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

Cicely Tyson, an inspiring actress

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson was born on this date in 1933. She is an African American model and actress.

A true acting talent, Claudia McNeil

Claudia McNeil

*Claudia McNeil was born on this date in 1917. She was an African American actress.

Excellent on stage or screen, William Marshall

William Marshall

*William Marshall was born on this date in 1924. He was an African American stage and screen actor.

Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, Marshall graduated from that cities Roosevelt High School. His acting career began in the early 1950s with the films Lydia Bailey, Demetrius and the Gladiators, and Sabu and the Magic Ring, in which he played “Ubal,” the genie.

Bill Cosby born

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby, an African American entertainer, author, educator, and businessperson, was born on this date in 1937.

Ossie Davis, man of many theatrical and civil Rights talents

Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee (2004)

Ossie Davis was born on this date in 1917. He was an African American actor, writer, producer, director, and a “giant of civil rights.”

Raiford Chatman Davis (his birth name) was the oldest of five children born to Laura Cooper and Kince Davis in Cogden, GA. He picked up his nickname others mistook his mother's articulation of his initials, "R.C” as "Ossie." He headed for Howard University, where he studied under drama critic Alain LeRoy Locke, the first black Rhodes Scholar. Davis began his career as a writer and an actor with the Rose McClendon Players in Harlem in 1939.

The complete entertainment package, Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

*Queen Latifah was born on this date in 1970. From East Orange, New Jersey, the African American rapper, singer, actor and talk show host. Her birth name is Dana Owens.

Lynn Thigpen, actress of many roles

Lynn Thigpen

Lynne Thigpen was born on this date in 1948. She was an African American actress.

Born in Joliet, IL, she was first seen on the New York stage in the 1975 "The Night That Made America Famous." Unfortunately, it didn't make her famous (not overnight, anyway), but she stuck with her craft, and not long thereafter, won a Theatre World Award for her performance in "Tintypes." Thigpen was also in films, including "Warriors" (1979), "Godspell" (1981), "Tootsie" (1981), "Lean on Me" (1985) and "Impulse" (1988). Other films were "Bob Roberts," "Random Hearts," "Shaft," and "The Insider."

Roots airs on television

*On this date in 1977, ABC-TV began televising the Roots mini-series. This television show (which would go on to be the most watched mini-series in history), was based on Alex Haley's book.

The January 30th installment (final episode) became the third most watch TV program in history with a 51% rating.

Africana The Encyclopedia of the African and
African American Experience
Editors: Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Copyright 1999
ISBN 0-465-0071-1

Oprah Winfrey, multi-media icon

Oprah Winfrey

*Oprah Winfrey was born on this date 1954. She is an African American businesswoman, actress, multi-media entrepreneur, and television talk show host.

LeVar Burton, an international actor

LeVar Burton

*On this date in 1957 Levar Burton was born. He is an African American Actor and author. From Landstuhl, Germany.