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Vanessa Williams

Actress and singer Vanessa Williams was born on March 18, 1963 to Milton and Helen Williams in Tarrytown, New York. Williams graduated from Horace Greeley High School in Millwood, New York in 1981, and enrolled at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

In 1983, Williams won the Miss Greater Syracuse Pageant and Miss New York Pageant. Later that fall, she was crowned Miss America 1984, becoming the first African American contestant to win the pageant. A scandal involving Williams forced her to resign in July of 1984. Williams then pursued a career in music. In 1988, she released her first album, The Right Stuff, which featured the singles The Right Stuff, He's Got the Look and Dreamin'. The album’s popularity garnered Williams the NAACP Outstanding New Artist Award. Her multi-platinum second album, The Comfort Zone, was nominated for three Grammys in 1992, and her third album, The Sweetest Days, achieved platinum status in 1994. Williams earned another Grammy nomination for her popular rendition of Colors of the Wind, featured on the Pocahontas soundtrack. Williams went on to release five more studio albums: Star Bright (1996), Next (1997), Silver & Gold (2004), Everlasting Love (2005), and The Real Thing (2009), which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts.

Williams has also enjoyed a successful acting career. After making her acting debut on an episode of The Love Boat in 1984, Williams went on to appear in such films as Eraser (1996), Soul Food (1997), Light It Up (1999), Shaft (2000), opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Johnson Family Vacation (2004), Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009), and Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013). She also portrayed Suzanne de Passe in the Jackson 5 biopic The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992). Williams executive-produced and starred in Lifetime's The Courage to Love and VH1’s original movie A Diva's Christmas Carol, both released in 2000.

Williams earned three-Emmy nominations for her starring role as Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty from 2006 to 2010 and also starred on the last two seasons of Desperate Housewives on ABC, winning two NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of Renee Perry. She also starred as Maxine Robinson on the television show Daytime Divas in 2017.

In addition to acting on film and in television, Williams starred on Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1994), Into the Woods (2002; Tony Award nominee as Best Actress in a Musical), Sondheim on Sondheim (2010) and The Trip to Bountiful (2003).

Williams, and her mother Helen Williams, co-authored the New York Times bestseller You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other), published in 2013. Williams returned to the Miss America Pageant in 2015 as the head judge and special performer – receiving an apology from the organization for the events that took place in 1984.

Williams has four adult children: Melanie, Jillian, Devin and Sasha.

Vanessa Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 30, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/30/2018

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Vanessa

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

WIL83

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Go For It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/18/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Margherita Pizza

Short Description

Actress and singer Vanessa Williams (1963 - ) was crowned Miss America 1984 but had to step down. She went on to release eight studio albums, and appear in countless films and television shows and sustain a significant entertainment career.

Favorite Color

Green

Anne-Marie Johnson

Actress Anne-Marie Johnson was born on July 18, 1960 in Los Angeles, California to Joseph P. and Ann Clay Johnson. She graduated from John Marshall High School in Los Angeles and enrolled at UCLA in the School of Theatre, Film and Television in 1978. She received her B.A. degree in acting and theatre in 1982 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Johnson she was a contestant on popular game shows, Card Sharks and Child’s Play. She appeared on the pilot episode of Body Language, a Mark Goodson Productions game show in 1984. Johnson appeared in her first role, as Aileen Lewis on the 1984 NBC comedy series Double Trouble. That year, she made a guest appearance on the NBC sitcom Diff’rent Strokes and episodes of the serial police drama Hill Street Blues. In 1985, following a guest appearance on NBC’s cop series Hunter, Johnson was cast in the principal role of Nadine on the sitcom What’s Happening Now, airing for three seasons. She played the role of Lydia/Willie Mae /Hooker #5 in Robert Townsend’s film, Hollywood Shuffle in 1987 and the role of Cherry in Keenan Ivory Wayans’ “cult classic” film I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. She became known for portraying “Althea Tibbs” on the NBC/CBS television series In the Heat of the Night from 1988 to 1993. During the offseason, Johnson appeared in four films including Robot Jox, The Five Heartbeats, True Identity and Strictly Business. Johnson joined the cast of In Living Color, in its last season, starring in 24 episodes. A noted impressionist, she was credited for her celebrity portrayals of Oprah Winfrey, Mary Tyler Moore and Whitney Houston on the series, from 1993–1994.

Johnson has performed in television series and motion pictures including Homicide, Matlock, Division 4 (Australia), High School USA, Dream Date, Lucky Chances, Singer & Sons, The Larry Sanders Show, Living Single, Babylon 5, Sirens, Murder She Wrote, Melrose Place, SpiderMan-Animated Series, Asteroid, Smart Guy, JAG, Any Day Now, The Pretender, Chicago Hope, It’s Like You Know, Ally McBeal, Hope Island, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, Chicken Soup for the Soul, For Your Love, X-Files, Strong Medicine, The Parkers, The District, Dharma & Greg, Through The Fire, The System, What I Like About You, The Division, Rock Me Baby, Girlfriends, That’s So Raven, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Bones, NCIS, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Boston Legal, Uncorked, I’m in the Band, Fairly Legal, Leverage, Days of Our Lives, Murder in the First, Chasing Life, Pretty Little Liars, Children’s Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Major Crimes and Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.

Johnson was elected First National Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild representing in 2005.

Anne-Marie Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 1, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.026

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/2/2018

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Anne-Marie

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

JOH54

Favorite Season

Summer in Los Angeles

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

This Too Shall Pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/18/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Pizza and Salad

Short Description

Actress Anne-Marie Johnson (1960- ) was known for portraying “Althea Tibbs” on the NBC/CBS television series In the Heat of the Night. She performed in numerous television series and motion pictures and in 2005, was elected first national vice president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Favorite Color

Maroon

Whoopi Goldberg

Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson on November 13, 1955 in Manhattan, New York to Emma Harris Johnson and Robert James Johnson. Goldberg’s mother raised her as a single parent in the Chelsea-Eliot Houses public housing project. Goldberg attended St. Columba Catholic School in Chelsea, New York and Washington Irving High School.

Goldberg studied with theater teacher Uta Hagen at HB Studio in New York City during the 1970s before moving to Berkeley, California, where she performed with the Blake Street Hawkeyes, an experimental theater group. In the early 1980s, Goldberg began developing The Spook Show, a one-woman series of character monologues. She eventually took the show to the Dance Theater Workshop in New York, where director Mike Nichols asked her to perform on Broadway. Renamed Whoopi Goldberg, the show with Goldberg caught the eye of Steven Spielberg during its 1984 to 1985 run, who cast her in the starring role of Celie in the 1985 film adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, earning her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Goldberg went on to appear in the 1990 film Ghost, for which she won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1992, Goldberg starred as Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act, reprising her role in the 1993 film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. The highest paid actress at the time, Goldberg went on to appear in The Long Walk Home (1990), Ghosts of Mississippi (1990), the South African film Sarafina! (1992), Made in America (1993), The Lion King (1994), Eddie (1996), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Girl, Interrupted. From 1998 to 2002, Goldberg executive produced and appeared on the popular game show, Hollywood Squares. A lifelong Star Trek fan, Goldberg appeared in the recurring role of Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Goldberg has authored numerous bestselling books for children and adults, including Book and the Sugar Plum Ballerinas series. In 2007, Goldberg became a moderator on the morning talk show The View alongside Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. She has continued acting throughout the 2000s and 2010s, appearing in films such as For Colored Girls (2010), Big Stone Gap (2014), and Nobody’s Fool (2018). She has produced numerous projects for television and stage.

Goldberg has received Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Oscar awards, making her the first African American to receive all four awards. In 2017, she was named a Disney legend by the Walt Disney Company.

Goldberg has one daughter, three grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Whoopi Goldberg was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 5, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.051

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/5/2016

Last Name

Goldberg

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

St. Columba Catholic School

Washington Irving High School

First Name

Whoopi

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

GOL05

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Fuck It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/12/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Potato Chips

Short Description

Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg (1955 - ) was the first African American to receive all four Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Oscar awards.

Employment

HBO Studios

Huson Guild Community Center

Various

Comic Relief, Inc.

One Ho Production

Slimfast

Lyceum Theatre

ABC's The View

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Whoopi Goldberg's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Whoopi Goldberg lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Whoopi Goldberg describes her childhood in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Whoopi Goldberg describes her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Whoopi Goldberg remembers her mother's nervous breakdown

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Whoopi Goldberg describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls her relationship with her family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Whoopi Goldberg talks about her education in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Whoopi Goldberg describes her relationship with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Whoopi Goldberg remembers her early influences

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Whoopi Goldberg describes her schools in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Whoopi Goldberg remembers her marriage and the birth of her daughter

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Whoopi Goldberg describes her training as an actor

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Whoopi Goldberg remembers moving to California

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls the Deloux School of Cosmetology in San Diego, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls a lesson from her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Whoopi Goldberg remembers the San Diego Repertory Company

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls moving to San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls performing in East Germany

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls her inspiration for 'The Spook Show'

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls her invitation to Dance Theater Workshop in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Whoopi Goldberg remembers writing to Alice Walker about 'The Color Purple'

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls the early success of 'The Spook Show'

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Whoopi Goldberg remembers performing 'The Spook Show' on Broadway

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls being cast in 'The Color Purple'

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Whoopi Goldberg describes her performance at Steven Spielberg's theater

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Whoopi Goldberg recalls the production of 'The Color Purple'

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Whoopi Goldberg talks about her writing process

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Whoopi Goldberg talks about her daughter and family

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Whoopi Goldberg talks about her upcoming projects

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Whoopi Goldberg reflects upon her career

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Whoopi Goldberg explains why she agreed to be interviewed

Tape: 2 Story: 18 - Whoopi Goldberg reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 19 - Whoopi Goldberg reflects upon her life

