Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
You Likely Won't Find a More Candid & Comprehensive Interview with Euzhan Palcy Than This One... You Likely Won't Find a More Candid & Comprehensive Interview with Euzhan Palcy Than This One... Watch Clip From 'Teachers' - a Film on the Education Crisis in the USA, Starring Tatyana Ali Watch Clip From 'Teachers' - a Film on the Education Crisis in the USA, Starring Tatyana Ali 40+ Black Filmmakers Will Take Over Twitter Tomorrow for an AFFRM-ing Objective. You Should Join Them... 40+ Black Filmmakers Will Take Over Twitter Tomorrow for an AFFRM-ing Objective. You Should Join Them... The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... The American Black Film Festival Announces Its 2015 Films in Competition The American Black Film Festival Announces Its 2015 Films in Competition Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

RIP Al Freeman Jr.

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 10, 2012 at 4:37PM

The son of African American stage actor Al Freeman (1884-1956), and star of stage, TV and film, Al Freeman Jr. (born Albert Cornelius Freeman Jr., on March 21, 1934, in San Antonio, Texas), has died at the age of 78 years old.
19
Al Freeman

The son of African American stage actor Al Freeman (1884-1956), and star of stage, TV and film, Al Freeman Jr. (born Albert Cornelius Freeman Jr., on March 21, 1934, in San Antonio, Texas), has died at the age of 78 years old.

His career, as an actor primarily, as well as a writer and director, spans several decades, dating back to the 1950s.

He made his big screen debut in 1960's melodrama The Rebel Breed.

Most notably, in 1967, Freeman Jr. co-starred with Shirley Knight in the film version of Leroi Jones' (Amiri Baraka'soff-Broadway play Dutchman, in a performance that earned him excellent reviews, and further attention for his portrayal of a black subway passenger victimized by a frantic white woman.

Dutchman would later be adapted for the screen, with Freeman Jr. and Knight reprising their roles - a film we've featured on this site on more than one occasion, and will likely feature again shortly, in light of today's news.

Three years later, Freeman Jr. co-starred with Patty Duke in the landmark TV movie My Sweet Charlie (1970), playing a volatile New York City lawyer stranded in a small Texas town with a white unwed mother.

Freeman Jr. is likely best best known to daytime-drama fans for his lengthy stint as Lt. Ed Hall on One Life to Live - a role that won him a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series in 1979, and setting his place in history as the first African American actor to win that specific award.

And more recently, he'll also be remembered for his portrayal of Elijah Muhammed in Spike Lee's 1992 opus Malcolm X; he actually played Malcolm X in the 1979 miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations.

Freeman was also a screenwriter, penning screenplays for Ossie Davis' Countdown at Kusini (1976), and was a director himself, helming (and starring in) the 1971 feature A Fable, from a script written by Amiri Baraka, based on his own play (The Slave: A Fable), about a black radical who violently and fatally torments his white ex-wife and children, after they start a new family with a white man.

On TV, Freeman Jr appeared in serials like The Cosby Show, and Homicide: Life on the Street.

His Broadway theatre credits include Blues for Mister Charlie (1964), Look to the Lilies (1970) and Medea (1974).

Up until his death, Freeman Jr. was a professor at Howard University, in the Department of Theatre Arts, teaching acting. He served as Chairman/Artistic Director of the Department for six years.

I was informed this afternoon that he died last night, August 9th; although the cause of his death hasn't yet been made public.

"It is with tremendous sadness that the passing of our beloved Professor Al Freeman, Jr. is confirmed," Kim James Bey, chair of Howard university's Theatre Department said in a statement.

RIP.

This article is related to: Al Freeman Jr.


Shadow & ActNewsletter