American actor, born in Miami on February 20, 1924. He joined the army before entering the world of the theatre with the American Negro Theatre. It is one of the leading black actors, who started his career with great success on Broadway in Lysistrata, completely starring black actors. His first film in 1950 shot: A ray of light. Seed of evil (1955) began to be known worldwide, and recognized its expressive strength, its quality as an actor and social commitments: was a pioneer in the recognition of the race of color in the world of cinema. In the 1970s he began directing films starring himself. The Oscar-nominated best actor for fugitives (1958), his films include: Porgy and Bess (1959), a mole in the Sun (1960), the lilies of the Valley (1963), with which finally the Oscar from Hollywood, the greatest story ever told (1965), managed in the heat of the night (1967), guess who's coming tonight (1967), rebellion in the classroom (1967)Now they call me Mr. Tibbs (1970), (this film will follow you a series of films of the same character), shoot to kill (1988) or the snoops (1992).And in his role as director: Buck and the ringer (1972), a warm December (1973), Uptown Saturday Night (1974), shot (1980) crazy or Hanky Panky (1982).
In 2002, the Academy of Hollywood the honorary Oscar presented in recognition throughout his career. In 2006, for its part, the French Government made him delivery in Cannes of the Medal of Commander of Arts and letters.
PASSEK, Jean-Luc, et al., dictionary of cinema, Librairie Larousse, 1986. Spanish version: URABAYEN CASCANTE, Miguel, et al., Madrid, Ediciones Rialp, S.A., 1991;
López, José Luis, dictionary of actors, Madrid, Ediciones JC, 1983.