Rupert Crosse (November 29, 1927 – March 5, 1973) was an American television and film actor[1] noted as the first African American to receive a nomination for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award — for his role in the 1969 adaptation of William Faulkner's The Reivers.[2]

Rupert Crosse
Crosse (center) with Bill Cosby and Beah Richards on The Bill Cosby Show, 1970
Born(1927-11-29)November 29, 1927
DiedMarch 5, 1973(1973-03-05) (aged 45)
Alma materBloomfield College
Years active1959–1972
Chris Calloway
(m. 1970⁠–⁠1973)
RelativesCab Calloway (father-in-law)

Background Edit

Born Robert A. Crosse, Jr. in New York City, Crosse was raised by his grandparents in Nevis after the death of his father. He returned to the United States to serve in the Army for two years before entering Bloomfield College. Crosse later worked at Brooklyn College as a counselor.

In 1970, Crosse married singer Chris Calloway, daughter of Cab Calloway. They had one son, Rupert Osaze Dia Crosse, who was nine months old at the time of Crosse's death.[3] Their son died in 2002 from a heart condition brought on by prior drug abuse.[4] Calloway died of breast cancer in August 2008.[5]

Crosse died March 5, 1973, of lung cancer in Nevis.[6]

Career Edit

After studying acting under John Cassavetes, Crosse appeared in two of Cassavetes' films: Shadows (for which he won a Venice Film Festival Award) and Too Late Blues (1962).[6]

A life member of The Actors Studio,[7] Crosse made numerous guest appearances on television in the decade prior to landing the role of Ned McCaslin in the 1969 film The Reivers, directed by and starring fellow Studio members Mark Rydell and Steve McQueen, respectively. His last onscreen role was in the sitcom The Partners, alongside Don Adams.[8] Shortly before his death, Crosse was cast as Mulhall in The Last Detail (1973), withdrawing from the role after learning he suffered from terminal cancer.[9]

Filmography Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1959 Shadows Rupert
1959 Johnny Staccato Redtop Episode: "Collector's Item"
1961 Rawhide A Trooper S3:E10, "Incident of the Buffalo Soldier"
1961 Have Gun – Will Travel Aaron Jedediah Gibbs Episode: "The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs"
1961 Too Late Blues Baby Jackson
1962 The Dick Powell Show Episode: "Borderline"
1963 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Dr. Paul Mackey Episode: "Diagnosis: Danger"
1963 Twilight of Honor Jailer's assistant Uncredited
1963 The Great Adventure William Still Episode: "Go Down, Moses"
1963–1964 Ben Casey George 2 episodes
1964 The Best Man Reporter Uncredited
1964 Marnie Office worker Uncredited
1964–1966 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. General Molte Nobuk
Corporal Remy
2 episodes
1965 Wild Seed Hobo Alternative title: Fargo
1965 The Wackiest Ship in the Army Episode: "The Lady and the Luluai"
1966 Dr. Kildare George Parker 2 episodes
1966 That Girl Police officer Episode: "I'll Be Suing You"
1966 Daktari Kukuia Episode: "The Test"
1966 Ride in the Whirlwind Indian Joe
1966 Run for Your Life Hotel Clerk Episode: "The Treasure Seekers"
1966 The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. Tchelba Episode: "The Jewels of Topango Affair"
1967 CBS Playhouse Funeral director Episode: "The Final War of Olly Winter"
1967 I Spy Chester Episode: "Cops and Robbers"
1967 Cowboy in Africa Jama Episode: "Incident at Derati Wells"
1967 Waterhole#3 Prince
1967 The Monkees Thursday Episode: "Monkees Marooned"
1968 Felony Squad Ray Hawkins 2 episodes
1969 The Reivers Ned McCaslin Nominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1970 Bonanza Davis Episode: "The Power of Life and Death"
1970 Storefront Lawyers Johnson Episode: "The Emancipation of Bessie Gray"
1970 The Bill Cosby Show Felix E. LeBlanc Episode: "The Lincoln Letter"
1970 Bracken's World Freddy Webster, Sr. Episode: "Will Freddy's Real Father Please Stand Up?"
1971 Confessions of a Top Crime Buster Detective George Robinson Television movie
1971–1972 The Partners Detective George Robinson 20 episodes, (final appearance)

References Edit

  1. ^ Obituary Variety, March 28, 1973
  2. ^ Mapp, Edward (2008). African Americans and the Oscar: Decades Of Struggle and Achievement (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8108-6106-0.
  3. ^ "Sexy Chris and 'Daddy'". The Afro American. 1979-03-10. p. 11. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  4. ^ Foster, Catherine (2009-11-09). "In Cab Calloway's family, one intrepid woman inspires another". Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  5. ^ Weideman, Paul (2008-08-08). "Chris Calloway, 1945-2008: Jazz diva gracious in battle with cancer". Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Television's Rupert Crosse Dies of Cancer In Jamaica". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 44 (1): 59. 1973-03-29. ISSN 0021-5996.
  7. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  8. ^ "Rupert Crosse Gets Role On New Show". Waycross Journal-Herald. 1971-07-12. p. P3. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  9. ^ Mapp, Edward (2008). African Americans and the Oscar: Decades Of Struggle and Achievement (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8108-6106-0.

External links Edit