Calvin Lockhart

Calvin Lockhart (born Bert McClossy Cooper; October 18, 1934 – March 29, 2007) was a Bahamian–American stage and film actor.[3] Lockhart was perhaps best known for his roles as Reverend Deke O'Malley in the 1970 film Cotton Comes to Harlem and Biggie Smalls in the 1975 Warner Bros. film Let's Do It Again.

Calvin Lockhart
Calvin Lockhart.jpg
Lockhart, 1971.
Born
Bert McClossy Cooper[1]

(1934-10-18)October 18, 1934
DiedMarch 29, 2007(2007-03-29) (aged 72)
Nassau, Bahamas
NationalityBahamian–American
EducationCooper Union School of Engineering
OccupationActor
Years active1960–2007
Known forRev. Deke O'Malley – Cotton Comes to Harlem
Biggie Smalls – Let's Do It Again
Spouse(s)(?-?; divorced)[1]
Thelma Walters
(m. 1972; div. 1978)
[2][1]
Lynn Sloan
(m. 1982; div. 1987)
[1]
Jennifer Miles
(m. 1989)
Children2

Early lifeEdit

Lockhart was born Bert McClossy Cooper, the youngest of eight children in Nassau, Bahamas.[4] Lockhart's father was Eric Cooper (1912/1913–1976), a Bahamian tailor.[2] Lockhart moved to New York City, New York, when he was 18. He spent one year at the Cooper Union School of Engineering, then left to pursue an acting career. He drove a taxi and operated a carpentry business in the borough of Queens while trying to establish a career as an actor.

CareerEdit

In 1960, Lockhart made his Broadway debut, playing a gang leader in The Cool World (a dramatization of Warren Miller's novel of the same name), which closed after just two performances. Lockhart then traveled to Italy and formed his own theater company in which he both acted and directed, before moving to West Germany and then England, where he landed various roles on British television and small roles in films such as 1968's A Dandy in Aspic and Salt and Pepper.

Lockhart's first notable screen role was in Joanna, a 1968 film about an interracial romance, set in London. Joanna was directed by Michael Sarne, who subsequently cast Lockhart in the notorious Myra Breckinridge. Lockhart's first lead role in a film was in Halls of Anger (1970), playing a former basketball star who becomes vice-principal of an inner-city high school to which 60 white students are being moved. An article in The New York Times that year described Lockhart as having "matinee-idol looks" with "chiseled-out-of-marble features" and "skin the color of brown velvet". He also starred in Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970, based on the Chester Himes novel of the same name) as the Reverend Deke O'Malley. In 1974, Lockhart became an actor-in-residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. In the 1980s he was a guest star for seven episodes in the prime-time soap opera Dynasty, playing Jonathan Lake. He is familiar to horror film fans after his performance as the millionaire big-game hunter in The Beast Must Die (1974).

Later years, death and legacyEdit

Lockhart headed a Los Angeles campaign called "Getting Off Drugs," an anti-drug effort to get teenagers off drugs in the late-1970s.[5] Lockhart returned to the Bahamas in the late 1990s and worked as a director on several productions of the Freeport Players Guild. Lockhart's last film role was in Rain, a movie that was shot in the Bahamas and was released in 2007. Lockhart died on March 29, 2007, in a Nassau hospital from stroke-related complications, at the age of 72.

Personal lifeEdit

Lockhart was married four times[1] and had two sons. In 1972, he married Jamaican model Thelma Walters;[2] they divorced in 1978. In August 1982, Lockhart married British businesswoman Lynn Sloan in the Bahamas;[1] they later divorced. Lockhart was married to New York interior designer Jennifer Miles from 1989 until his death in 2007. Miles is the mother of his son, actor Julien Lockhart Miles. In addition to Julien, Lockhart has another son named Leslie Lockhart.[5]

Pop cultureEdit

Lockhart character's name in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again, Biggie Smalls, was used by musical artist Christopher Wallace for his 1991 demo, and was still used by media and friends after a lawsuit forced Wallace to change it to Notorious B.I.G.

FilmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Actor Calvin Lockhart Marries Businesswoman", JET Magazine, September 27, 1982.
  2. ^ a b c "Calvin Lockhart's Father Dies In Nassau, Bahamas", JET Magazine, December 9, 1976.
  3. ^ Bergan, Ronald (April 23, 2007). "Film". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-12-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Calvin Lockhart, 72, Blaxploitation Actor, Dies", The New York Times, April 10, 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Calvin Lockhart Reveals How Angel Dust Nearly Destroyed His Son's Life", JET Magazine, August 30, 1979.

External linksEdit