Magazine article National Urban League. The State of Black America

In Memoriam: Calvin Lockhart

Magazine article National Urban League. The State of Black America

In Memoriam: Calvin Lockhart

Article excerpt

Calvin Lockhart had an illustrious acting career in which he played a variety of roles on stage and film across the world. During his career, the handsome Bahamian actor was cast in over two dozen movies and made numerous appearances on television shows in both the United States and Europe. However, he is probably best known for his villainous roles in "blaxpkotation" movies of the 1970s.

He was born Bert Cooper in 1934 in Nassau, Bahamas and was the youngest of eight children. He moved to New York City at the age of eighteen to study civil engineering at the Cooper Union School of Engineering, but he dropped out after one year, as his passions shifted to acting. In 1960, he was cast in the Ketti Frings play, Cool World, which was followed by a role in a short-lived Broadway play, Taste of Honey, playing opposite of Angela Lansbruy in a story about an interracial relationship. It was also in and around this time that he changed his name to Calvin Lockhart.

However, during the early 1960s, acting opportunities were still very limited for blacks in the United States, on both stage and film. By the mid-sixties, Lockhart relocated across seas to London, where he found work in the theaire and also appeared in several British television shows. It was also there where he made his film debut in a starring role in the 1968 movie Joanna, which received critical acclaim and was nominated for a 1969 Golden Globe Award for best foreign picture.

Lockhart returned back to the United States in 1969 and found prominent roles in films, with the sudden emergence of African-American movies in Hollywood during the early 1970s. …

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