African-American Film Pioneers

by Riverbends1 | created - 07 Dec 2012 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

1. Evelyn Preer

Actress | Within Our Gates

Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, pioneering black actress Evelyn Preer was educated in Chicago, where she and her mother moved after the death of her father. She entered show business vis vaudeville and the "chitlin' circuit" of minstrel shows that served the country's strictly segregated black ...

2. Oscar Micheaux

Writer | Within Our Gates

Oscar Micheaux, the first African-American to produce a feature-length film (The Homesteader (1919)) and a sound feature-length film (The Exile (1931)), is not only a major figure in American film for these milestones, but because his oeuvre is a window into the American history and psyche ...

3. Herb Jeffries

Actor | The Bronze Buckaroo

This velvet-toned jazz baritone and sometime actor was (and perhaps still is) virtually unknown to white audiences. Yet, back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Herb Jeffries was very big...in black-cast films. Today he is respected and remembered as a pioneer who broke down rusted-shut racial ...

4. Mantan Moreland

Actor | Charlie Chan in the Secret Service

Although his brand of humor has been reviled for decades, black character actor Mantan Moreland parlayed his cocky but jittery character into a recognizable presence in the late 1930s and early 1940s, appearing in a long string of comedy thrillers . . . and was considered quite funny at the time!

...

5. Ethel Waters

Actress | Cabin in the Sky

The child of a teenage rape victim, Ethel Waters grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time. "No one raised me, " she recollected, "I just ran wild." She excelled not only at looking after herself, but also at singing and ...

6. Bert Williams

Actor | A Natural Born Gambler

One of the first black superstars of popular entertainment, Egbert Austin Williams, although born in the Bahamas, was raised largely in California. Nursing show business aspirations early on, he teamed with boyhood friend George Walker to form a highly successful vaudeville act, which continued ...

7. Rex Ingram

Director | The Great Problem

Renowned director Rex Ingram started his film career as a set designer and painter. His directorial debut was The Great Problem (1916). A true master of the medium, Ingram despised the business haggling required in the Hollywood system. He was also unhappy with the level of writing he found in ...

8. Tim Moore

Actor | The Amos 'n Andy Show

Although Tim Moore will forever be known as "The Kingfish" in the pioneering series The Amos 'n Andy Show (1951), he was actually far better known for his career on the stage and as a comedian in vaudeville than he was for his film and television work. In fact, he had only made (as far as is known)...

9. Spencer Williams

Actor | Juke Joint

American actor, writer, director, and producer whose early pioneering work in African-American or "race" films was eclipsed in fame by his role as one of the title characters in the equally pioneering and also controversial 1950s sitcom The Amos 'n Andy Show (1951). A native of Vidalia, Louisiana, ...

10. Lena Horne

Soundtrack | Cabin in the Sky

Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order to...

11. Benny Carter

Soundtrack | Raging Bull

Saxophonist, songwriter ("Because of You", "Hot Toddy", "Cow Cow Boogie"), conductor, arranger and composer, educated at Wilberforce University in theology. He was a saxophonist in Horace Henderson's Wilberforce Collegians, then played in the orchestras of Fletcher Henderson and Chick Webb. He went...

12. Samuel 'Sambo' Jacks

Actor | The Bully

Samuel 'Sambo' Jacks is an actor, known for The Bully (1918), A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918) and Are Working Girls Safe? (1918).

13. Dorothy Dandridge

Actress | Carmen Jones

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge (née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge began performing publicly, usually in ...

14. Ruby Dandridge

Actress | Dead Reckoning

Ruby Dandridge was born on March 3, 1900 in Wichita, Kansas, USA as Ruby Jean Butler. She was an actress, known for Dead Reckoning (1947), Beulah (1950) and Cabin in the Sky (1943). She was married to Cyril Dandridge. She died on October 17, 1987 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

15. Duke Ellington

Composer | Anatomy of a Murder

Composer ("It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing", "Sophisticated Lady", "Mood Indigo", "Solitude", "In a Mellotone", "Satin Doll"), pianist and conductor, holder of an honorary music degree from Wilberforce University and an LHD from Milton College, Duke Ellington led his own orchestra ...

16. Louis Armstrong

Actor | High Society

Louis Armstrong grew up poor in a single-parent household. He was 13 when he celebrated the New Year by running out on the street and firing a pistol that belonged to the current man in his mother's life. At the Colored Waifs Home for Boys, he learned to play the bugle and the clarinet and joined ...