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$1

DAStory

7$5

DATitle
Whoopi Goldberg remembers writing to Alice Walker about 'The Color Purple'
Whoopi Goldberg remembers her mother's nervous breakdown
Transcript
In the interim, my daughter and I are driving around in our Volkswagen van, which weighs, you know, like tissue paper. So when the wind blows, you know, you're hold it, sliding around. And she and I were going to buy--I'd gotten some money for my birthday and we were going to buy her shoes. And we had NPR [National Public Radio] on, I think, and we turned it on and heard this woman doing this reading. And it was just amazing. And, you know, I'm driving and I'm listening, and I say to Alex [Alex Martin], "This is kind of amazing story, huh?" She says, "Can we listen to it?" I was like, "Yeah, should we pull over?" She said, "Yeah, yeah, let's pull--." So we pulled over. And it was Alice [Alice Walker] doing a partial reading of 'The Color Purple' [Alice Walker]. And so (laughter), Alex said, "Can we, can we get this book? Can we buy the book?" I said, "Well, we're going to buy shoes." She said, "Can we do both?" I said, "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know if we can." So we didn't get the shoes that she said that she wanted, that I saved for her to get. We got shoes that she wasn't really that interested in, and we got 'The Color Purple.' So we read it, she and I read it together. And when it was done, I, I just, you know, I wrote a letter to the, to the back of the book, the, you know, they tell you where the offices are. So I wrote a, wrote a letter to Alice Walker. I said, my name is [HistoryMaker] Whoopi Goldberg, and I work in Berkeley, California, and this is what I do, and here's some of my work, 'cause I'd been doing Moms Mabley. I--all these different shows that, you know, 'cause you're trying to hone your skills. And, you know, I've never made a movie before, but if they ever make a movie of this, I'd be happy to play the dirt on the floor. Whoopi Goldberg. So now, I get this invitation, you know, weeks later to come and I--oh, and I say, I'm going to New York [New York]. I, I--yes, I think I'm cheeky enough to say I'm, I'm going to New York, and this is where I'm gonna be staying and, 'cause I just assumed she would write me back 'cause that's hubris. You don't, you have no idea. And so I got to 288 - 10th Avenue, and my mother [Emma Harris Johnson] said, "Oh, this came for you," and she, she handed me this purple envelope. And I said, "Who's this from?" And it said, Alice Walker (laughter). I went, "It says Alice Walker, Ma." She says, "Is that the, the lady that wrote the book?" I said, "Yeah." She said, "Well, what does it say?" I opened it up. It says, Dear Whoopi, I know your work. I live up in the Bay Area [San Francisco Bay Area, California]. I've seen your shows. I've already sent your stuff to the powers that be. [HistoryMaker] Quincy Jones is producing it. So and so is producing it, and, you know, maybe they will let you be dirt on the floor. So that's how that happened.$So tell me about growing up, you and your, your brother [Clyde Johnson] and your mother [Emma Harris Johnson]? Can you tell me a little bit about some of the times together?$$Yeah, I'll tell you about some good times and some, about some not-so-good times. I'll tell you about the not-so-good times. My mom got ill when I was eight or nine. I think she had a nervous breakdown, and, you know, in those days, you could not, you--children were not allowed to go to the hospitals to see them. So she virtually disappeared for two or three years. But my dad [Robert Johnson] (laughter) came to take care of us, and my dad was a gay man. And so he did his best, you know. So he put a Lilt pearl--perm in my hair. Now Lilt, 'cause only we remember Lilt, Lilt was a permanent wave solution that was really for white women. And my father felt that my hair should be wavy. So he put a Lilt perm in my hair (laughter). And so, some of my hair broke off. And then they had to sort take care of the rest of it, yeah. And then my cousin who's called Arlene, who grew up with mother--they grew up kind of, you know, literally, side-by-side, but Arlene was a redhead 'cause her mom had a German husband, slash boyfriend--who can say. But they grew up next to each other. So one was called Arlene and the other one is called Monica [ph.]. That was my mom. So I learned about a lot of this after-the-fact. But, so she got sick, and, and she was gone for a while. And when she came back I--the way I described her was like, it sounds like my mother, looks like my mother. It's not my mother. It's like invasion of the body snatchers because what you learn later on is that they used--$$Electric shock therapy.$$Yes, yeah. So when I got much older, and my brother and I would talk to her about it because I think it was a, a pivotal time. I think it's when I came into my own because I realized suddenly that people go--can go away like that. And so that was like, okay, I need to learn how to take care of myself so I can be self-sufficient. So my brother and I said, so what, what was that like? And she said, "Well, I don't remember a lot of it." She said, and that was the hardest thing "'Cause I never, ever wanted to look like I was ill again." I never wanted to seem like I didn't feel good. So my mother never went to another doctor after she got home, ever, because she didn't want anyone to say, "Oh, you look odd or something." So she just never went into a hospital, and never went to a doctor. And I said, but, you know, what happened? She said, "Well, when I came home, I didn't really know you guys. But I had to fake it because (laughter) I didn't wanna go back." So she got to learn about us all over again. And as kids, my brother and I--no, as adults, we shared a lot of information, 'cause I'd say, "Did this really, did this happen? Do you remember this?" And he'd go, "Yeah, yeah, but I don't remember it that way. I remember it like this." So we sort of raised my mom, and then she went on to become an amazing Head Start teacher and just an amazing woman. She worked at the Hudson Guild in Chelsea [New York, New York] as a Head Start teacher. And they liked her so much that they put her through college, and she, you know, graduated NYU [New York University, New York, New York] and, you know, and had a lot of kids come through her class, the Wayans brothers were her kids and all kinds of amazing stuff. And then I, of course, I got famous and said, "You wanna get outta here?" And she's like, "Yes, I'd like to." I said, "Okay, when can you come?" And she said, "Well, when would you like me?" I said, "I'll send you a ticket for next week." So my mother came. She got off the plane. She had a paper bag with her. And we went, and I was gonna take her to the bags. I said, "Where's your bag?" She said, "I didn't bring any." I said, "Are you, you plan to go--?" She said, "No, no. I just locked up the place and left." She locked up, 288 10th Avenue, apartment 6D and never looked back. She took nothing. Fresh start, clean start.$$That's an amazing story.$$She was an amazing woman (laughter). She was amazing woman.$$Do you know what her illness was? Do you know? Did she ever know that (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Nervous breakdown, I guess, whatever the--$$She had a nervous--too much, things too much (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I don't know, yeah, thing--I think it, it did become, it became overwhelming because, you know, I guess in those days, you know, you would go and try to fight and try to get things done. And, you know, judges would look at you and say, you know, not really pay attention to the fact that you actually needed help. So she said, "I, you know, I tried as hard as I could and, and then I--." She said, "I just, I don't know what happened."

Nichelle Nichols

Film and television actress Nichelle Nichols was born on December 28, 1932 in Robbins, Illinois near Chicago. Her father, Samuel Earl Nichols, was a factory worker who also served as the mayor of Robbins and as its chief magistrate. Her mother, Lishia Mae (Parks) Nichols, was a homemaker. As a child, Nichols’ family moved to Chicago where she studied dance at the Chicago Ballet.

During the late 1940s, Nichols was discovered by jazz legend Duke Ellington and toured with both Ellington and Lionel Hampton as a lead singer and dancer. Her acting career began in the film Porgy and Bess (1959); and her first television role was on “The Lieutenant” (1964). Nichols went on to record two albums, including “Down to Earth” (1968), and “Out of This World” (1991).

In 1966, Nichols was cast as Lieutenant Commander Uhura in Star Trek, which marked one of the first times that an African American actress was portrayed a non-stereotypical role on television. Nichols went on to appear as Uhura numerous times in the Star Trek movie and television series, including Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), , Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Paramount (1989), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). She was also cast as Ruana in two Tarzan films: Tarzan’s Jungle Rebellion (1967) and Tarzan’s Deadly Silence (1970).

In 1975, Nichols established Women in Motion, Inc., a company that produced educational materials using music as a teaching tool and was expanded to become an astronaut recruitment tool after Nichols won a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This resulted in thousands of women and minorities applying to NASA’s space program, such as Sally Ride, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, and Ellison Onizuka. In addition to her autobiography Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories (1994), Nichols is co-author of Saturn’s Child (1995), and a contributor to publications of the National Space Institute.

In October of 1984, Nichols was presented with NASA’s Public Service Award for her many efforts towards integrating the U.S. space program. She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992, and became the first African American actress to place her handprints in front of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, along with the rest of the Star Trek cast. Nichols was elected as an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and, on June 8, 2010, she received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Los Angeles Mission College.

Nichelle Nichols was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 17, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.343

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/17/2013

Last Name

Nichols

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Englewood High School

Betsy Ross Elementary School

First Name

Nichelle

Birth City, State, Country

Robbins

HM ID

NIC04

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/28/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Film actress and television actress Nichelle Nichols (1932 - ) was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her role as Lieutenant Commander Uhura in the original Star Trek television series and movie franchise.

Employment

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios

Paramount Pictures, Inc.

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nichelle Nichols' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her home in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nichelle Nichols describes her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nichelle Nichols lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her sisters' acting skills

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols recalls Betsy Ross Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols describes her experiences at Betsy Ross Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her early appreciation for the arts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols remembers her scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her early dance training

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nichelle Nichols recalls developing an interest in tap dance

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nichelle Nichols remembers combining ballet and tap dance techniques

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her training under Carmencita Romero

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols remembers completing high school while dancing professionally

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols recalls dancing at the Sherman House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols remembers segregation in downtown Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her parents' support for her aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nichelle Nichols recalls dancing at a resort in Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nichelle Nichols remembers her decision to focus on singing

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her singing career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols remembers her marriage to Foster Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols recalls the birth of her son

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols remembers developing her acting talent

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols recalls singing in the chorus of 'Porgy and Bess'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols recalls her appearance in 'Kicks and Company'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols remembers her role on 'The Lieutenant,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nichelle Nichols remembers her role on 'The Lieutenant,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols remembers working with James Baldwin

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols recalls being offered a part on 'Star Trek'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols remembers creating the role of Uhura

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols recalls working with Leonard Nimoy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols talks about Gene Roddenberry's commitment to diverse casting

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nichelle Nichols recalls the casting of William Shatner and DeForest Kelley on 'Star Trek'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nichelle Nichols remembers the pranks on the set of 'Star Trek'

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Nichelle Nichols recalls the challenges during the first season of 'Star Trek'

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Nichelle Nichols describes meeting the network producers of 'Star Trek'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nichelle Nichols talks about the appeal of 'Star Trek'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols recalls the minority guest appearances on 'Star Trek'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols talks about the racial commentary in 'Star Trek'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols talks about the representation of women on 'Star Trek'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols recalls her experiences of discrimination on the set of 'Star Trek,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols recalls her experiences of discrimination on the set of 'Star Trek,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols remembers filming the first interracial kiss on television

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Nichelle Nichols recalls her decision to continue acting on 'Star Trek'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Nichelle Nichols remembers the cancellation of 'Star Trek'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols recalls the syndication of 'Star Trek'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols talks about the 'Star Trek' animated series

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols describes her film work after the original 'Star Trek' series

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols talks about the Trekkie phenomenon

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols recalls the growth of the 'Star Trek' franchise

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols remembers writing her autobiography

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Nichelle Nichols describes her efforts to recruit black women as astronauts

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Nichelle Nichols talks about the Kwanza Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Nichelle Nichols describes the aims of the Kwanza Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her hopes for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Nichelle Nichols reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Nichelle Nichols reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Nichelle Nichols talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Nichelle Nichols describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Nichelle Nichols recalls dancing at the Sherman House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois
Nichelle Nichols remembers creating the role of Uhura
Transcript
It became--and, and, and Carmencita [Carmencita Romero], oh took us downtown and, and she called my mother, I guess this is so--I was fourteen now and I came and I'm walking home from high school [Englewood High School, Chicago, Illinois] with my books you know, and my mother's knocking on the window, "Come in here." And, "What?" And she said, "You need to get downtown, Carmencita Romero at the, at the, at the hotel [Sherman House, Chicago, Illinois] and, and she wants you down there, and she said, 'Ms. Nichols [Lishia Parks Nichols] have her look grown, not just those'--." Well my oldest sister [Marian Nichols Michaels] had just given me, we wore the same size shoe and she had just given me my first heels but I couldn't wear them. My, my mother said they'll have to be saved 'til you're old enough right? And I'm fourteen and, and mother, and I'm getting ready to leave and I'm looking as old as I can and you know sophisticated as I can, and mother brings out these heels and said, "Try them on," and they worked perfectly with my--and Carmencita had said, "Get her down here to the hotel immediately," because--from school, and I was, you can't imagine my first pair of heels and I got on the, the elevated line ["L"], which went down to subway and went to the hotel and I walked in with this beautiful suit that my sister, older sister, one of my older sisters had given me and these high heels that the other one had given me and the gloves and my hair was long so, but it was always worn in school in braids and you know like that, and my other--combed it down for me and I walked in there and Carmencita and, and the Ernie Byfield and, and everybody was up on the stage and, and I'm going gulp, and I straightened my shoulders and I walked up, and the stage is not like that, it's like that, and I walked up on it and they're sitting in chairs on, talking on the stage and because she doesn't have to audition, she already, he already knows how, how great she is and so I go up there and I don't--it doesn't occur to me that there's steps on, over either side, so I go up (laughter) and I and I, and I put my hand out, Ernie Byfield goes--Carmencita was, everything she could do to keep from a--keep a straight face and I, I was a really accomplished dancer at that time and I just raised up and sat on the stage and, "Thank you, sir," and (laughter) talking to the owner of half of downtown Chicago [Illinois] and, and that was it. He said if she's with the, with the--and Carmencita was the lead and, and, and Carmencita [sic. Ernie Byfield] said, "Now if you could just find me someone to match you," and I had, and she had two big guys, magnificent dancers with magnificent bodies and that was Carmencita Romero and her dancers, and her dancers were, and that was my first professional job, and of course I had to have my mother or father [Samuel Nichols, Sr.] or both come to the--to take me down--so after school, and I had to keep whatever grade that I had in school, I had to maintain it. Well I happened to have an A. I been working so hard towards that A and I've got an A and I've gotta maintain an A and, which is the highest score, you know; and, and I did because I was--anything to work, to be able to work at that wonderful profess- as a professional.$I often wondered how--who named your character, Uhura?$$ Who named what?$$Your character in 'Star Trek,' Uhura, who named--$$ Guess who?$$I would guess you, but I'm not sure.$$ Of course. That was one of those lunches (laughter). That was one of those lunches and, and he says (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Where does the name--$$--but I want her to be different. I don't want her to be ordinary and, and I said, "Well, she can be from, from--her parents can be from South Africa," right? And so he said he liked that. And, and that, that keeps her in two places you know as an American black and as the parents that have that history.$$Yeah, so the African root and--$$ The African roots yes, and everything and yet she's very American, you know. And, and, oh you're bringing up stuff that I'd forgotten; and Gene was very excited about it and he had--oh my god, he's an incredible man, Gene Roddenberry, and he took me to lunch and we talked about, and it was early, too early for lunch. It was about ten o'clock instead of the noon time that, and it was right around the corner from where we're working and, and he would pick my brain, that I found out later, that's what he was doing you know. I mean he was so obvious about it you know. He wanted me to know and, and we were a great team together. We were a great team together.$$So you, what you're saying here is that you know-- not only played the role of Uhura--$$ Um-hm.$$--you developed the role of Uhura.$$ Oh yes and, and I, I told him who her parents came from and how she got that name and, and the whole thing. He let me--when it came to that character he let me, he gave me full, full range. He gave me full range. It was just amazing and of course I was so excited you know. I'm just (makes sounds) and, "Guess what else I am thinking?" And he used just about everything, and I was just so excited and he says, "And guess who's gonna play her?" And I said, "Well it better be me" (laughter), but at first to tell you the truth, I wasn't thinking, I wasn't thinking as I was working then, yeah.

