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Cleavon Little (1939–1992)

Versatile, charismatic African-American actor Cleavon Little was born on June 1, 1939, in Oklahoma but grew up in California and attended San Diego College. He earned a scholarship to Juilliard and moved to New York, then trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Art and was soon appearing off-Broadway. Classically trained ("Hamlet" "A Midsummer ... See full bio »

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Known For

Blazing Saddles
Another World
Another World Capt. Hancock (1980s)
Vanishing Point
Vanishing Point Super Soul
The New Temperatures Rising Show


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (61 credits)
 1991-1992 True Colors (TV Series)
Ron Freeman
- Word to the Mother (1992) ... Ron Freeman (credit only)
- Feeling Up! (1992) ... Ron Freeman
- In a Flash (1992) ... Ron Freeman
- Half a Man (1992) ... Ron Freeman
 1991 5 Up, 2 Down (TV Movie)
Sam Tyler
 1991 Goin' to Chicago
Edward Sr.
 1991 In the Nick of Time (TV Movie)
 1989-1991 MacGyver (TV Series)
Frank Colton
- The Coltons (1991) ... Frank Colton
 1990-1991 Bagdad Cafe (TV Series)
- Prisoner of Love (1991) ... Sal
- Over My Dead Body (1991) ... Sal
- Hell Hath No Fury (1990) ... Sal
- I Got a Crush on You (1990) ... Sal
 1991 Separate But Equal (TV Mini-Series)
Robert L. 'Bob' Carter
 1991 Perfect Harmony (TV Movie)
Pastor Clarence Johnson
 1990 Murder by Numbers
David Shelby
 1990 Midnight Caller (TV Series)
Reverend James Allen
- The Reverend Soundbite (1990) ... Reverend James Allen
 1989 Fletch Lives
Calculus Entropy
 1989 227 (TV Series)
Abner Neff
- For Richer, for Poorer (1989) ... Abner Neff
 1989 Dear John (TV Series)
Tony Larkin
- Stand by Your Man (1989) ... Tony Larkin
 1988 Tanner '88 (TV Mini-Series)
Rev. Billy Crier
- The Night of the Twinkies (1988) ... Rev. Billy Crier
 1988 Lincoln (TV Mini-Series)
Frederick Douglass
 1987 ALF (TV Series)
George Foley
- ALF's Special Christmas: Part 2 (1987) ... George Foley
- ALF's Special Christmas: Part 1 (1987) ... George Foley
 1985 The Gig
Marshall Wilson
 1984 Toy Soldiers
 1984 Surf II
Daddy O
 1983 The Fall Guy (TV Series)
Max Downey
- The Chase (1983) ... Max Downey
 1983 Simon & Simon (TV Series)
Bookkeeper Jared Swope
- Red Dog Blues (1983) ... Bookkeeper Jared Swope
 1983 Double Exposure
Police Chief
 1982 Jimmy the Kid
 1981 ABC Afterschool Specials (TV Series)
Community Leader
- The Color of Friendship (1981) ... Community Leader
 1981 Fantasy Island (TV Series)
Charlie Raines
- Basin Street/The Devil's Triangle (1981) ... Charlie Raines
 1981 The Salamander
Major Carl Malinowski, USMC
 1980 The Sky Is Gray (TV Movie)
Monsieur Bayonne
 1980 The Love Boat (TV Series)
Andrew Hopkins
 1979 Scavenger Hunt
 1979 Supertrain (TV Series)
Preacher Ross
- The Green Girl (1979) ... Preacher Ross
 1979 Mr. Dugan (TV Series)
Rep. Dugan
 1979 Uptown Saturday Night (TV Movie)
Wardell Washington
 1978 FM
 1977 Once Upon a Brothers Grimm (TV Movie)
Wolf (segment "Little Red Riding Hood")
 1977 The Tony Randall Show (TV Series)
Willie Alexander
- The Taking of Reubner 1-2-3 (1977) ... Willie Alexander
 1977 Greased Lightning
 1977 The Rockford Files (TV Series)
Billy Merrihew
 1975 The Rookies (TV Series)
Cully Ames
- Measure of Mercy (1975) ... Cully Ames
 1971-1975 The Waltons (TV Series)
James Trevis Clark / Hawthorne Dooley
- The Fighter (1975) ... James Trevis Clark
 1975 Police Story (TV Series)
Marshall Priest
- A Community of Victims (1975) ... Marshall Priest
 1974 The Day the Earth Moved (TV Movie)
Harley Copeland
 1973 Money to Burn (TV Movie)
Calvin Baker
 1972 Mod Squad (TV Series)
- The Connection (1972) ... Bolo
 1971 The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (TV Movie)
Hawthorne Dooley
 1971 All in the Family (TV Series)
- Edith Writes a Song (1971) ... Coke
 1970 Cotton Comes to Harlem
Lo Boy
 1969 John and Mary
The Film Director
 1968 The Felony Squad (TV Series)
Jesse Hawkins
- The Nowhere Man: Part 2 (1968) ... Jesse Hawkins
- The Nowhere Man: Part 1 (1968) ... Jesse Hawkins
 1968 What's So Bad About Feeling Good?
Phil (uncredited)
 1964 Another World (TV Series)
Capt. Hancock (1980s)
Show Show Soundtrack (3 credits)
Show Show Self (13 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (5 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared in "Purlie" on Broadway. NOTE: He won a Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical). See more »


6' (1.83 m)

Did You Know?


He was a talented Shakespearean but was forced at the time to accept comedy parts when few black actors were considered for such important and serious roles. His passion remained for the classics, and he returned frequently to play such parts. See more »

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