17. Hattie McDaniel

Actress | Gone with the Wind

After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West (1932). Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest (1934) and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams (1935). In this one, directed by George ...

18. Butterfly McQueen

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Thelma McQueen attended public school in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from high school in Long Island, New York. She studied dance with Katherine Dunham, Geoffrey Holder, and Janet Collins. She danced with the Venezuela Jones Negro Youth Group. The "Butterfly" stage name, which does describe her ...

19. Diahann Carroll

Actress | Julia

One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an ...

20. Josephine Baker

Soundtrack | Princesse Tam-Tam

Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, MO, in 1906 to Carrie McDonald, a laundress, and Eddie Carson, a musician. Her early life hinted at her future career. She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis for nickels and dimes. Later she became a chorus girl on...

21. Paul Robeson

Actor | King Solomon's Mines

This handsome, eloquent and highly charismatic actor became one of the foremost interpreters of Eugene O'Neill's plays and one of the most treasured names in song during the first half of the twentieth century. He also courted disdain and public controversy for most of his career as a staunch Cold ...

22. Ernest Morrison

Actor | That Gang of Mine

"Sunshine Sammy" Morrison was most famous as one of the Dead End Kids/East Side Kids, but he was probably the most experienced actor of that group. Morrison made his film debut while still an infant; his father worked for a wealthy Los Angeles family that had connections in the film industry, and ...

23. Louise Beavers

Actress | Imitation of Life

1930s and 1940s film actress Louise Beavers was merely one of a dominant gallery of plus-sized and plus-talented African-American character actresses forced to endure blatant, discouraging and demeaning stereotypes during Depression-era and WWII Hollywood. It wasn't until Louise's triumphant role in...

24. Dooley Wilson

Actor | Casablanca

"You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh; the fundamental things apply, as time goes by...". Anyone unfamiliar with this legendary movie lyric must either live in a well-insulated modern world or perhaps on Mars. The gentleman who crooned this tune for the morose ...

25. Bill Robinson

Actor | Stormy Weather

Bill Robinson quit school at age seven and began work as a professional dancer the following year. Bojangles (the name referred to his happy-go-lucky ebullience) starred in vaudeville, musical stage and movies. He invented the stair tap routine and was considered one of the world's greatest tap ...

26. Harold Nicholas

Soundtrack | Kid Millions

Harold Nicholas, the younger half of the world famous Nicholas Brothers dance team, is known as one of the world's greatest dancers. He and his brother Fayard Nicholas were established superstars at Twentieth Century Fox with their astounding dance numbers in the studios musicals features. Harold ...

27. Fayard Nicholas

Actor | The Pirate

Fayard Nicholas was one-half of The Nicholas Brothers, a famous African-American tap dancing team who appeared in several movies and became one of the famous and most beloved dance team of all time. Both brothers appeared in films such as An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), The Pirate (1948) and ...

28. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with ...

29. Eva Jessye

Actress | Black Like Me

Conductor and arranger, educated at Wilberforce University (MA), and Allen University (Mus. D.) She conducted the Eva Jessye Choir, with appearances in universities and colleges with symphony orchestras and in festivals throughout the United States and Europe. On Broadway, she appeared in the ...

30. Allen 'Farina' Hoskins

Actor | Moan & Groan, Inc.

Allen 'Farina' Hoskins was born on August 9, 1920 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as Allen Clayton Hoskins. He was an actor, known for Moan & Groan, Inc. (1929), Love Business (1931) and School's Out (1930). He was married to Frances. He died on July 26, 1980 in Oakland, California, USA.

31. Anita Bush

Actress | The Crimson Skull

Anita Bush born in Washington, District of Columbia in 1883. began in Vaudeville theatre as part of the comedy team 'William and Walker' in the early 1900's, and later became well-known on the drama theatre's on Broadway. beautiful black performer who starred in only two movies, the first was a ...

32. Bill Pickett

Actor | The Bull-Dogger

Bill Pickett was born on December 5, 1870 in Jenks-Branch, Texas, USA as William Pickett. He was an actor, known for The Bull-Dogger (1921) and The Crimson Skull (1922). He was married to Maggie Turner. He died on April 2, 1932 in Ponca City, Oklahoma, USA.

33. Clarence Muse

Actor | Shadow of a Doubt

Clarence Muse was born on October 14, 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He was an actor, known for Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Casino (1995) and Broken Strings (1942). He was married to Irene Ena Kellman, Willabelle Burch West and Ophelia Belle Labertier. He died on October 13, 1979 in Perris, ...