Sheila Frazier

Actress and producer Sheila Elaine Frazier was born on November 13, 1948, in the Bronx, New York, to Dorothy Dennis and Eugene Cole Frazier. Frazier lived on the Lower East Side of New York City until the age of ten, when she moved with her mother to Englewood, New Jersey. In Englewood, Frazier’s neighbors included stars and future stars like Clyde McPhatter, Van McCoy, The Isley Brothers and Dolly and Jackie McClean. Frazier attended P.S. 97 in New York City and Liberty School in New Jersey. At Englewood’s Dwight Morrow High School, her classmates were Margaret Travolta and Hazel Smith. Inspired by Susan Hayward’s performance in the film, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Frazier longed to be an actress but was hampered by a speech impediment. Graduating in 1966, Frazier moved to New York City where she served in various clerical positions with Allied Stores, Boutique magazine and the United Negro College Fund.

Recruited by the noted Negro Ensemble Company photographer Bert Andrews, Frazier became acquainted with the New York arts community. Frazier studied acting at HB (Herbert Berkoff) Studios in New York, under the direction of Bill Hickey and Uta Hagen. Eventually actor Richard Roundtree encouraged Frazier to take acting lessons from Gilbert Moses at the Negro Ensemble Company which led to additional training with Dick Anthony Williams at the New Federal Theatre. Frazier, then working for a real estate company, had done some industrial films and commercials before Roundtree helped her get an audition with Gordon Parks, who was casting for a new film, Super Fly. In the film Frazier plays Georgia, the sultry girlfriend of the hustler Priest, who was portrayed by Ron O’Neal. The tremendous box office success of Super Fly along with her instant street recognition surprised Frazier; from that point on she was admired as an iconic beauty in the black community. She appeared in Super Fly T.N.T., the sequel to Super Fly and other Blaxploitation films of the 1970s including Three The Hard Way with Jim Brown and The Super Cops. Frazier appeared in the 1978 film, California Suite, with Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor and The Hitter with Ron O’Neal and Adolph Caesar in 1979. Frazier was cast with Louis Gossett, Jr. in the television series, The Lazarus Syndrome, in 1979; other television appearances include Lou Grant, Dallas, The Loveboat, Cagney and Lacey, Gimme A Break and 227. Frazier appeared on The West Wing in 1999 and The District in 2001; she has also appeared as herself in television biographies of Jim Brown and Ron O’Neal. Frazier’s 2008 documentary film on African American intergenerational wisdom transmission is entitled You Don’t Get Old by Being A Fool.

By 1980, Frazier was hosting a community affairs show on KNXT-TV in Los Angeles. In 1982, she was hired as a story editor by Richard Pryor’s Indigo Productions. In 1985, Frazier was coordinating producer for Essence magazine’s television series and produced Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) Live from L.A. with Tonya Hart. Frazier worked with the talent on BET’s Screen Scene from 1992 to 1999 and headed up the Talent Department for BET for thirteen years. As the founding director of Frazier Multimedia Group in 2003, Frazier provides talent grooming and field production.

Frazier lives in Los Angeles and has one son, music producer, Derek McKeith.

Accession Number

A2007.240

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/24/2007

Last Name

Frazier

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

HB Studio

Dwight Morrow High School

P.S. 97 Mangin School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sheila

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

FRA07

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

U.S. Cellular

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Praise the Lord.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/13/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken (Jerk)

Short Description

Film actress and television producer Sheila Frazier (1948 - ) is the founding director of Frazier Multimedia Group. Her acting credits include Super Fly, California Suite, 227, The District, and The West Wing.

Employment

Allied Stores Corporation

Boutique Magazine

United Negro College Fund

NEC

BET

Essence Magazine

Frazier Multimedia Group

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Orange, Peach

Timing Pairs
0,0:1892,24:2948,40:22190,241:27231,370:71032,1055:104774,1480:113995,1588:115996,1628:123655,1842:142578,2067:189277,2586:192439,2614:196252,2681:205780,2828:206120,2834:206460,2842:215708,2939:225132,3129:225460,3134:247040,3398$0,0:11009,116:50014,496:70120,752:78869,832:83322,898:88432,986:103918,1185:107584,1235:108286,1245:120194,1391:135925,1662:145240,1792
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sheila Frazier's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sheila Frazier lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sheila Frazier describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sheila Frazier talks about her mother's upbringing in Yonkers, the Bronx, and Harlem, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sheila Frazier describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sheila Frazier talks about her father's World War II service and post-traumatic stress

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sheila Frazier recalls her earliest childhood memories from the Lower East Side of New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sheila Frazier talks about her father's World War II service in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps and his personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sheila Frazier remembers her childhood on New York's Lower East Side, and her uncle Jackie McLean and aunt Clarice "Dollie" McLean

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sheila Frazier recalls the roles of music and church during her childhood on New York City's Lower East Side

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sheila Frazier contrasts her earlier childhood on New York's Lower East Side and her adolescence in suburban Englewood, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sheila Frazier describes her neighborhood growing up in Englewood, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sheila Frazier talks about her aunt, Clarice "Dollie" McLean

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sheila Frazier describes her elementary school years at P.S. 97 on New York City's Lower East Side

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sheila Frazier talks about her speech impediment

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sheila Frazier lists the actors and movies that inspired her growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sheila Frazier talks about her favorite TV shows growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sheila Frazier talks about her interests at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sheila Frazier describes seeking employment after graduating from Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, New Jersey in 1966

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sheila Frazier recalls being asked to model and working for HistoryMaker Vy Higgensen's 'Boutique' Magazine in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sheila Frazier describes the racial issues she experienced while working as a secretary in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sheila Frazier describes visiting the Black Panther Party at their headquarters in Harlem, New York in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sheila Frazier describes volunteering with the Black Panther Party and working for the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sheila Frazier recalls her first acting job, a L'Eggs hosiery commercial

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sheila Frazier describes joining the Negro Ensemble Company and studying at the HB Studio in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sheila Frazier describes friend, mentor, and fellow actor Adolph Caesar

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sheila Frazier describes the Negro Ensemble Company, the New Federal Theatre, and her audition for 'Superfly' (1972)

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sheila Frazier recalls playing the role of "Georgia" in 'Super Fly' (1972)

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sheila Frazier compares the blaxploitation films 'Super Fly' (1972) and 'Shaft' (1971)

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sheila Frazier reflects upon the social implications of blaxploitation films like 'Super Fly'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sheila Frazier describes the relationship between her character "Georgia" and Ron O'Neal's "Priest" in 'Super Fly T.N.T' (1973)

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sheila Frazier reflects upon the effect 'Super Fly' had on her and Ron O'Neal's careers

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sheila Frazier reflects upon 'Super Fly's impact on the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sheila Frazier talks about black female action stars Tamara Dobson and Pam Grier

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sheila Frazier describes starring opposite HistoryMaker Louis Cameron Gossett, Jr. on 'The Lazarus Syndrome'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sheila Frazier talks about working with Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor on 'California Suite'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sheila Frazier describes her friend Richard Pryor

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sheila Frazier lists projects she has worked on alongside Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly, Ron O'Neal, and Adolph Caesar

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sheila Frazier talks about working as a producer for Richard Pryor's Indigo Productions in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sheila Frazier describes hosting a community affairs talk show in Los Angeles, California, and then becoming a producer in 1982

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sheila Frazier talks about producing 'Live from LA with Tanya Hart' for BET

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sheila Frazier reflects upon her time at BET

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sheila Frazier describes the projects she worked on at BET

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sheila Frazier describes her documentary, 'You Don't Get Old Being a Fool'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sheila Frazier talks about her concerns for young people, and what can be learned from older generations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sheila Frazier talks about the people she interviewed for her oral history documentary 'You Don't Get Old Being a Fool'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sheila Frazier talks about producing 'Bobby Jones Gospel' for BET

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sheila Frazier talks about her son and his love for music

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sheila Frazier talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sheila Frazier reflects upon her life and what she would do differently

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sheila Frazier talks about her future plans, the type of role she would like to perform, and about her faith

