated actress


Pam Grier

Pam Grier was born on this date in 1949. She is an African American actress.

Pamela Suzette Grier was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the daughter of Gwendolyn Sylvia Samuels, a homemaker and nurse, and Clarence Ransom Grier, who worked as a mechanic and Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force. She has one sister and one brother. Because of her father's military career, her family moved frequently during her childhood, to various places such as England, and eventually settled in Denver, Colorado, where she attended East High School.

Dwayne McDuffie, Super Hero writier


Dwayne Mcduffie

*Dwayne McDuffie as born on this date in 1962. He was an African American writer of comic books and animated television.

Vonetta McGee, a special actress


Vonnetta McGee

*Vonetta McGee was born on this date in 1945. She was an African American actress.

Lawrence Vonetta McGee (named after her father) was born in San Francisco. Her family planned for her to have a career in law, and she began studying pre-law at San Francisco State College, but she became involved in amateur theater and was bitten by the acting bug. McGee left college without graduating and joined the many American actors who moved to Rome in the 1960s to find work at the Cinecittà film studios.

Paris Barclay, a TV/Film influence


Paris Barclay

Paris Barclay was born on this date in 1956. He is an African American television director and producer.

Born and raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois, Paris KC Barclay was one of the first African-Americans to attend the La Lumiere School, a prestigious, private preparatory school in La Porte, IN, on scholarship. He went to Harvard College, where he was active in student musical theatre productions. While at Harvard, he wrote 16 musicals, including the annual Hasty Pudding shows; he was a classmate of Supreme Court Judge John Roberts.

Forest Whitaker, a talented and prepared actor


Forest Whitaker

*The birth of Forest Whitaker in 1961 is marked on this date. He is an African American actor, producer and director of film, stage and television.

Forest Steven Whitaker was born in Longview, Texas. One of four children, his father Forest Whitaker, Jr. was an insurance man and his mother Laura Francis Smith was a teacher. His mother put herself through college and earned two Masters Degrees while raising her children. Forest has two younger brothers, Kenn and Damon, an older sister Deborah and his grandfather was novelist Forest Whitaker, Sr.

Mario Van Peebles, actor and director


Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles was born on this date in 1957. He is an African American director and actor. He is the son of writer, director and actor Melvin Van Peebles and German actress Maria Marx. He was born in in Mexico City, Mexico, and is the brother of Megan Van Peebles and Max Van Peebles.