34. Daniel L. Haynes

Actor | Hallelujah

Daniel L. Haynes was born on June 6, 1889 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Daniel Leo Haynes. He was an actor, known for Hallelujah (1929), Escape from Devil's Island (1935) and So Red the Rose (1935). He was married to Rosa Belle Sims. He died on July 29, 1954 in Kingston, New York, USA.

35. Evelyn Ellis

Actress | The Lady from Shanghai

Evelyn Ellis was born on February 2, 1894 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She was an actress, known for The Lady from Shanghai (1947), The Joe Louis Story (1953) and A Son of Satan (1924). She died on June 5, 1958 in Saranac Lake, New York, USA.

36. Fredi Washington

Actress | Imitation of Life

Fredi Washington was a pioneering African-American actress whose fair skin and green eyes often were impediments to her showing her extraordinary acting skills. Her talent was often overlooked because of people's obsession with her race and color. In the few films in which she acted her enormous ...

37. Gertrude Howard

Actress | I'm No Angel

Gertrude Howard was born on October 13, 1892 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA. She was an actress, known for I'm No Angel (1933), The Wet Parade (1932) and The Prodigal (1931). She died on September 30, 1934 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

38. John Lester Johnson

Actor | Mystery in Swing

John Lester Johnson was born in Suffolk, Virginia (his death certificate states South Carolina) on August 13, 1893. His middle name was Leslie, according to an "Ebony" magazine article about Johnson (January 1960), but he changed it to to Lester when he left Virginia in 1910 for New York City, ...

39. Laura Bowman

Actress | Black Swan

Laura Bowman is an actress, known for Black Swan (2010).

40. Leigh Whipper

Actor | Of Mice and Men

Leigh Whipper was an consummate actor who led an impressive life. Born in South Carolina in 1876, at the end of the Reconstruction Era in which his parents had participated, he was educated in Washington, D.C., attending Howard University, before turning permanently to a life in the theater. At a ...

41. Stepin Fetchit

Actor | Judge Priest

Stepin Fetchit remains one of the most controversial movie actors in American history. While he was undoubtedly one of the most talented physical comedians ever to do his shtick on the Big Screen, achieving the rare status of being a character actor/supporting player who actually achieved superstar...

42. Lorenzo Tucker

Actor | Wages of Sin

Lorenzo Tucker in his prime was billed and known as "The Black Valentino," named after Rudolph Valentino, because of his tall, dark, dashing good looks, muscular built, secret charm and coolness. Tucker was one of Black Cinema's most popular leading actors, appearing in close to 20 films. He ...

43. Mamie Smith

Soundtrack | Beginners

Mamie Smith was born on May 26, 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. She was married to Jack Goldberg. She died on October 30, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA.

44. Madame Sul-Te-Wan

Actress | In Old Chicago

Madame Sul-Te-Wan was born on March 7, 1873 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Nellie Wan. She was an actress, known for In Old Chicago (1938), Maid of Salem (1937) and The Buccaneer (1958). She was married to Robert Reed Conley. She died on February 1, 1959 in Hollywood, California, USA.

45. Matthew 'Stymie' Beard

Actor | Love Business

Matthew 'Stymie' Beard was born on January 1, 1925 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Matthew Beard Jr. He was an actor, known for Love Business (1931), The Buddy Holly Story (1978) and A Lad an' a Lamp (1932). He died on January 8, 1981 in Los Angeles.

46. Mildred Washington

Actress | Torch Singer

The name Mildred Washington isn't remembered but she appeared in under 15 films in small parts but her presence, finesse, beauty and vivacious personality wasn't small. Mildred was a beautiful, curvaceous, popular Black actress and dancer in the 1920s and 1930s. She started on the stage appearing ...

47. Nina Mae McKinney

Actress | Hallelujah

Nina Mae McKinney is known as the seductress "Chick" from Hallelujah (1929), the first all-black, all-sound musical. Even though she was acknowledged as a great actress, singer and dancer by audiences in the U.S. and Europe, today she is mostly forgotten. She certainly had the looks, enthusiasm, ...

48. Pearl McCormack

Actress | The Scar of Shame

Pearl McCormack was born on April 29, 1908 in Kingston, Jamaica as Leila Blandine McCormack. She was an actress, known for The Scar of Shame (1927), Harlem After Midnight (1934) and Phantom of Kenwood (1933). She was married to Paul Laguerre. She died on December 14, 2003 in Miami, Florida, USA.