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sheila Frazier reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sheila Frazier talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Sheila Frazier talks about working as a producer for Richard Pryor's Indigo Productions in Los Angeles, California
Sheila Frazier describes her documentary, 'You Don't Get Old Being a Fool'
Transcript
Now you got involved in production at a certain point. Right? Well, tell us about that? How did you--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah. I--well, when Richard Pryor formed his company, Indigo Productions, it was a company--it was the first time ever that a studio had financed a production company headed up by minorities. And I think it was something that Jim Brown encouraged Richard to, like, do. And so, he was the president. And during that time, I was raising my son, I was so broke. I was so broke. And I remember I ran into Jim at the Comedy Store [West Hollywood, California], you know. And so I said, you know, if you're hiring, you know, I really need a job, blah, blah, blah." He said, "No problem." This is the angel part of this man, Jim. And so, like he hired me as a story editor, which was my first behind-the-scenes" role. And in the story editor position, my job was to read the scripts and then write a synopsis on it, and they would--and then pitch the idea if I thought that there was a great story. Probably, the greatest failure that we had was, was we had an opportunity to do 'Purple Rain,' you know. And I don't--I can't remember if Richard didn't want to do it or what happened.$$Did you like it? Were you in it?$$I'm trying--I don't think that was one of the scripts I read, you know. But we all collectively--there were two story editors, you know. I was the first one, and then they bought another young lady in. And then we would talk with, like, Jim and then we'd kick it around. I'm not certain in the end we didn't do it, because I know Jim was very astute and understood. I mean, he really has such an ear for music. So he immediately identified with Prince. He knew Prince's work, you know. And, like, he said, this guy is a real genius. So, but I'm not sure why we didn't do that one. But, that one kind of fell through the cracks, you know. But it was great experience, because although Richard was not as much a hands-on, it had real potential. And then there was a breakdown between Richard and Jim, you know, that they decided just to kind of sever their relationship. And in any administration, you wind up getting rid of the whole cabinet, you know. And so that's what happened. Richard and my relationship, you know, remained intact, but, you know, it distanced-you know, because he wanted to distance himself from that whole--from our group and the group that he would bring in after, whatnot. But, you know, there was no love lost between he and me, you know. We were still friendly.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$Is there a project there that you look back at that you really like the most?$$With Indigo?$$Yeah.$$Well, I liked that we did Richard Pryor on Sunset Boulevard [sic., 'Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip], you know. That was my favorite, because it was, I think that, I think Richard was our greatest commodity, and it was smart to, like, use him, you know, in doing something. See the stutter come? Did you see that stutter come back just then (laughs)? Yeah. But it was a great experience. I mean, I look back--I don't have one bad experience that I look back and, you know, and say, "Oh, I'm sorry I did this," or "I'm sorry, you know, for this experience." Every last one of them was a building block in, you know, in my history making. You know, that was just--I mean, it was great. It was great. I feel blessed.$What did you do next?$$I formed my own company, Frazier Multimedia Group.$$Okay.$$And what my company does is books talent on shows, grooms talent; independent production kinds of things, you know, field producing. Kind of what you're doing, you know. And I'm working on a documentary. I've started that.$$Okay. Can you tell us what it's about?$$Yeah. It is--it takes the--it's called 'You Don't Get Old Being a Fool.' And what it does is, it juxtaposes how our grandparents, people eighty years old and above, approach life, love and the pursuit of happiness; how the baby--I mean, how the buppies did it, you know, in our generation; and then in how the young people, you know, address it. And it's not to cast any judgment on either one, but along that way, there's been a breakdown in family; there's been a breakdown in what love is, you know; dating, you know, it is; you know, how we deal with problems and struggles; how our grandparents dealt with it, and how the young people, you know, dealt with it; how we deal with anger, you know. I mean, how we deal with work or, you know, and how we do it raising, you know, fam--everything has just kind of shifted, but they didn't get old being a fool. You know, they knew something that would be of value to the young people, you know. So the hope is that, you know, we can just kind of take a look at one another and just see what we can gleam and how far we've come or how far we've--you know, how much ground we've lost or how much ground we've actually gained; and be able to, like, you know, gleam some of the pearls of our grandparents and grandparents and maybe incorporate that. Maybe our children will look at that and incorporate some of that in their lives, you know. And maybe all of us can learn from one another.

Elisabeth Omilami

Humanitarian and actress Elisabeth Omilami was born on February 18, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. At an early age, Omilami’s parents taught her that people should be accountable for each other, for their environment and should fight for justice for all people. As a young girl, she accompanied her father, the noted civil rights leader Dr. Hosea Williams, on marches and movements across the South. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, after having the distinction of being one of the youngest people arrested in the fight for civil rights, Omilami was sent to boarding school. She then attended Hampton University, where she received her B.A. degree in theater.

In 1970, during the time her father began his own humanitarian organization Hosea Feed, the Hungry and Homeless, Omilami founded The People’s Survival Theater, one of Atlanta’s earliest performing arts companies. She also created a summer arts camp that provided arts training for the economically challenged youth of Atlanta.

Under the leadership of Mrs. Omilami and her husband Afemo, Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless has expanded to a year round human services organization with programs that touch over 180,000 people annually. HFTH’s “Homeless Prevention" program is an award winning initiative credited with helping place thousands of families in permanent housing. The organization’s disaster relief activities have been commended by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and reach far beyond Georgia into Alabama and Tennessee. HFTH operates the largest food bank in the region that supports families directly with nutritious emergency food.

The Omilamis, assisted by thousands of volunteers, host an annual Holiday Dinner Series on Thanksgiving and Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday and Easter Sunday.

Omilami is also the author of several plays, one of which, There is a River in My Soul<.em>, toured in February, 2002. As an actress, Omilami has combined her art with her life. She also toured in the play, The Life of a King<.em>, which her mother, State Representative Jaunita T. Williams co-authored. Omilami has acted in numerous films, including Runaway Jury<.em>, Ray<.em>, Madea’s Family Reunion<.em> and The Alter<.em>, a film which showcases the plight of the homeless while portraying them as individuals deserving of dignity and respect.

Omilami has been seen in "The Blind Side" alongside actress Sandra Bullock, in the Lifetime TV special "Marry Me" and at the Alliance Theatre in Janice Shaffer’s stage play "Broke".

Elisabeth Omilami is the wife of actor, Afemo Omilami, and has two children, Anodele and Tranita, and her granddaughter Kamaya. They live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Elisabeth Omilami was interview by The HistoryMaker on April 12, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.073

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/12/2006 |and| 4/13/2006

Last Name

Omilami

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School

Boggs Academy

Wasatch Academy

Hampton University

First Name

Elisabeth

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

OMI01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

It's Only What You Do For Others That Will Last.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/18/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate Ice Cream

Short Description

Civil rights activist and film actress Elisabeth Omilami (1951 - ) is CEO of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, founded by her father, Rev. Hosea Williams. Her acting credits include roles in the films 'Madea's Family Reunion' and 'Ray', and the television series 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'I'll Fly Away'.

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:4150,43:5778,86:8072,215:8368,220:14065,324:14681,339:15990,365:16914,378:17453,387:18069,396:18531,405:21303,467:21996,482:33660,639:39236,741:40384,762:45058,856:57588,997:57973,1003:60360,1055:61053,1067:67136,1173:67521,1179:68676,1222:78126,1310:84575,1393:87193,1437:90427,1514:101032,1643:102205,1667:104068,1697:111895,1786:113302,1821:115446,1864:115714,1869:120538,1972:121007,1982:126322,2022:127062,2033:127358,2038:130762,2090:134240,2155:139024,2188:139436,2193:139951,2199:140363,2204:140775,2210:142114,2229:145600,2254:146020,2259:146650,2267:147385,2275:150010,2299:155930,2333$0,0:470,3:1040,10:2560,22:2940,32:3605,41:8355,153:20160,341:20750,347:27476,440:34100,451:35654,467:39761,525:45346,570:45997,579:48415,601:48973,608:49438,614:49996,624:57392,753:61692,836:62552,848:66938,927:67282,932:67712,938:72356,1024:72700,1029:73388,1038:76140,1069:76484,1074:77000,1081:85610,1121:91649,1209:93827,1358:113895,1564:115850,1598:117805,1648:121375,1712:131706,1805:132122,1810:132850,1819:133786,1832:142510,1915:143467,1927:144598,1938:145207,1946:145903,1957:146947,1981:147643,1990:148600,2004:148948,2009:149470,2022:150253,2032:153211,2092:157039,2162:158431,2185:158779,2190:159823,2205:161128,2223:169146,2289:170130,2307:170950,2321:171688,2332:172590,2347:173082,2355:173410,2360:177592,2438:179642,2504:184472,2545:191696,2632:192470,2654:198865,2697:199229,2703:199593,2708:201686,2734:202596,2746:210670,2798:211120,2804:216120,2862:217600,2884
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elisabeth Omilami's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elisabeth Omilami lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her married name

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elisabeth Omilami describes the upbringing and education of her mother, Juanita Williams

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her maternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her maternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elisabeth Omilami describes the catalyst for her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Elisabeth Omilami describes her father, Hosea Williams' background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her father's service in the U.S. Army and his education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elisabeth Omilami describes her parents' courtship

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elisabeth Omilami recounts her family's entry into the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elisabeth Omilami describes her earliest memories of childhood in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elisabeth Omilami recalls her early involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her childhood neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia and her father's role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elisabeth Omilami describes Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s impact on her father, and her memories of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about being sent to boarding school at Boggs Academy in Keysville, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her father's organization, Chatham County Crusade for Voters

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about why she participated in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elisabeth Omilami describes her experience at Boggs Academy in Keysville, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about integrating Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about in-fighting among movement leaders after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her father's theory about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and her parents' Africa tour

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elisabeth Omilami describes her experience at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about other children of Civil Rights Movement leaders

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about HistoryMaker Marjorie Moon and her decision to become a theater major at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her father's political career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about the SCLC People's Survival Theater

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elisabeth Omilami recalls her training as an actress at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her professional preparedness after studying theater at Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elisabeth Omilami describes her role in her father's political campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elisabeth Omilami remembers meeting her husband, Afemo Omilami

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elisabeth Omilami describes the founding of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless in 1971

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about civil rights issues addressed by her father, Hosea Williams, and his chemical company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about the Atlanta Child Murders

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Elisabeth Omilami describes living in New York City, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Elisabeth Omilami's interview

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elisabeth Omilami describes working as an arts administrator in New York City's theater scene

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about HistoryMaker Melvin Van Peebles

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elisabeth Omilami describes the Forsyth County Civil Rights March led by her father, Hosea Williams

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about 'The Oprah Show's coverage of the Forsyth County Civil Rights March

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about why her father campaigned for Ronald Reagan, and his value for voting

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her father's Christian faith

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her acting career in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her relationship with her parents in her adult life

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her play, 'There Is A River In My Soul'

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about African American arts in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her Christian faith

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about raising money to educate an indigenous people group in the Philippines

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elisabeth Omilami describes her father's view of her as an actress and his vision for her to lead Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her father's view of the Christian Church, her parents' marriage, and her own marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her ordination and development as a preacher

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her acting credits

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about her preaching style

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Elisabeth Omilami talks about the importance of passion and freedom

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Elisabeth Omilami reflects upon her pride in her marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Elisabeth Omilami narrates her photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Elisabeth Omilami describes the founding of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless in 1971
Elisabeth Omilami talks about her acting career in Atlanta, Georgia
Transcript
Before you moved to New York in 1971, your father [Hosea Williams] has the impetus to start the food program? How (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes, Hosea Feed the Hungry [and Homeless].$$--Why did he do that?$$He's working for- at SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference], Metro of Atlanta [Georgia] SCLC and he comes down the street and he still has a relationship with the national office. He's on Auburn Avenue and sees a man in the gutter, you know, asking him for money. So he goes--the fish market is still there. He goes in the fish market and gets him a sandwich and the man eats through the paper, he's so hungry. He's eating the waxed paper and the fish sandwich and everything all at the same time. And my dad is always been a man of action, you know. And as you do research about him, you'll hear all kinds of things. He was crazy. He was a drunk. He couldn't drive. He was, you know, he was this wild man. But one thing about him he was--when he saw a need, he would meet it immediately. So he walked right across the street, met with Reverend Williams Holmes Boarders. They got the educational building and he started feeding 100 men every Sunday and my mom [Juanita Williams] would make the soup and the cornbread 'cause he pulled her into everything he did and she was very obedient wife--for a while. (Laughter) But guess we'll talk about that later because they, they did separate later on in life. But and they start feeding 100 homeless men and that was in 1971. So that was only on Sunday though.$$But that was even prior to the People's Survival Theater (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) That's correct.$$So how was he getting the money to feed the people on Sundays?$$He was paying for it out of his pocket. He's paying for it. And he never had great income. I mean he only had his pension from the [U.S.] Army, some check coming in from the army and something coming in from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But he would, he would go and raise the money and he was determined from that day on that he was gonna feed the hungry every Sunday and he did until the day he died. And it not- became not just every Sunday of course. So this whole idea that, that there must be purpose in life and that your life is nothing compared to the overall need for freedom is still a theme.$So you're back in New York, you have two children.$$Yes (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) It's 1982.$$Yes.$$How does your film career start to co- to come about, because let me just look, I think your first film role--$$Here in Atlanta [Georgia].$$--'cause--$$Yeah I started doing plays again oh and I was like, thank god in heaven I'm on the stage again. I wasn't doing very many films. My husband [Afemo Omilami] was--started doing films first. My first non-stage experience was '[In the] Heat of the Night' and 'I'll Fly Away.' And I did little bit parts in films, nothing, nothing to mention a- during those years. I just had to get my, you know, training had to kick back in again so I could get back on stage.$$Well you to get, to get yourself back on stage--$$Yes (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) what did you do?$$I was--we started out with 7 Stages Theatre here in Atlanta and 'Black Cat Bones for Seven Sons' and then after that I did you know '[A] Raisin in the Sun' and 'Indiana' and, and then I start doing some regional theaters Spunk and Jomandi was very strong here then and, and so I started working with Jomandi and it was difficult to get on the Alliance Theatre stage here.$$Because?$$Because somehow Atlanta has the idea that if you're any good you don't live here. You know, if you live here you couldn't be anybody. You couldn't have any talent because you'd be out in the New York or you'd be in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. So they import actors you know. Even the Alliance Theatre would hire people from New York and bring 'em here and wouldn't let us audition sometimes. And that's kind of how Atlanta thinks about not just in the theater world, but in many other areas of business. So I did the sort of community theater circuit here and you know that's how I got back into the theater.$$So when did you take on your first TV role 'I'll Fly Away,' how did that come about?$$Auditioning here. Not knowing what I was doing and it was just a blessing because I was just awful in the beginning because I was acting for the theater in front of the camera which it makes you look like a buffoon, but thank goodness I had kind directors and I worked with actresses like Regina Taylor who became a model, models for me. I did 'In the Heat of the Night,' which was filming here. We had several TV series running here at that time in the, in the, in the late '80s [1980s]. In the--we had--'Matlock' was here, the TV series 'Savannah' was here and but what happened was that Georgia is a right to work state so that means that you don't have to be--you don't have to hire a union here and once the producers got wind of that, once the union, AFL-CIO, got wind of that, they squelched the film and TV industry in Georgia, and it disappeared completely. So I start doing things like I worked for Eastern Airlines for a while. I sold Avon [cosmetics].

Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll is the consummate entertainer. So varied and dynamic are her gifts that she continually astounds fans and critics alike with her versatility and magnetism. She is one of America's major performing talents appearing in nightclubs, the Broadway stage, a Las Vegas headliner, motion pictures and television. Diahann Carroll is a Tony Award winner, an Emmy and Grammy nominee, a Golden Globe winner and a Best Actress Oscar nominee.

Her television nominations go back to 1963 and in 1968, Diahann Carroll became the first black actress in television history to star in her own series, Julia for NBC, which soared to the top of the Nielsen rating and received an Emmy nomination in its first year on the air. In 1989 she was nominated for an Emmy Award for the successful NBC TV series, A Different World, as outstanding actress in a comedy series. In 1984 Diahann Carroll became the first black actress to star in the award winning nighttime series Dynasty, which is still in syndication all around the world.

She had a recurring role in Showtime’s hit series Soul Food, playing the outspoken “Aunt Ruthie”, for which she was nominated twice for a NAACP Image Award. She guest starred in Lifetime TV’s Strong Medicine and in NBC’s TV show Whoopi, playing Whoopi Goldberg’s mother. In 2004 she starred on stage in the musical “Bubbling Brown Sugar” receiving critical acclaim.

In October of 1995 she starred on stage as ‘Norma Desmond’ in the Toronto premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Sunset Boulevard, staged by director Trevor Nunn and the show's entire original creative team. Hailed by the press as "the ultimate Norma Desmond", Diahann Carroll played to sell-out crowds and her Canadian cast recording outsold all other recordings of the show.

Diahann made her Broadway stage debut starring in Harold Arlen and Truman Capote's House of Flowers and after seeing her in this production, Richard Rodgers created the Broadway production No Strings as a starring vehicle for Miss Carroll, for which she won the Tony Award. She also starred on Broadway in the award winning play Agnes of God.

Her film work includes Claudine, for which she received a 1974 Best Actress Academy Award nomination, Carmen Jones, Paris Blues, Porgy & Bess, Hurry Sundown, I know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Eve’s Bayou.

She is an award winning actress, a successful entrepreneur, a devoted humanitarian... indeed Diahann Carroll is a legend.

Accession Number

A2005.271

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/7/2005

Last Name

Carroll

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Diahann

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

CAR08

Favorite Season

None

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/17/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Film actress and singer Diahann Carroll (1935 - ) has been recognized with both Golden Globe and Tony awards for her work, and has been nominated for Emmy, Grammy, and Academy awards.

Favorite Color

None

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Sponsors of 'An Evening with Diahann Carroll'

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Introduction to 'An Evening with Diahann Carroll'

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Introduction to 'An Evening with Diahann Carroll' by host Gwen Ifill

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Diahann Carroll recalls her childhood and family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Diahann Carroll remembers her first job with JET magazine

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Diahann Carroll recounts her early career in show business

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Diahann Carroll discusses the challenges she faced as a black woman in show business

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Diahann Carroll explains why she changed her name

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Diahann Carroll remembers 'Carmen Jones' and working with famous Hollywood stars

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Diahann Carroll recalls her theater career and her relationship with Sidney Poitier

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Diahann Carroll describes the shooting of 'Paris Blues'

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Diahann Carroll discusses her ex-husband, Monte Kay

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - A film clip outlines an award-winning period in Diahann Carroll's career

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Diahann Carroll remembers her role in 'Julia'

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Diahann Carroll recounts the filming of 'Claudine'

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Diahann Carroll discusses her relationships with David Frost and Robert DeLeon

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Diahann Carroll recalls the success of 'Dynasty'

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Diahann Carroll details her experiences with 'A Different World' and 'Eve's Bayou'

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Diahann Carroll remembers the women in 'Having Our Say'

Tape: 1 Story: 20 - Diahann Carroll explains why she always cultivated her singing career

Tape: 1 Story: 21 - Diahann Carroll recounts her struggle to overcome cancer

Tape: 1 Story: 22 - Diahann Carroll describes her reaction to Halle Berry's Oscar

Tape: 1 Story: 23 - Diahann Carroll reflects on changes in show business since her early career

Tape: 1 Story: 24 - Diahann Carroll shares her advice for aspiring black actresses

Tape: 1 Story: 25 - Conclusion of 'An Evening with Diahann Carroll'

S. Pearl Sharp

Writer, actor and filmmaker Saundra Pearl Sharp was born on December 21, 1942 in Cleveland, Ohio to Clarence and Faythe Sharp. Sharp’s family was active in the local NAACP, and she was raised in Antioch Baptist Church. Sharp graduated from John Adams High School in 1960, and attended Bowling Green State University, where she pursued a double major in music education and radio-TV production. She became the first Black member of the BGSU chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, the music honor society, and produced a children’s story series and music interviews on the campus radio station. During the summer, Sharp interned at WABQ-AM in Cleveland, under the tutelage of Valena Minor Williams, LeBaron Taylor and Jack Gibson.

Graduating in 1964, Sharp moved to New York City, where her first job was as a copywriter for T.V. Guide. She studied acting under the Poverty Program’s HARYOU-ACT with Cleveland’s Karamu Theatre alumni Al Fann and Minnie Gentry. She performed in J.E. Franklin’s Black Girl, in the chorus of the Pearl Bailey company of Hello Dolly from 1967 to 1968, Uniworld’s radio serial Sounds Of The City, and in Gordon Parks’ film, The Learning Tree. Sharp also starred in the TV movies Minstrel Man (1976) and Hollow Image (1980), had recurring roles on Wonder Woman (1978), St. Elsewhere (1984/87) and Knots Landing (1985), and was a leading commercial spokeswoman.

A poet from childhood, Sharp attended John O. Killens’ Writers Workshop at Columbia University where she completed two volumes of poetry and her first play, The Sistuhs, in addition to forming the literary performance troupe Poets & Performers.
In the mid-1970’s Sharp moved to Los Angeles. She created Poets Pay Rent, Too, and served as publisher/editor of Robert E. Price’s Blood Lines (1978), Directory of Black Film/TV Technicians and Artists, West Coast (1980), The BAD-C (Black Anti-Defamation Coalition) Media Matters Newsletter (1981-84) and The Black History Film List (1989). Publisher Glenn Thompson re-issued her 1978 poetry volume Soft Song (1978, 1991) and published Typing in the Dark (Harlem River Press, 1991) and the non-fiction Black Women for Beginners (Writers & Readers, 1993). Sharp was a co-founder, with Robert E. Price, of the Black Anti-Defamation Coalition which monitored the image of Blacks in the media (1980-85).

In 1980 Sharp shifted her focus to filmmaking, studying at Los Angeles City College. Her films include Back Inside Herself (1984), Life Is A Saxophone (1985), Picking Tribes (1988), It’s OK to Peek (1996), The Healing Passage/ Voices From The Water (2004); and for the City of Los Angeles, Central Avenue Live! (1996) and Fertile Ground: Stories from the Watts Towers Arts Center (2005).

Sharp was an essayist and commentator on NPR from 2003 to 2009, and has served as a volunteer segment producer for KPFK-FM, Pacifica Radio Network. Her non-fiction writings are collected in The Evening News- Essays And Commentaries From NPR And Other Clouds (2015).

S. Pearl Sharp was interviewed for The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.110

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/27/2005 |and| 2/26/2018

Last Name

Sharp

Middle Name

Pearl

Schools

John Adams High School

Bolton Elementary School

Robert Fulton Elementary School

Bowling Green State University

Alexander Hamilton Junior High School

Los Angeles City College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

S.

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

SHA03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Don't Do To Others What You Don't Want Done To You. What Goes Around, Comes Around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/21/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Playwright, film actress, stage actress, and poet S. Pearl Sharp (1942 - ) was among the cast of Gordon Parks’ The Learning Tree, and Minstrel Man. Sharp has also published six books and produced and directed eight films and stage plays.

Employment

TV Guide

Actress

Voices Incorporated

Author

Juneteenth Audio Books

‘The Tavis Smiley Show’

‘News and Notes’

Favorite Color

Gray, Purple, Red, Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:1133,12:1648,18:3708,44:9270,160:9991,168:10712,177:11742,188:12062,210:14170,256:14578,264:14850,269:16550,340:19474,407:19814,413:20630,433:21310,446:25254,582:25526,587:34300,682:37170,742:41440,884:43890,970:49980,1048:50610,1056:59700,1260:60690,1272:61140,1278:66680,1317:67050,1323:68974,1378:70232,1417:71786,1455:78816,1657:80814,1697:87940,1755:88180,1760:88840,1775:89380,1798:91000,1826:94240,1927:100042,1999:100558,2006:101504,2024:101848,2029:102192,2034:103224,2048:121560,2471:122030,2477:124004,2506:132816,2608:163046,3069:167602,3190:169210,3221:169813,3237:170416,3247:172962,3312:173431,3320:173833,3328:174101,3333:177310,3341:178516,3369:179186,3380:179655,3389:194240,3637:194568,3642:196536,3675:198094,3705:202112,3789:202522,3797:205228,3851:214600,3968:215080,3975:219166,3999:220710,4025$0,0:2805,29:7905,223:15895,318:16490,326:17935,404:18275,409:27096,513:27780,520:35864,691:40018,796:40420,824:44373,933:44909,942:45244,948:45713,959:52638,1035:57240,1140:65461,1283:65972,1292:67213,1330:67797,1340:77861,1480:88795,1729:94418,1750:94728,1756:94976,1761:95968,1789:96650,1803:97084,1811:102478,1954:105578,2081:135682,2521:137126,2559:138266,2578:138570,2583:138874,2598:143662,2688:144118,2695:157297,2880:157710,2895:157946,2900:158241,2906:158654,2920:158890,2925:166405,3072:168348,3112:168616,3127:175014,3241:175653,3251:179030,3292:180310,3319:180630,3324:181430,3335:184470,3393:185110,3404:185670,3413:185990,3418:196820,3554:197460,3564:199140,3611:199540,3642:208041,3816:208705,3833:215926,4020:217503,4050:217835,4058:218582,4071:228484,4168:229844,4197:230252,4204:231476,4228:235274,4282:235554,4288:236002,4296:237122,4321:243365,4460:243625,4465:244145,4475:244860,4490:245120,4495:245510,4503:247265,4597:247980,4616:256625,4779:256885,4784:257340,4792:262010,4822:262370,4828:262874,4833:263378,4853:267520,4888
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of S. Pearl Sharp's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her family's origin

