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Lewis Myers

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Information about Lewis Myers

Profile image of Lewis Myers

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pinto Beans
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
So A Man Thinketh, So Is He.

Birthplace

Born:
9/26/1935
Birth Location:
Laing, West Virginia

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Actor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pinto Beans
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
So A Man Thinketh, So Is He.

Birthplace

Born:
9/26/1935
Birth Location:
Laing
See how Lewis Myers is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Actor and theatrical director Lou Myers was born Lewis Eddy Myers on September 26, 1935 in Laing, West Virginia. Myers was raised in nearby Cabin Creek by his mother, Dorothy Louise Brown Myers and his father, Otis Louis Myers, a mine worker fluent in German. Myers attended Wake Forest School and Washington High School. When his father died and his mother became ill, Myers moved to Cleveland, Ohio for work. There, he performed in Karamu Theatre’s junior department production of Take A Giant Step. Myers joined the United States Air Force in 1951 where he received his GED. Discharged in 1953, Myers entered West Virginia State University earning his B.A. degree in sociology.

Moving to New York City, Myers worked for the New York City Board of Education and the New York City Department of Recreation. He narrated the production, Negro Music In Vogue and performed as “the griot” with Dinizulu’s African Dance Company. In 1968, Myers auditioned for the Negro Ensemble Company’s production of Genet’s The Blacks: A Clown Show and was understudy to Louis Gossett, Jr. In 1976, Myers was cast in the Broadway production of Leslie Lee’s The First Breeze of Summer, which was later televised. He was featured in the original cast of most of August Wilson’s plays, including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences and The Piano Lesson. Myers gained notoriety for his role as Mr. Gaines on The Cosby Show spinoff, A Different World from 1988 to 1993. Among his myriad of movie credits are: Cobb (1994), Bulworth (1998), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Volcano (1997), The Fighting Temptations (2003), and Lackawanna Blues (2005).

Myers won an NAACP Image Award for his role as “Stool Pigeon” in the August Wilson play, King Hedley II. He has also won the off-Broadway Audelco Award for his role in the play, Fat Tuesday. In 2005, the Appalachian Education Initiative listed Myers as one of fifty “Outstanding Creative Artists” from the State of West Virginia and featured him in their coffee table book Art & Soul. Myers is the founder of the Tshaka Ensemble.
Myers has a grown son, Melvin Myers, a grandson and lives in Harlem where the neighborhood youth call him “Mr. Gaines.”

Myers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 19, 2007.

Lou Myers passed away on February 20, 2013.

See how Lewis Myers is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lewis Myers' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lewis Myers lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lewis Myers describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lewis Myers describes his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lewis Myers describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lewis Myers describes his paternal ancestors' involvement in John Brown's slave rebellion
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lewis Myers describes his father's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lewis Myers describes his paternal family's relocation to West Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lewis Myers describes the coal mining industry in West Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lewis Myers recalls his father's social life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lewis Myers describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lewis Myers describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lewis Myers describes the black troops' entertainment during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lewis Myers describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lewis Myers remembers 'Silas Green from New Orleans'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lewis Myers recalls his father's work in the coal mines
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lewis Myers talks about his father's early death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lewis Myers talks about the role of religion in his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lewis Myers describes the role of music in his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lewis Myers remembers the Wake Forest School in Laing, West Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lewis Myers recalls Booker T. Washington High School in London, West Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lewis Myers remembers moving to Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lewis Myers describes his service in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lewis Myers remembers being stationed in Tachikawa, Japan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lewis Myers describes his decision to attend West Virginia State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lewis Myers describes his projects with the Tshaka Ensemble
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lewis Myers introduces the members of the Tshaka Ensemble, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lewis Myers introduces the members of the Tshaka Ensemble, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lewis Myers describes the mission of the Tshaka Ensemble
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lewis Myers describes his experiences at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lewis Myers remembers moving to New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lewis Myers talks about the start of his acting career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lewis Myers recalls his introduction to August Wilson's plays
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lewis Myers talks about August Wilson's characters
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lewis Myers recalls acting in 'Fat Tuesday'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lewis Myers talks about acting on 'A Different World'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lewis Myers talks about his career in the film industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lewis Myers talks about the racial discrimination in the film industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lewis Myers describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lewis Myers talks about the Harlem community in New York City
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lewis Myers reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lewis Myers reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lewis Myers talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lewis Myers describes how he would like to be remembered