49. Theresa Harris

Actress | Baby Face

Theresa Harris appeared with more stars of the Golden Era of Hollywood than anyone else. She sang, she danced, appeared in films and TV. She graced the screen with her magnetic presence and most times stole scenes from the top stars of the day every chance she got and made a lot of dull movies ...

50. Trixie Smith

Soundtrack | Blue Jasmine

Trixie Smith was born in 1895 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She was an actress, known for Blue Jasmine (2013), Swing! (1938) and God's Step Children (1938). She died on September 21, 1943 in New York City, New York, USA.

51. Zack Williams

Actor | Son of Ingagi

Zack Williams was born on October 6, 1884 in Louisiana, USA. He was an actor, known for Son of Ingagi (1940), Jungle Goddess (1948) and Duke of the Navy (1942). He died on May 25, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

52. Anita Brown

Actress | Charlie Chan in Egypt

Anita Brown is an actress, known for Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) and Song of the South (1946).

53. Anita Thompson

Actress | A Man's Duty

Anita Thompson was born on March 28, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Anita Beatrice Thompson. She was an actress, known for A Man's Duty (1919) and By Right of Birth (1921). She was married to Guy Reynolds, Dwight Lloyd Dickinson and Charles Henri Ford. She died in December 1980 in Christiansted,...

54. Beulah Hall

Actress | The Realization of a Negro's Ambition

Beulah Hall was born on June 28, 1899 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. She was an actress, known for The Realization of a Negro's Ambition (1916), Black Narcissus (1929) and A Trooper of Troop K (1917). She was married to Emitt Emanuel Wyndon. She died on October 8, 1952 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

55. Bert Murphy

Actor | Black and White

Bert Murphy was born in September 1876 in Carbondale, Illinois, USA as Albert Murphy. He was an actor, known for Black and White (1914), A Milk Fed Hero (1918) and A Busted Romance (1918). He was married to Frances Ellick. He died on October 4, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois.

56. Blue Washington

Actor | Black Magic

Blue Washington was born on February 12, 1898 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Edgar Hughes Washington. He was an actor, known for Black Magic (1929), Ransom (1928) and Parade of the West (1930). He was married to Marion Lenán. He died on September 15, 1970 in Lancaster, California.

57. Charles D. Lucas

Actor | Within Our Gates

Charles D. Lucas is an actor, known for Within Our Gates (1920) and The Homesteader (1919).

58. Clarence Brooks

Actor | Murder in Harlem

Clarence Brooks was born on December 23, 1896 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. He was an actor, known for Murder in Harlem (1935), Arrowsmith (1931) and Georgia Rose (1930). He was married to Cherry Hale. He died on March 12, 1969 in Pasadena, California, USA.

59. Cleo Desmond

Actress | Mokey

Cleo Desmond was born on April 25, 1880 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Minnie Matilda Hatfield. She was an actress, known for Mokey (1942), The Easiest Way (1917) and Am I Guilty? (1940). She died on October 6, 1958 in San Diego, California, USA.

60. Ethel Smith

Actress | The Prince of His Race

Ethel Smith is an actress, known for The Prince of His Race (1926), When Men Betray (1928) and Wages of Sin (1929). She was previously married to Roy Atwell.

61. Evon Skekeeter

Actress | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Evon Skekeeter is an actress, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918), Are Working Girls Safe? (1918) and Black and Tan Mix Up (1918).

62. Florence McClain

Actress | Black and White

Florence McClain is an actress, known for Black and White (1914), Two Knights of Vaudeville (1915) and A Natural Born Shooter (1917).

63. Frank L. Wilson

Writer | Paradise in Harlem

Frank L. Wilson is an actor and writer, known for Paradise in Harlem (1939), Beware (1946) and Watch on the Rhine (1943).

64. Frank Pollard

Actor | The Adventures of Dick Turpin: The King of Highwaymen

Frank Pollard was born on December 10, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Franklin H. Pollard. He was an actor, known for The Adventures of Dick Turpin: The King of Highwaymen (1912), The Adventures of Dick Turpin: 200 Guineas Reward, Wanted Dead or Alive (1912) and Black and Tan Mix Up (1918). He ...

65. Harry Tracey

Actor | The Wednesday Play

Harry Tracey is an actor, known for The Wednesday Play (1964) and Mogul (1965).