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers stories of her maternal grandmother singing opera

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her mother's life in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her maternal great-grandfather, Mason Garner

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls her move to Cleveland, Ohio's Mount Pleasant neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her family's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her family's love of music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her school experiences in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls racism at her nursery school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp describes John Adams Senior High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers watching 'The Nat King Cole Show'

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers the Little Rock Nine visiting Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the radio station at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls interviewing Miriam Makeba for her college radio station

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the integration of student housing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the racial climate at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her education and activities at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp describes traveling to New York City in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her first job at TV Guide

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her contemporaries at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her experience on 'Captain Kangaroo'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp describes HARYOU-ACT and the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes poetry in the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her acting and singing career with the Al Fann & Co.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp describes performing in Pearl Bailey's 'Hello Dolly' in 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp describes Pearl Bailey

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp explains the divisions in New York City's theatre community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers helping Babtunde Olantuji design dashikis

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about black theater

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp describes being in the first all-black commercial

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp explains how African Americans broke into entertainment industry unions

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her play 'The Sistuhs'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her role in 'The Learning Tree'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers filming a lynching scene for 'Minstrel Man'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her experience with 'The Learning Tree'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp describes filming scenes for 'The Minstrel Man'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her work with the Black Anti-Defamation Coalition

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about BADC's campaign against 'Webster' and 'White Dog'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about BADC's campaign against the Malcolm X movie

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the Black Anti-Defamation Coalition

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her role on the soap opera 'Knots Landing'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp describes a Betty Crocker commercial she was in

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her work helping others to get published

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of S. Pearl Sharp's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers the founding of the Black Anti-Defamation Coalition

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls her civil rights activism in the entertainment industry

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers her early networking in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her Broadway career in New York City

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls acting in Gordon Parks' film, 'The Learning Tree'

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers her audition for 'The Learning Tree'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the 'Our Street' public television program, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls studying writing under John Oliver Killens at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the 'Our Street' public television program, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers the 'Minstrel Man' television movie

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her friendship with Beah Richards

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers actress Beah Richards

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the representation of black America in Hollywood

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her early interest in writing, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her sister

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her early interest in writing, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers her program on WGBU Radio in Bowling Green, Ohio

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her early career in New York City

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her group, Poets and Performers

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the Black Arts Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the Black Arts Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers the differences in New York City's art scenes

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her poem, 'It's the Law: A Rap Poem'

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers her introduction to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the black Russian community

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls her early acting career in Los Angeles, California, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her early supplementary income

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls her early acting career in Los Angeles, California, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls enrolling at Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers her early television commercial appearances

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the creation of her film, 'Back Inside Herself'

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her documentary, 'Life Is a Saxophone,' pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her documentary, 'Life Is a Saxophone,' pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the group, Reel Black Women

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the '1980 Directory of Black Film/TV: Technicians, West Coast,' pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the '1980 Directory of Black Film/TV: Technicians, West Coast,' pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the work of the Black Anti-Defamation Coalition, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the work of the Black Anti-Defamation Coalition, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers the impact of HIV/AIDS

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp describes Mildred Pitts Walter, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about journalist Margaret Prescod

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp describes Mildred Pitts Walter, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the civic engagement of Sandra Evers-Manly

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp remembers the legacy of Mayme Clayton

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the Alfred and Bernice Ligon Aquarian Collection

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her book, 'Black Women For Beginners,' pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her book, 'Black Women For Beginners,' pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp describes the Juneteenth Audio Books

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her film, 'The Healing Passage: Voice from the Water'

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - S. Pearl Sharp recalls the reception to 'The Healing Passage: Voices from the Water'

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her early career at National Public Radio

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her NPR program, 'News and Notes'

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her essay collection, 'The Evening News'

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her consultancy, The Gate is Open

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - S. Pearl Sharp describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - S. Pearl Sharp reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - S. Pearl Sharp reflects upon her life

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - S. Pearl Sharp describes her advice to black aspiring entertainment industry professionals

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about the importance of voicing concerns

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - S. Pearl Sharp talks about her health and spirituality

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

9$4

DATitle
S. Pearl Sharp remembers watching 'The Nat King Cole Show'
S. Pearl Sharp describes her role in 'The Learning Tree'
Transcript
--The other media event was Nat King Cole's program ['The Nat King Cole Show'].$$His TV show.$$The TV show. So when Nat King Cole came on, on Monday night for fifteen minutes, everything stopped, you know. I mean I was a chief dishwasher. I didn't even have to wash dishes. You know, we're usually were eating dinner around that time. Everything stopped, 'cause we all loved Nat King Cole. He was the first black, you know, to have his own show (clearing throat) came on Cleveland [Ohio]. And I mean your phone didn't ring or anything. Only somebody out of their mind would call between 6 and 6:15 on Monday (laughter), you know, 'cause 'The Nat King Cole Show' was on, and everybody black was tuned into a television. If you didn't have one, you went to somebody's house--$$Now I didn't--$$--to watch.$$--realize, I guess I was too young at the time. I remember seeing the show and the excitement around it, but I didn't realize it was only fifteen minutes.$$Initially, it was only fifteen minutes, right; yeah, that's all they gave him because they couldn't get sponsors for anything else, right (laughter), yeah.$$That's amazing, but he had like [HistoryMaker] Harry Belafonte on the show and you know.$$Um-hm, yeah, yeah, and the what--also, the interesting thing about was, because I came up in a very class conscious community, and we don't talk very much about class in the black community. We talk about the color consciousness but not about class. So, conk was off limit. I brought somebody home with a conk once, and my mother [Faythe Sharp] would not let him in the house, okay. The conk was the processed hair.$$That's right. Now that was supposed to be a pimp style--$$Right. But Nat King Cole had a conk, okay, so he was the only person who was allowed. They made an exception for Nat King Cole because he conducted himself in a certain way. He was a singer; he was an entertainer; but he was a gentleman, you know. We--he never embarrassed black people. So it was always interesting to me that this exception was made for Nat King Cole (laughter), you know. He, it was okay that he had--it wasn't okay, but we not gon' talk about it (laughter); we're not gon' talk--$$But wasn't it then--$$--about his conk.$$--in, in those days it was like, it was considered on the street more of a pimp style thing. But in the, entertainers felt compelled to do that for some reason. Sammy Davis, Jr. had one, Johnny Mathis, other people.$$Right, James Brown, yeah, yeah. But see, James was, was doing jump up music, so you kind of expected him to have a conk. Nat King Cole wasn't doing jump up music, all right. Nat King Cole had class (laughter), but he had a conk. So basically, it was like, mm, we see it, but we just don't discuss it (laughter).$$What's interesting, for women it seemed to be the opposite. If you did not have your hair pressed, you were considered--$$That's right.$$--back, backward or country or something, you know.$$Yep. And Cicely Tyson was the one to break, break down that barrier on her show 'East Side/West Side,' and she worn an afro.$$Was she the first?$$She was the first on television--$$Okay.$$--to wear an afro. And boy, would the, the gossip, and the phones, and the newspaper columns, and I mean it would just, the beauty parlors, there was nothing else to talk about. This woman went on national television with her hair in an afro, you know, depending on which side it was: "Yeah, she wore an afro," or "She went up there with all them naps, didn't have her hair did." You know, so there was this divide in the community, and she got a lot of flack about that. Even when Abbey Lincoln did the movie with Sidney Poitier, what was that film?$$'For Love of Ivy.'$$'For Love of Ivy,' right, beautiful film, wonderful story. Most of the dot- most of the rap in the community was about her wigs, whether she had on a wig or not, whether she should have had on wigs or not (laughter). So hair has always taken precedence in the dialogue of the community.$Yeah, I guess we're about to time of 'The Learning Tree,' I guess, sixty--$$Ah 'The Learning Tree,' yes.$$Yeah.$$Yeah, yeah.$$All right, now how did you get in that project?$$I was in 'Hello, Dolly!' And the word went out that they were gonna cast 'The Learning Tree' and that there was a part for a young fifteen or sixteen year, there was a part for a fifteen year-old and a sixteen year-old. And at that time I was twenty-five, but I was still--I had just stopped doing teenage modeling 'cause I did--I know people will say well, you know, it's an ego trip when you say this, but I really did not look my age. I was actually playing younger parts. And I could not get an audition for this role to save my life. And you know that a part is yours when other actors are coming up to you and saying, "You auditioned for that didn't you? 'Cause you'd be good for that" (laughter), you know--'could not get an audition. And a, a modeling agent that I had called up finally and said--and I could not get the book. Everybody, every copy of the book in the, the universe had been, you know, consumed by actors who were trying to read the story. So this ad, this agent called up and says, "Barbara so and so has an audition for 'The Learning Tree,' for the part of the sister, and she's in Cleveland [Ohio]"--my hometown--, "so would you please do me a favor? Would you go over there and pretend to be her, and let me know what happens?" And I was like, "Oh, sure (laughter), sure." So I got myself together and I, I started to put braids. I said no, everybody else was gonna do braids, so I just wore my hair long, and I put a big bow, bow, kind of old fashioned bow, 'cause it's a period piece, period to us. And I went over. And the other thing that happened before I went was, because I had stopped being a teenage model and I was now trying to be sophisticated and a real adult, I had had new pictures made, the new sophisticated, you know, looking Saundra Sharp [HistoryMaker S. Pearl Sharp], right. And so I got my little pictures, and I go over. And the minute I walked in the door I saw the receptionist. Her antenna kind of went up, and she's lookin' at me like this, you know. So I sign in I'm here for the role of Prissy. I sign in and she takes me in to meet [HistoryMaker] Gordon [Parks], and I see her kind of give Gordon a signal. And I sit down and meet Gordon. We talked a little bit. He asked me to read. At the end of the reading Gordon says, "That was good." He said, "Yeah, I like that, but these are the worse goddamn photographs I have ever seen." And he takes my photos and he tears them up (laughter) into pieces. And I just wanted to, like, become part of the carpet, I was so humiliated (laughter). And then a couple of months went by, and I got a call that I was being flown out to California to screen test. And I did my screen test. And the only other person that I know that was up for her screen test at the same day was [HistoryMaker] Quincy Jones' daughter, who had a totally different look than I did and totally different field. And then I got a call that I had the part. And I was doing 'Hello, Dolly!' at that time. So I was the second actor to leave 'Hello, Dolly!' to go do something else and went out to Kansas. And it was just absolutely one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Working with Gordon I learned so much. The cast was just incredible. Stelle, Estelle Evans, Esther Rolle's sister, played the mother, and Kyle Johnson played Gordon [sic. Newt Winger]. And a number of newcomers, a young man [Stephen Perry] who now owns a restaurant, has owned a restaurant for a number of years, called Stevie's On The Strip [Los Angeles, California], he was one of the little boys, little boy they called Beniger [ph.] that Gordon saw driving down the street and pulled over and said, "What's your name?" He said, "Beniger." He says, "That's your name, "Beniger?" "Yeah." "You ever do any acting?" "No." "Want to?" "Unh-uh." "Come with me," (laughter) so. And just to watch Gordon operate in front of the, I mean behind the camera with the, the sense of family that he created, because everyone who's there wanted this project to succeed because Al--just for the record, Gordon Parks was the first African American to, to direct a major feature film for a major studio, which was Warner Bros. [Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.], so there was a lot on the line. So he not only broke the unions, but he went back to Kansas where, when he left his little boy, he had experienced where--when he lived there as a little boy, he had experienced a lot of discrimination. Now he's coming back as this internationally known artist and bringing all of these people and his money and this, you know, this project with him. And so there were, there were moments that, that, that reflected back on that period.

