Cleavon Little


Actor
Cleavon Little

About

Birth Place
Chickasaw, Oklahoma, USA
Born
June 01, 1939
Died
October 22, 1992
Cause of Death
Colon Cancer

Biography

Stage-trained African-American comic actor who garnered international acclaim for his portrayal of Black Bart, the unlikely sheriff, in Mel Brooks' Western spoof "Blazing Saddles" (1974). Little's big break came with a turn in Peter Yates' "John and Mary" (1969), alongside Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow. In 1970, he starred on stage in Ossie Davis' musical "Purlie," for which he won a Ton...

Biography

Stage-trained African-American comic actor who garnered international acclaim for his portrayal of Black Bart, the unlikely sheriff, in Mel Brooks' Western spoof "Blazing Saddles" (1974). Little's big break came with a turn in Peter Yates' "John and Mary" (1969), alongside Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow. In 1970, he starred on stage in Ossie Davis' musical "Purlie," for which he won a Tony and a Drama Desk Award, and appeared in Davis' landmark black independent film, "Cotton Comes to Harlem." Throughout his career, Little displayed a manic, live wire comic energy and a flamboyant, streetwise style of line delivery.

Life Events

1969

Film debut in "John and Mary"

1971

Regular on "The David Frost Revue"

1971

TV movie debut with "The Homecoming", writer Earl Hamner Jr's forerunner to "The Waltons"

1972

TV series debut in "Temperatures Rising"

1979

Played title role in the series "Mr. Dugan"

1986

Notable Broadway success as an elderly man in the comedy-drama "I'm Not Rappaport", opposite Judd Hirsch

1990

Final film role in "Murder by Numbers"

1992

Final TV role for the HBO series "Tales From the Crypt" episode "None but the Lonely Heart"

Videos

Movie Clip

Vanishing Point (1971) - That Isn't Even A Felony R-rated material here, as a Nevada deputy (Owen Bush) hears from Colorado of offenses committed by Kowalski (Barry Newman) before he crossed the state line, and when he stops for gas, another piece of his backstory, in Vanishing Point, 1971, directed by Richard C. Sarafian.
Greased Lightning (1977) - I Don't See Any Bullet Holes After a childhood bicycle racing episode in prologue, director Michael Schultz's opening, introducing Richard Pryor as will-be moonshine runner and race driver Wendell Scott, returning to Virginia from WWII, Minnie Gentry his mom, friends including Civil Rights leader Julian Bond as "Charlie," Pam Grier and Cleavon Little, in Greased Lightning, 1977.
Blazing Saddles (1974) - Where Would I Find Such A Man? Crooked Attorney General “Hedley Lamarr” (Harvey Korman) needs an idea to deliver an incompetent new sheriff to Rock Ridge, so he snags Bart (Cleavon Little) from the medieval hangman, then visits the governor (writer-director Mel Brooks), who’s easily led, in Blazing Saddles, 1974.
Blazing Saddles (1974) - In My Dwessing Woom Wrapping up her Dietrich-roasting anachronistic saloon number (an original by writer-director Mel Brooks), Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) has been hired to seduce the resourceful new sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little), now running with “The Waco Kid,” rude business, in Blazing Saddles, 1974.
Blazing Saddles (1974) - I Wouldn't Do That One of the best gags, the nasty for-hire cowboys (led by Slim Pickens) don’t know what they’re getting into when the threaten the black sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little), now aided by his sobered up gunfighter pal “The Waco Kid,” (Gene Wilder), in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles< 1974.

Trailer

Bibliography