66. Iris Hall

Actress | The Symbol of the Unconquered

Iris Hall was born on December 10, 1892 in Barbados. She was an actress, known for The Symbol of the Unconquered (1920) and The Homesteader (1919). She was married to Richard J. Ryan and Julian Baird. She died on July 11, 1984 in East Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA.

67. Jimmy Marshall

Actor | Two Knights of Vaudeville

Jimmy Marshall is an actor, known for Two Knights of Vaudeville (1915), Aladdin Jones (1915) and Money Talks in Darktown (1916).

68. Wes Jenkins

Actor | Little Miss No-Account

Wes Jenkins was born in January 1859 in Virginia, USA as John Wesley Jenkins. He was an actor, known for Little Miss No-Account (1918), The Kentuckians (1921) and Scarlet Saint (1925). He was married to Mattie Farrar. He died on April 9, 1930 in New York, New York, USA.

69. Julia Mason

Actress | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Julia Mason is an actress, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918), Wrong All Around (1917) and Black and Tan Mix Up (1918).

70. Mattie Edwards

Actress | Within Our Gates

Mattie Edwards was born on June 2, 1866 in New York, USA as Martha Burns. She was an actress, known for Within Our Gates (1920), Give Us This Night (1936) and The Brute (1920). She was married to Edward Settle. She died on June 25, 1944 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

71. Mildred Price

Actress | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Mildred Price is an actress, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918), Are Working Girls Safe? (1918) and Black and Tan Mix Up (1918).

72. Robert Duree

Actor | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Robert Duree is an actor, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918), Are Working Girls Safe? (1918) and Black and Tan Mix Up (1918).

73. Rudolph Tatum

Actor | The Bully

Rudolph Tatum is an actor, known for The Bully (1918) and A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918).

74. Sam Robinson

Actor | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Sam Robinson was born on March 10, 1888 in Richmond, Virginia, USA as Samuel Robinson. He was an actor, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918), The Bully (1918) and The Little Samaritan (1917). He died on March 3, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

75. Steve Reynolds

Actor | The Green-Eyed Monster

Steve Reynolds was born on July 7, 1892 in Waycross, Georgia, USA. He was an actor, known for The Green-Eyed Monster (1919), Regeneration (1923) and The Crimson Skull (1922). He died in 1945 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

76. Walter Brogsdale

Actor | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Walter Brogsdale was born on December 2, 1887 in Macon, Georgia, USA. He was an actor, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918), Are Working Girls Safe? (1918) and Black and Tan Mix Up (1918). He died on April 17, 1939 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA.

77. Webb King

Actor | Georgia Rose

Webb King was born on April 24, 1896 in Leadville, Colorado, USA as Webb Wilbur King. He was an actor, known for Georgia Rose (1930), A Man's Duty (1919) and Reformation (1920). He died on January 1, 1984 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

78. Will Starks

Actor | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Will Starks is an actor, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918), Wrong All Around (1917) and Black and Tan Mix Up (1918).

79. Yvonne Junior

Actress | A Black Sherlock Holmes

Yvonne Junior is an actress, known for A Black Sherlock Holmes (1918) and The Bully (1918).

80. A.B. DeComathiere

Actor | The Midnight Ace

A.B. DeComathiere was born on November 19, 1877 in New York City, New York, USA as Abram Benedict Comathiere. He was an actor and director, known for The Midnight Ace (1928), The Black King (1932) and The Exile (1931). He died on May 18, 1940 in Central Islip, Long Island, New York.

81. A.C.H. Billbrew

Actress | Hearts in Dixie

A.C.H. Billbrew was born on March 12, 1891 in Arkansas, USA. She was an actress, known for Hearts in Dixie (1929). She died on June 4, 1972 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

82. Alec Lovejoy

Actor | Birthright

Alec Lovejoy was born on April 28, 1893 in Gaston, Alabama, USA as Alexander L. Lovejoy. He was an actor, known for Birthright (1939), Paradise in Harlem (1939) and Sunday Sinners (1940). He died on April 13, 1946 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

83. Alfred Norcom

Actor | Regeneration

Alfred Norcom was born on June 11, 1897 in Dallas, Texas, USA as Alfred Levi Norcom. He was an actor, known for Regeneration (1923) and Black Gold (1928). He died on January 22, 1939 in Dallas.