Judy Pace-Flood

Actress Judy Pace Flood was born Judy Pace on June 15, 1942, in Los Angeles, California. Attending Marvin Avenue Elementary School, and Louis Pastuer Junior High School, Pace graduated from Dorsey High School in 1960. Trained in modeling by her sister, Betty, Pace auditioned for the Ebony Fashion Fair and became the youngest model for the show’s 1961 to 1962 national tour.

In 1963 Pace auditioned for Columbia Pictures and was cast in William Castle’s horror film The Candyweb. Pace played a regular role in the 1969 season of Peyton Place and went on to appear in many other shows, including Batman, Bewitched, The Flying Nun, I Spy, The Young Lawyers, The Mod Squad, That’s My Mama, Sanford and Son, What’s Happening?, Good Times, and Sucker Free City.. Cast in Billy Wilder’s The Fortune Cookie in 1966, Pace also played roles in the movies Three in the Attic, The Thomas Crown Affair, and the acclaimed TV movie Brian’s Song. In 1970, Pace won acclaim for her role as Iris in the Ossie Davis directed Cotton Comes to Harlem; in 1973, she played Adelaide in a Las Vegas production of Guys and Dolls.

Pace married Ironsides actor Don Mitchell in 1972 and took time out for civic duties and to raise her two children during the 1980s. Divorced from Mitchell in 1986, Pace then married baseball’s Curt Flood. Since Flood’s death in 1997, Pace acted as a major spokesperson for his role in establishing free agency in professional sports. Pace founded the Kwanza Foundation with Nichelle Nichols.

Accession Number

A2005.085

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/29/2005

Last Name

Pace-Flood

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Organizations
Schools

Susan Miller Dorsey High School

Marvin Avenue Elementary School

Louis Pastuer Junior High School

Los Angeles City College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Judy

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

PAC02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/15/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon (Wild)

Short Description

Stage actress and film actress Judy Pace-Flood (1942 - ) has acted in many television and film productions, including: Batman, Bewitched, The Flying Nun, I Spy, The Young Lawyers, The Mod Squad, That’s My Mama, Sanford and Son, What’s Happening!!, Good Times, Three in the Attic, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Brian’s Song.

Employment

Columbia Pictures

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Paramount Pictures

American International Pictures

Favorite Color

Fuchsia, Magenta

Timing Pairs
0,0:4625,60:6585,86:13116,181:13572,188:16560,295:24750,414:38530,608:48685,739:49960,763:59225,943:65610,1009:72436,1167:74096,1194:79657,1293:83807,1359:85135,1378:86048,1399:86463,1405:88040,1431:88538,1438:89949,1463:96955,1487:100092,1502:100540,1511:102204,1545:105596,1614:106044,1624:106364,1630:107068,1657:108604,1690:108924,1696:110140,1724:110588,1733:111228,1748:120090,1841:122458,1901:124954,1980:127002,2032:129882,2165:132058,2211:133594,2252:141396,2348:142276,2375:156740,2637:157630,2666:158342,2677:158698,2682:159499,2695:164928,2810:173311,2940:173716,2946:181735,3129:185218,3195:186838,3249:192722,3273:199080,3347:199525,3353:205588,3408:207580,3439:208904,3455:209890,3466$0,0:1232,28:2310,41:3157,56:3465,61:3927,69:4389,76:5852,109:9163,177:9933,192:11088,210:11473,216:12397,229:12936,238:13244,243:14630,274:15169,282:32946,474:41966,573:42589,581:42945,586:43479,594:43835,599:44280,605:47582,644:48248,665:51134,736:51948,752:57646,887:73984,1104:74655,1123:75204,1133:75631,1147:83012,1320:88480,1414:89040,1423:89920,1435:94240,1499:94560,1504:94880,1509:95520,1518:96560,1532:103822,1620:117162,1843:124995,1962:125867,1972:137320,2130:137880,2140:138520,2149:138840,2154:139880,2175:142840,2241:144200,2278:144520,2283:149510,2314:150706,2329:151902,2343:154290,2370:158930,2456:159330,2462:160130,2498:160530,2504:163650,2592:172580,2693:173210,2705:173700,2719:176080,2783:178530,2838:180210,2885:182100,2972:184690,3024:200482,3174:200952,3180:204148,3263:214602,3388:223370,3510:224195,3542:230570,3644:238540,3752:241700,3787
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Judy Pace-Flood's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Judy Pace-Flood lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her family's migration from Jackson, Mississippi to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her paternal ancestors' experience in slavery

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Judy Pace-Flood lists her parents' occupations and her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her childhood neighborhood in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Judy Pace-Flood remembers her family's move to Los Angeles, California's Westside

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Judy Pace-Flood remembers the demographics of her elementary and junior high schools in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her upbringing and educational experiences in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her favorite activities growing up in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about notable classmates who attended Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Judy Pace-Flood remembers her interest in show business growing up in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about the importance of church in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her activities at Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her demeanor and interests at Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her family's knowledge of African American history and the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about pursuing a modeling career after graduating from Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California in 1960

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Judy Pace-Flood remembers modeling for the Ebony Fashion Fair

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her experiences with the Ebony Fashion Fair and Johnson Publishing Company in the early 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her father's work for Douglas Aircraft Company

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her contract with Columbia Pictures Corporation and her role in 'The Candy Web'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her television roles with Columbia Pictures Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her roles on 'Batman'

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her role on 'Peyton Place' and the growing presence of African Americans in Hollywood in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Judy Pace-Flood remembers the reception to 'Julia'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Judy Pace-Flood remembers how appearing on 'The Dating Game' led to Curt Flood contacting her

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her first date with Curt Flood at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about marrying Don Mitchell

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about colorism and how her acting success helped undermine that

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her leading role in 'Three in the Attic'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Judy Pace-Flood talks her starring roles in movies with American International Pictures

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her role in 'Cotton Comes to Harlem'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her role as Adelaide in an all-black version of 'Guys and Dolls' at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about studying theater under Lillian Randolph in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her decision to leave show business to focus on motherhood in the late 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her daughters' careers in show business and law

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her return to acting when cast in Spike Lee's 'Sucker Free City'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Judy Pace-Flood describes Major League Baseball's reserve clause

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about Curt Flood's talents and refusal to be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about Curt Flood's challenge to Major League Baseball's reserve clause

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about the buildup to Flood v. Kuhn, 1972

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Judy Pace-Flood recalls challenges Curt Flood faced when challenging Major League Baseball in Flood v. Kuhn, 1972

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about discrimination Curt Flood faced as an African American baseball player

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Judy Pace-Flood shares Curt Flood's experience with racism during a Minor League Baseball game

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Judy Pace-Flood describes the significance of Oakland, California for Curt Flood and other African American athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Judy Pace-Flood explains how Curt Flood's most valuable player award ceremony was marred by segregation

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about the impact of Curt Flood's family on his career

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Judy Pace-Flood recalls the U.S. Supreme Court decision for Flood v. Kuhn, 1972

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Judy Pace-Flood describes a mysterious incident that happened to Curt Flood during his lawsuit against Major League Baseball

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about Curt Flood receiving threatening messages while playing for the Washington Senators

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about Curt Flood's five-year stay in Majorca, Spain and subsequent return to Oakland, California

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her daughters' impression of Curt Flood

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Judy Pace-Flood talks about her favorite African American actors and performers

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Judy Pace-Flood describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Judy Pace-Flood reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Judy Pace-Flood reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Judy Pace-Flood describes the formation of the Kwanza Foundation in the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Judy Pace-Flood describes the purpose of the Kwanza Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Judy Pace-Lett shares her hopes for memorializing Curt Flood's baseball career

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Judy Pace-Flood describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

9$10

DATitle
Judy Pace-Flood talks about her experiences with the Ebony Fashion Fair and Johnson Publishing Company in the early 1960s
Judy Pace-Flood talks about her leading role in 'Three in the Attic'
Transcript
And I get a phone call from Mrs. [Eunice] Johnson, the Mrs. Johnson, and she's going, she's telling me how sorry she is that they'll have to send me back home because I look like a little girl dressed up in my mother's clothes. "You're a lovely little model, but you look like a little girl in your mother's clothes, and darling you just, you just look like you got in your mother's closet," and I did. I looked like a kid prancing around in her mom's grown-up clothes, and they put me on a little plane and sent me back home [to Los Angeles, California]. Now you know that was crushing. You go off just being grand and then you're sent home.$$So, so you were only out about how long?$$About maybe a month, about a month and you gotta come back and face your friends and they've given you a going away party, and you're off on your big modeling career, and here you are back and they're in school and you're not in school because you took that break. But, about three weeks after I was home I get a call from [HistoryMaker] Mr. [John H.] Johnson, and he tells me, "Not to worry, next year we're gonna have you back [for the Ebony Fashion Fair]." I'm like, yeah right, uh-huh, right. So, they called me again and sure enough they did. And what they had done they had clothes especially designed for me with a more youthful flare to them, and I was the young model in the young clothes that a young nineteen, twenty-year-old person would wear and I did the whole show for them and then it, that, that was really a fun, fun time with Terri Springer, all these legend models and being with them for you know a good six, seven months, so that, that was, that was fabulous and seeing the whole country, just traveling all over the country it was just, it was great.$$Did you have a favorite place to visit when you--$$I lived everywhere. Some of them had been on, done the tour before, a number of times and so we would get to a city and I'm like, "I need to go, let's go on a tour, let's, let's go, go see this and let's go see that," and they were like, "Oh, [HistoryMaker] Judy [Pace-Flood], just, just go, let us know when you get back." So, I would be out there with maybe one or two other girls who'd never been anywhere before, and we would just be out there having a good old time. We'd take ourselves on tours and go see whatever was going on. I wanted to see everything, and we did. We just, we just would go and we would do it. And it was Johnson's publication [Johnson Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois] who recommended me to Columbia Studios [Columbia Pictures], so.$$Okay, now these were the days, too, I might point out, correct me if I'm wrong, but most people, most young black people had never, in fact most black folks in the neighborhoods unless your parents had a whole lot of money hadn't been on planes or gone very far--$$No, no.$$--and so it was a real big deal.$$It was a big deal.$$You're part of the first generation to actually get out there and see the world (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I got, with the flight I took to go see Mr. Johnson, the editor of Ebony--of Ebony magazine was like a big deal. You're going to go--$$Was that your first plane ride?$$That was my first plane ride was to go see Mr. Johnson to meet him, so that was like a big deal, you know, and then to go to New York [New York] we're talking '60s [1960s], '61 [1961], '62 [1962], so that, that was, that was an exciting time for me; it really was.$And then I think within our community we also had put a very narrow, narrow range of what was supposed to be pretty and what was supposed to be attractive, so if you are taught that you would never even pursue doing something or going in that direction. I wanted to be the leading lady. I wanted to be the, the Lena Horne. I wanted to be the pretty girl, the one the men were chasing after. That's what I wanted to be. I wanted to be the, that's who I wanted to be. I wanted to be the heroine, that's what I wanted, and my mind was set on that and modeling helped me acquire that kind of feel about myself. I was a Pepsi[-Cola; PepsiCo] girl. I did all the Pepsi ads. Face was all on the billboards, all over the, all over the country. I was Johnson [Products Company] hair products girl and dark girls weren't doing those kinds of ads. They weren't being, you know, the hair commercials, I mean the hair ads and the, the big face blown up on the billboards. You didn't see dark girls doing that, so my little chocolate face was on these billboards when somehow or another the agents thought that I was cute or something because they, they would hire me and I would go out, I'd tell my agent [Sy Marsh], "I want to go out for those kinds of things," so I didn't, I didn't hold that back, and I always had to encourage one of sisters and my mom [Kitty Griffin Pace] to, to encourage me to do that. So, when the opportunity came for a film like 'Three in the Attic' I got a three picture deal with American International Films [American International Pictures], and there was a nude scene in that film and it wasn't a black film. I was the only black person in the film. It was, it was with Yvette Mimieux and Christopher Jones and we were on location for about two months shooting this film.$$That was about 1970 or?$$No, it was around '68-ish [1968]--$$Okay.$$--sixty-eight [1968]. It could have been, maybe '67 [1967]. It could have been right around in there. It was, it was after [sic. before] I'd done 'Peyton Place.' I hope I don't have it flipped. It was after I'd done 'Peyton Place,' and I was just so happy, so thrilled that they had me in and I tested for the role and I got the role. I was the happiest child because I knew it would be the first time that it was a dark brown woman being the love interest of a Caucasian man with another Caucasian woman with Yvette Mimieux, and we were playing equal roles, so I was, I was quite thrilled with that.$$I think it was three women that, you know--$$Right--$$Yeah.$$Jennifer [sic. Maggie Thrett], oh God I don't. Jennifer Luxton [ph.], Jennifer--I can't think of her name.$$Okay.$$Pretty brunette girl. So, I was happy to do that and then that, we did another, I did another film ['Frogs'] for American International and then I did another film for American International, and in all three of those films they put me in the prettiest costumes, made sure I was the most gorgeous thing there. They always wanted me to be sassy and, and sexy and that had not happened before.$$You were the most gorgeous person in the movie (laughter), but how, now how did your--$$And, and, and--$$--family feel about these nude scenes? (Unclear).$$Well as my grandmother said when somebody, when her church was telling her that, about my nude scene and my, my butt was, they had by butt was shown. It was my butt. It was a profile of my butt. That was the nude scene. You know like you'd see women walking around now at the beach. It was the profile of my butt on a bed and that was the nude scene with a blanket draped across one leg and all you saw was like okay butt, then that was it. And my grandmother said, "Well, I think it's cute, but I've seen it already," (laughter). So that was my grandmother's comment--

