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Jester Hairston (1901–2000)

Composer, songwriter, conductor, singer and actor, educated at Tufts University, Juilliard, and the University of the Pacific (hon. Mus. D.). He acted on radio and television besides on film, and played Leroy on the "Amos 'n Andy" radio series for fifteen years. He directed the Federal Theatre Project, and was assistant conductor of the 'Hall ... See full bio »

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Known For

The Alamo Jethro
In the Heat of the Night Endicott's Butler
Tales of Manhattan Shantytown Man (Robeson sequence)
Lilies of the Field Music Department


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (70 credits)
 1999 Being John Malkovich
Lester's Friend (uncredited)
 1993 Family Matters (TV Series)
William 'Skippy' Thomas
- Mama's Wedding (1993) ... William 'Skippy' Thomas
 1992 Love & War (TV Series)
- Monday, Monday (1992) ... Joe
 1986-1991 Amen (TV Series)
Rolly Forbes
- Deliverance: Part 2 (1991) ... Rolly Forbes
- Deliverance: Part 1 (1991) ... Rolly Forbes
- Date with an Angel (1991) ... Rolly Forbes
- Three's a Crowd (1991) ... Rolly Forbes
- The Wild Deak (1991) ... Rolly Forbes
 1977 Green Eyes (TV Movie)
Dirk Dubeck (as Gester Hairston)
 1976 The Last Tycoon
Waiter in Stahr's Office (uncredited)
 1975 Harry O (TV Series)
Jefferson Johnson
- Tender Killing Care (1975) ... Jefferson Johnson
 1974-1975 That's My Mama (TV Series)
- Stephanie's Boyfriend (1975) ... Wildcat
- Clifton and Politics (1975) ... Wildcat
- Trial and Error (1975) ... Wildcat
- The Image Maker (1975) ... Wildcat
- The Hero (1975) ... Wildcat
 1972 Lady Sings the Blues
The Butler
 1972 Nichols (TV Series)
- Eddie Joe (1972) ... Melville
 1969 The Virginian (TV Series)
John Douglas
- Long Ride Home (1969) ... John Douglas
 1969 The Outcasts (TV Series)
- Give Me Tomorrow (1969) ... Daniel
 1968 Finian's Rainbow
Passion Pilgrim Gospeleer (uncredited)
 1967 In the Heat of the Night
Endicott's Butler
 1964 Hazel (TV Series)
- Everybody's a Comedian (1964) ... Marvin
 1962 To Kill a Mockingbird
Spence Robinson (uncredited)
 1962 Have Gun - Will Travel (TV Series)
Euclid - Servant / Moses - Old Man
- Penelope (1962) ... Euclid - Servant
- The Waiting Room (1962) ... Moses - Old Man
 1961 Summer and Smoke
Thomas (uncredited)
 1961 Thriller (TV Series)
Papa Benjamin
- Papa Benjamin (1961) ... Papa Benjamin
 1960 The Alamo
 1960 Raymie
 1960 The Man in the Moon (TV Movie)
 1959 Lux Playhouse (TV Series)
 1959 Rawhide (TV Series)
- Incident on the Edge of Madness (1959) ... Zachariah
 1958 St. Louis Blues
Choir Member (uncredited)
 1958 The Court of Last Resort (TV Series)
- The Stephen Lowell Case (1958) ... Seth
 1957 The Thin Man (TV Series)
Murphy - Bellhop
- Come Back Darling Asta (1957) ... Murphy - Bellhop
 1957 Band of Angels
Plantation Slave (uncredited)
 1957 Studio 57 (TV Series)
- The Alibi (1957) ... Thomas
 1956 Full of Life
Train Porter (uncredited)
 1956 Tension at Table Rock
Black Janitor (uncredited)
 1956 The 20th Century-Fox Hour (TV Series)
- Deception (1956) ... Jacob (uncredited)
 1956 Gunsmoke (TV Series)
- Professor Lute Bone (1956) ... Wellington
 1955 Screen Directors Playhouse (TV Series)
Train Cook
- Life of Vernon Hathaway (1955) ... Train Cook (uncredited)
 1955 Pete Kelly's Blues
Mourner, Pre-Credit Sequence (uncredited)
 1955 You Are There (TV Series)
 1955 Tarzan's Hidden Jungle
Witch Doctor (uncredited)
 1954 Tanganyika
Singer (uncredited)
 1954 Gypsy Colt
 1951-1953 The Amos 'n Andy Show (TV Series)
Henry Van Porter / Leroy Smith / Mr. Johnson / ...
- Kingfish Goes to Work (1953) ... Mr. Johnson
- The New Neighbors (1953) ... Landlord
- The Adoption (1953) ... Mr. Phillips
- The Piggy Bank (1952) ... Grocery Store Man (uncredited)
- Relatives (1951) ... Leroy Smith (uncredited)
 1953 So This Is Love
Preacher (uncredited)
 1953 Your Favorite Story (TV Series)
- The Gold Bug (1953)
 1952 We're Not Married!
Lead Christmas Caroler (uncredited)
 1951 Yes Sir, Mr. Bones
Jester Hairston
 1950 The Moods (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 Folk Lore (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 Long Remembrances (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 Highlights of Long Ago (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 Glory Filled Spirituals (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 Tunes That Live (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 Memorable Gems (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 The Tradition (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1950 Southern A Capella (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1949 Cherished Melodies (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1949 Melodies Reborn (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1949 Symphonic Shades (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1949 Melodius Sketches (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1949 Visions and Voices (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1949 Melodic Spirituals (Short)
Choir Director (as Jester J. Hairston)
 1949 Treasured Ballads (Short)
Choir Director (as Jasper J. Hairston)
 1942 Across the Pacific
Passerby (uncredited)
 1942 Tales of Manhattan
Shantytown Man (Robeson sequence) (uncredited)
 1942 In This Our Life
Black Man in Jail (uncredited)
 1942 The Vanishing Virginian
Mover (uncredited)
 1941 Sullivan's Travels
Charlie - Church Projectionist (uncredited)
 1941 Sundown
Native Boy (uncredited)
 1936 The Green Pastures
Member of Hall Johnson Choir (uncredited)
 1930 Deep South
Show Show Music department (32 credits)
Show Show Writer (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack (27 credits)
Show Show Self (5 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

Personal Details

Other Works:

Appeared in the DC Talk music video "Colored People" (1996) See more »

Publicity Listings:

See more »

Alternate Names:

Gester Hairston | Jasper J. Hairston | Jester J. Hairston


Isabel Margaret Swannigan  (her death)  (1 child)

Did You Know?


Spent his formative years in Homestead, Massachusetts, where he graduated from high school (1921). See more »



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