84. Alice B. Russell

Actress | Easy Street

Alice B. Russell is better known as Oscar Micheaux's wife, but she played important parts in almost all of her husband's films. Alice usually played the sympathetic mother figure, a mature role model, a guardian angel to young naive ladies, etc. She was a wonderful emotional actress, never ...

85. Alma Sewell

Actress | The Conjure Woman

Alma Sewell was born in July 1893 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA as Willie Alma Glenn. She was an actress, known for The Conjure Woman (1926), The House Behind the Cedars (1927) and The Dungeon (1922). She was married to James Harvey Sewell. She died on May 30, 1977 in Roanoke, Virginia, USA.

86. Andrew Bishop

Actor | Temptation

Andrew Bishop was born on August 16, 1894 in Armonk, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for Temptation (1935), A Son of Satan (1924) and Murder in Harlem (1935). He died on September 10, 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

87. Ardelle Dabney

Actress | The Broken Violin

Ardelle Dabney was born in 1884 in Portsmouth, Virginia, USA as Harriet Ardella Mitchell. She was an actress, known for The Broken Violin (1927), Thirty Years Later (1928) and Wages of Sin (1929). She was married to Elijah Dabney and William Taylor. She died on March 13, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois, ...

88. Arline Mickey

Actress | Ten Nights in a Barroom

Arline Mickey was born on November 3, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She was an actress, known for Ten Nights in a Barroom (1926), The Prince of His Race (1926) and Children of Fate (1928). She was married to Nathan G. Chaney. She died on September 2, 1988 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

89. Arthur Ray

Actor | Double Deal

Arthur Ray was born on July 4, 1888 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Arthur Truman Ray. He was an actor, known for Double Deal (1939), Am I Guilty? (1940) and Ties of Blood (1921). He died on April 9, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

90. Bee Freeman

Actress | Underworld

Bee Freeman was known as "the sepia Mae West" because of her sexy voice and innuendo-laden manner of delivering her lines. Bee had a style all her own, though--cool, calm and collected with a lot of sex appeal. Bee Freeman was one of Oscar Micheaux's favorite ladies, appearing in his best films: ...

91. Bernice Pilot

Actress | Hearts in Dixie

Bernice Pilot was born in 1895 in Pawnee, Oklahoma, USA as Bernice Maddox. She is an actress, known for Hearts in Dixie (1929), My Bill (1938) and The Beloved Brat (1938).

92. Bessie Givens

Actress | When Men Betray

Bessie Givens is an actress, known for When Men Betray (1928), Wages of Sin (1929) and The Midnight Ace (1928).

93. Bessie Lyle

Actress | The Littlest Rebel

Bessie Lyle is an actress, known for The Littlest Rebel (1935) and Illusion (1929).

94. Blanche Thompson

Actress | The Vagabond King

Blanche Thompson was born on February 17, 1897 in Calhoun County, Texas, USA. She was an actress, known for The Vagabond King (1930), As the World Rolls On (1921) and A Son of Satan (1924). She was married to Pierre-Adolphe Jaureguiberry, Irvin C. Miller and J. Homer Tutt. She died on May 5, 1987 ...

95. Charles Allen

Actor | In the Depths of Our Hearts

Charles Allen was born on January 29, 1895 in Emporia, Kansas, USA as Charles Hayward Allen. He was an actor, known for In the Depths of Our Hearts (1920) and The Lure of a Woman (1921). He was married to Genevieve Marie Reynolds. He died in September 1978 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

96. Charles Olden

Actor | The Framing of the Shrew

Charles Olden is an actor, known for The Framing of the Shrew (1929) and The Melancholy Dame (1929).

97. Claude Collins

Actor | The Lady Fare

Claude Collins is an actor, known for The Lady Fare (1929).

98. Clifford Ingram

Actor | Hearts in Dixie

Clifford Ingram is an actor, known for Hearts in Dixie (1929).

99. Daisy Bufford

Actress | Deep South

Daisy Bufford was born on April 20, 1913 in Franklin, Louisiana, USA as Daisy King. She was an actress, known for Deep South (1930), Forgotten Faces (1936) and Love on Toast (1937). She died on December 18, 1987 in Contra Costa County, California, USA.

100. Dink Stewart

Actor | A Son of Satan

A stalwart of the African-American stage, Ben "Dink" Stewart started out with his brother Alex singing and dancing for pennies on the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio. They soon worked up an act good enough to have them enter vaudeville. Dink went on to be known as a comedian and "sinegr of funny songs....