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

Evelyn Preer, pioneer Black actress born

Evelyn Preer

Evelyn Preer was born on this date in 1896. She was an African American actress and singer.

She was the oldest of three children born to Frank and Blanche Jarvis in Vicksburg, MS. When her father died, she and her mother migrated to Chicago where she completed grammar and high school. Vaudeville provided her early training as a performer as well as "street preaching” for her Apostolic mother who was trying to help raise funds to build an Apostolic Church for Blacks.

Virginia Capers, an actress with a musical touch

Virginia Capers

*Virginia Capers was born on this date in 1925. She was an African American actress and singer.

The voice heard around the world, James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

*James Earl Jones was born on this date in 1931. He is an African American actor.

Laurence Fishburne gives his characters heroic size


Laurence Fishburne was born on this date 1961. He is an African American actor, playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer.

Born in Augusta, GA, he and his mother (a divorced teacher) moved the family to Brooklyn, NY, which he considers his hometown. Fishburne landed a regular role on "One Life to Live" when he was 10. His movie debut was in "Cornbread, Earl and Me" (1975). When he was 14, he began work on "Apocalypse Now" after lying about his age. For the next several years, he was offered only small roles. He eventually landed a part on "Pee-wee's Playhouse."

An actor, of prominence, Adolph Caesar

Adolph Caesar

On this date in 1933, Adolph Caesar, an African American actor, was born.

Born in Harlem, New York, Caesar graduated from George Washington High School in New York City. He enlisted in the Navy where he achieved the rank of chief petty officer.

Ron O'Neal, actor born

Ron O'Neal

*Ron O’Neal was born on this date in 1937. He was an African American actor.

From Utica, NY he got his big break when he was cast in Charles Gordone's Pulitzer Prize-winning play No Place to Be Somebody, which began at Off-Broadway's Public Theater and later went to Broadway in 1969. The producers of "Superfly," urban crime film were impressed with his work. They cast him as the movie's lead character, a cool cocaine dealer named Youngblood Priest. "Superfly" became an unexpected hit, one of the defining films of the twentieth century Blaxploitation genre.

Ruth Attaway, stage, screen, and Television

Ruth Attaway &
Peter Sellers, 1979

Ruth Attaway was born on this date in 1910. She was an African American actress and volunteer.

Born in Greenville, MS, actress Ruth Attaway is best known for her work in theater. She debuted on Broadway in 1936 and went on to work on various stages, on and off Broadway, for over 40 years. Attaway was the first director in the New York Players Guild. She also had experience working in radio and on television. When not acting, she worked for the American Red Cross and for the state of New York.

A man of many talents, Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

On this date in 1968, Cuba Gooding, Jr., was born. He is an African American actor.

He was born in the South Bronx, N.Y., the son two singers. Cuba Gooding, Sr., was the lead singer for The Main Ingredient and his mother, Shirley Gooding, a former backup singer with Jackie Wilson's touring act, the Sweethearts, in the 1960s. His younger brother, Omar, s an actor.

Gooding, Jr., began as acting in a high school performance of Lil Abner. His professional beginnings of his extensive career on the small and large screen began in 1986, with a guest appearance in "Amen."

Halle Berry, rare beauty and talent

Halle Berry

*Halle Berry was born on this date in 1966. She is an African American actress and model.

Lisa Bonet, talent and mystery

Lisa Bonet

On this date in 1967, Lisa Bonet was born. She is an African American actress and model.

Lisa Bonet was born to a Jewish mother and a Black father in San Francisco. Bonet's parents divorced when she was young, and her formative years were spent mostly in New York City and L.A. At age 11, she started auditioning for commercials, and after several years of ads and walk-on TV parts, she landed a coveted role in NBC's "The Cosby Show." The show was an immediate hit, and Bonet quickly asserted herself as one of the most memorable kids in the Huxtable clan, the outspoken teenager, Denise.