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Ken Page

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Information about Ken Page

Profile image of Ken Page

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Pork Fried Rice, Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Egypt
Favorite Quote:
No Fools, No Fun.

Birthplace

Born:
1/20/1954
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Pork Fried Rice, Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Egypt
Favorite Quote:
No Fools, No Fun.

Birthplace

Born:
1/20/1954
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Ken Page is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Actor Ken Page was born on January 20, 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was raised by his mother and step-father, Gloria and Garvin Gilstrap. As a youth, he attended St. Louis’ St. Bridget of Erin and St. Nicholas Elementary Schools. While attending St. Nicholas, Page was inspired by the founder of the school’s speech club, Sister Ruth Cecilia, and his older cousin to pursue a career in theater. In 1973, he graduated from Bishop Dubourg High School where he received special training in theatrical arts.

In 1973, Ken Page received a full scholarship to attend Fontbonne College located in Clayton, Missouri where he majored in theater. While attending Fontbonne College, he was cast in his first paid role as “Stewpot” in a theatrical production of South Pacific, a musical that featured Frank Sutton, Mary Travers, and Theresa Merrit. A year later, Page moved to New York, where he began working with the Fanfare Children’s Ensemble. While performing with the Fanfare Children's Ensemble, he made appearances as Jim in a production of Huck Finn. He also worked with the Amas Repertory Theatre and the Henry Street Settlement, starring in the musicals Ragtime Blues and Louis.

Ken Page made his Broadway debut in 1976 starring in an all black revival of Guys and Dolls. Then in 1977, he played the role of the Lion in the hit musical The Wiz. In 1978, Page would later go on to be featured as an original cast member in the Fats Waller musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’ and was subsequently awarded the Drama Desk Award for his performance. He would later duplicate this performance in an NBC television special and in Paris, France. In 1982, Page originated the role of Old Deuteronomy in the Broadway production of Cats and repeated his performance in a PBS version of the play. During the 1980s, Page made appearances in several films and television sitcoms including Gimme A Break (1984); Sable (1987); Torch Song Trilogy (1988) and Polly (1989). He continued his work in the entertainment industry during the 1990s and was hired to appear in such television shows as Family Matters (1990); South Central (1994) and Touched By An Angel (1995). In 2000, Page starred in the Broadway show Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, and in 2006, he was hired as cast member in the musical film DreamGirls .

Ken Page was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 4, 2008.

See how Ken Page is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ken Page's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ken Page lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ken Page describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ken Page remembers his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ken Page describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ken Page describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ken Page talks about his household in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ken Page describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ken Page recalls the Kerry Patch neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ken Page describes his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ken Page recalls developing his musical talent
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ken Page describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ken Page recalls his experiences at St. Nicholas Grade School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ken Page talks about his parochial school education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ken Page recalls his early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ken Page recalls his experiences in the Bellarmine Speech League
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ken Page talks about the role of the Catholicism in St. Louis' African American community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ken Page remembers his early mentors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ken Page recalls attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ken Page talks about his idols, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ken Page talks about his idols, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ken Page recalls his high school performances
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ken Page remembers his involvement in the Upward Bound program
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ken Page recalls his graduation from Bishop DuBourg High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ken Page describes his decision to attend Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ken Page recalls the progressive nature of Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ken Page remembers his friend, Mary Lee Nigro
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ken Page recalls his mentors at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ken Page describes the acting methods he learned at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ken Page recalls joining The Municipal Opera Association of St. Louis
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ken Page talks about his decision to move to New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ken Page recalls moving to New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ken Page remembers his temporary employment in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ken Page recalls joining the Fanfare Children's Ensemble
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ken Page talks about his role in 'Purlie' at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ken Page recalls his first impressions of Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ken Page talks about the premiere of 'Purlie' in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ken Page remembers being cast in the all-black production of 'Guys and Dolls'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ken Page recalls the criticism against the all-black cast of 'Guys and Dolls'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ken Page describes the black theater scene in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ken Page recalls being cast in the play, 'The Wiz'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ken Page remembers his cast mates in 'The Wiz'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ken Page talks about notable African American actors on Broadway
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ken Page recalls playing Fats Waller in the play, 'Ain't Misbehavin''
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ken Page describes his creative process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ken Page describes the play, 'Ain't Misbehavin''
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ken Page talks about the television production of 'Ain't Misbehavin''
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ken Page remembers auditioning for 'Cats'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ken Page recalls his role as Old Deuteronomy in 'Cats' on Broadway
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ken Page remembers Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ken Page recalls his decision to move to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ken Page describes the theater environment in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ken Page reflects upon the African American actors in the theater industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ken Page shares his advice for young African American entertainers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ken Page describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ken Page describes how he would like to be remembered