Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Antoine Fuqua Confirms He'll Be Partnering w/ Denzel Washington on a 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Antoine Fuqua Confirms He'll Be Partnering w/ Denzel Washington on a 'Magnificent Seven' Remake It's a Done Deal - Paramount Pictures Will Distribute Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Worldwide It's a Done Deal - Paramount Pictures Will Distribute Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Worldwide Interview: Taraji P. Henson On 'No Good Deed' and A Woman's Intuition Interview: Taraji P. Henson On 'No Good Deed' and A Woman's Intuition Crowdfund This: 'Newlyweeds' Star Trae Harris Is a 150-year-old African American Vampire in 'Octavia' Crowdfund This: 'Newlyweeds' Star Trae Harris Is a 150-year-old African American Vampire in 'Octavia' Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism African Americans on TV Guide’s "TV’s Highest Paid Stars 2014" List. You Might Be Surprised African Americans on TV Guide’s "TV’s Highest Paid Stars 2014" List. You Might Be Surprised 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) 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.

Shadow and Act 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