Janet Angel MacLachlan

Stage and film actress Janet Angel MacLachlan was born on August 8, 1933, in Harlem, New York; her mother, Iris South MacLachlan, and father, James MacLachlan, were both Jamaican born and members of the Church of the Illumination. Attending P.S. 170 and Julia Ward Junior High School, MacLachlan graduated from Julia Richmond High School in 1950, and earned her B.S. degree in psychology from Hunter College in 1955. While holding down clerical jobs MacLachlan studied acting at the Harlem YMCA, the Herbert Berghoff Acting Studio, and the Little Theatre of Harlem. Later, MacLachlan received additional training from The Actors Studio, Joanie Gerber Voiceovers, and Theatre East in Los Angeles.

In 1961, MacLachlan took Cicely Tyson’s place in The Blacks: A Clown Show by Jean Genet, and worked alongside James Earl Jones, Louis Gossett, Jr., Maya Angelou, and Roscoe Lee Brown. In 1962, MacLachlan was cast in the parody Raising Hell in the Sun and became active in Actors Equity and The Committee for the Employment of Negro Performers. MacLachlan spent a year at Minneapolis’ Tyrone Guthrie Theater and acted in Washington, D.C.’s Shakespeare Festival before she signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1964. Starting with The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965, MacLachlan appeared in over seventy-five television shows, including: I Spy (1967), The FBI (1966), Star Trek (1967), The Fugitive (1966), The Name of the Game (1969/70), The Rockford Files (1975), Good Times (1978), Archie Bunker’s Place (1980), Cagney and Lacey (1982/83), Amen (1988), Murder She Wrote (1985), Murder One (1986), Family Law (2000), and Alias (2002). MacLachlan’s television movies included: Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style (1976), Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry (1978), The Sophisticated Gents (1981), For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story (1983), and The Tuskegee Airmen (1995). MacLachlan’s feature films included: Up Tight (1968), ...tick...tick...tick (1970), The Man (1972), Sounder (1972), Tightrope (1984) and Black Listed (2003).

Often cast as a judge, nurse, doctor, psychiatrist, teacher, or social worker, MacLachlan was also featured in the Emmy Award winning KCET-TV PBS production of Voices of Our People: In Celebration of Black Poetry. MacLachlan served as the grant committee chair of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, while remaining a resident of Los Angeles.

Janet MacLachlan passed away on October 11, 2010.

Accession Number

A2005.087

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/30/2005

Last Name

MacLachlan

Middle Name

Angel

Schools

Julia Richman High School

Julia Ward Howe Junior High School 81

P.S. 170

Hunter College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Janet

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MAC01

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Greece

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/27/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Death Date

10/11/2010

Short Description

Stage actress and film actress Janet Angel MacLachlan (1933 - 2010 ) appeared in over seventy-five television shows, including: I Spy, The FBI, Star Trek, The Fugitive, The Name of the Game, The Rockford Files, Good Times, Archie Bunker’s Place, Cagney and Lacey, Amen, Murder She Wrote, Family Law, and Alias. In addition to a prolific television career, MacLachlan also appeared in numerous television and cinema movies.

Employment

New York Life Insurance Company

Universal Studios

St. Mark's Playhouse

Guthrie Theater

Special Markets, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Janet Angel MacLachlan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her parents' disinterest in their Jamaican roots

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her mother's education and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers family stories and an early childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes her father's experiences in the British Army during World War I

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers her mother's passing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her visits with family members

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers attending all-girls schools in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes her favorite childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her self-perception growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about attending dances as a teenager in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers being cast in a play at P.S. 170 in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her college ambitions as a high school student in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her interests and activities in junior high and high school in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her jobs after graduating from Julia Richman High School in New York, New York in 1950

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about forming friendships through the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Hunter College in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about completing her degree at Hunter College in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers her early involvement with Little Theater at the Harlem YMCA in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers her social activities as a student at Hunter College in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan reflects upon her relationship with her mother while attending Hunter College in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers her early theater involvement in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes her employment during and after her final year at Hunter College in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan recalls working on Wall Street in New York, New York in the late 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her mental health throughout her childhood and early adulthood

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan reflects upon her home life growing up

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers traveling to Europe in 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan recalls her involvement with Jean Genet's 'The Blacks: A Clown Show' at St. Mark's Playhouse in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her concurrent understudy roles for 'Moon on a Rainbow Shawl' and 'The Blacks: A Clown Show' in the early 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes the unconventional structure of 'The Blacks: A Clown Show'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers performing in 'The Blacks: A Clown Show' and 'Raising Hell in the Son' in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about being hired by the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes her disappointment in being cast in non-speaking roles at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers signing with Universal Studios Inc. in 1964

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her parents' reaction to her acting career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her acting jobs with Universal Studios Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her career trajectory following her release from Universal Studios Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan explains her motivation for cutting her hair after being let go from Universal Studios Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her role in 'I Spy'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan remembers wardrobe challenges for her role in 'I Spy'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan reflects upon her impression of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about integration in her youth

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her involvement with political and professional organizations in the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about traveling to East Germany in 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her work for Communications Bridge Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan recalls her decision to leave Communications Bridge Institute and become sober

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about becoming sober and her organizational involvement in the late 1980s

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her role in '...tick...tick...tick...'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about the productions of 'Sounder' and 'The Man'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her roles in 'The Man' and 'Sounder'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan reflects upon African American actresses' access to roles

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan considers her favorite acting roles

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about theater roles she wanted to play

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan considers projects and roles she would like to do

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her disappointment in the television industry

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about chairing the grants committee for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her television preferences in relation to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' voting procedures

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Janet Angel MacLachlan considers the impact of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' voting system

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Janet Angel MacLachlan reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Janet Angel MacLachlan reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Janet Angel MacLachlan describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Janet Angel MacLachlan narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Janet Angel MacLachlan narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Janet Angel MacLachlan describes the unconventional structure of 'The Blacks: A Clown Show'
Janet Angel MacLachlan talks about her acting jobs with Universal Studios Inc.
Transcript
Most, if not all, of the black actors who were working in New York [New York], at some point or at some time or another did 'The Blacks[: A Clown Show,' Jean Genet]. They were either an understudy, or they came in and replaced, and they were kicked out, or they came in and they did the show and then they behaved badly and they were thrown out, or they, you know, whatever. It was just the kind of show that there were two, two sets. You know, there was the royal set, and then there were the street people, if you know the play. Do you know the play at all?$$No, I've, you know, I (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) You've never seen it?$$No, I've never seen it.$$Okay. It's very difficult to, to, to explain because it's, it was difficult for me to understand going into the play. There were, there were--it was very stylized, and there were, there were people dressed as, as the queen. I think [HistoryMaker] Maya [Angelou] played the [White] Queen at, at some point. And the--$$Maya Angelou.$$Maya Angelou--and the, the religious leader or the, you know, there, there were all those, those characters that were taken from, from countries that had, that were, that were run by European countries, you know.$$Colonized--$$It was that--they were colonized. Thank you, I knew I could count on you (laughter).$$(Laughter) Okay, I'm sorry. Go ahead.$$At any rate, and then there were other people who were performing this play for the royalty. And then there was another group of people who were backstage, who were off the stage, and they were preparing the revolution. So there were three sets of people going. And if, if one of them was replaced, everybody just adjusted to this new character. It's not like it was a traditional play where--where relationships were, were important to maintain, you know. It's a, it's an incredible play.$So any rate, so I came out here [Los Angeles, California]. I was greeted by everybody at Universal [Studios Inc., Universal City, California]. I realized that there was one black guy under contract, and he and I became sort of friends. And there were maybe two or three other black women, black young women, in town who were under contract to a major studio or a network. Somebody was with NBC; somebody was with Paramount [Pictures, Los Angeles, California]. And I can't remember what else there was, but there I was at Universal. And so I asked, you know, "What should I be doing? Should I come to the studio every day? Should I," you know, you know, "watch directors? Are there classes?" And I was told, "Don't do anything. Don't worry about it. Just go to the beach; enjoy yourself. Don't take any acting classes. We don't want you to change." You know, "Just sort of be," you know, "just enjoy yourself. You're under contract. You'll be paid forty out of fifty-two weeks." Twelve weeks they'll have to put me on a, on, on no salary, and, and everything was gonna be fine. So, one of the directors that I had met when I was--who, who actually had directed me for my, for my scene, my, my test scene, you know, I became pretty friendly with him. And he requested me on a show that he was, he was directing there that I should start getting used to working for camera. I mean I had done three little television shows in New York [New York], like one scene each. And I'd done these little commercials with no dialogue, but I really didn't understand the whole process of filmmaking. So, I worked with him. I think it was a, it was a [Alfred] Hitchcock. Then it as a '[The Alfred] Hitchcock Hour' show. I really did one, two, another Hitchcock, "The Monkey's Paw[: A Retelling," 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour'], and a--'Bob Hope [Presents the] Chrysler Theatre.'$$Yeah, that was a scary one, "The Monkey's Paw."$$"The Monkey's Paw"? Yeah, that was, that was me. It was a very, but it was a very modern kind of jet set group. And, and a loan-out, they loaned me out to do 'The FBI' and a, a fashion show [Edith Head fashion show] for Universal Studio Tours because the tour center had not been built in '64 [1964], '65 [1965]. And that's all I did for Universal, and so they fired me. They fired me June of '66 [1966], which was like a year and a half. Actually, they brought me in in November. So, the following November they, when, when contract renewal time came, they said to me that because they had, had not used me a great deal, and they had not made their money back on me, they were not gonna give me my raise. And (laughter) I said, "Well, if you're not gonna give me my raise then let me go, you know. I don't want to be here."