Samuel Rufus McDaniel (January 28, 1886 – September 24, 1962) was an American actor who appeared in over 210 television shows and films between 1929 and 1950. He was the older brother of actresses Hattie McDaniel and Etta McDaniel.
McDaniel in Broadway Limited (1941)
Samuel Rufus McDaniel
January 28, 1886
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
|Died||September 24, 1962 (aged 76)|
|Other names||Sam Deacon McDaniel|
Born in Wichita, Kansas, to former slaves, he was one of 13 children. His father Henry McDaniel fought in the Civil War with the 122nd USCT and his mother, Susan Holbert, was a singer of gospel music. In 1900, the family moved to Colorado, living first in Fort Collins and then in Denver where he grew up and graduated from Denver East High School. The children of the McDaniel Family had a traveling minstrel show. After the death of brother Otis in 1916, the troupe began to lose money. In 1931, McDaniel found work in Los Angeles with sisters Hattie, Etta and Orlena. Sam was working on KNX radio program called The Optimistic Doughnut Hour, and he was able to get his sister a spot.
Sam McDaniel is known almost exclusively for playing butler, doormen, valet, porter and servant roles in films. McDaniel is familiar to modern viewers for his role as Spiffingham the Butler in the Three Stooges film Heavenly Daze (1948). He is the only African-American to ever appear on I Love Lucy, playing "Sam the Porter" in the 1955 episode "The Great Train Robbery". He played Doc in the 1937 film Captains Courageous. He appeared uncredited as a waiter on a train in both the 1947 film The Egg and I (with Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert) and its first followup Ma and Pa Kettle (1949). He also played various supporting roles on TV's The Amos 'n' Andy Show (1951–53).
- Hallelujah (1929) as Adam (film debut)
- Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) as Luva's Butler (uncredited)
- The Public Enemy (1931) as Head Waiter
- A Free Soul (1931) as Casino Valet (uncredited)
- Movie Crazy (1932) as Men's Room Valet (uncredited)
- Grand Slam (1933) as Contest Radio Listener (uncredited)
- Going Hollywood (1933) as Rasputin the Train Porter
- Broadway Thru a Keyhole (1933) as Gus - Rocci's Valet (uncredited)
- Manhattan Melodrama (1934) as Black Prisoner on Death Row (uncredited)
- Operator 13 (1934) as Rufus (uncredited)
- The Old Fashioned Way (1934) as Train Porter (uncredited)
- Belle of the Nineties (1934) as Jasmine's Admirer (uncredited)
- The Lemon Drop Kid (1934) as Minor Role (uncredited)
- Kid Millions (1934) as Ship's Steward (uncredited)
- Captains Courageous (1937) as "Doc"
- It Happened in Hollywood (1937)
- Everybody's Baby (1939)
- Pride of the Blue Grass (1939)
- Sweepstakes Winner (1939)
- Let Us Live (1939) as Witness in Movie Theatre
- Too Many Husbands (1940) as Porter
- Calling All Husbands (1940)
- The Great Lie (1941)
- Broadway Limited (1941)
- Bad Men of Missouri (1941)
- You Belong to Me (1941) as Pierre
- New York Town (1941)
- All Through the Night (1942) as Saratoga
- I Was Framed (1942)
- Mokey (1942)
- Silver Queen (1942)
- The Traitor Within (1942)
- Gangway for Tomorrow (1943)
- The Ghost and the Guest (1943) as Harmony Jones
- After Midnight with Boston Blackie (1943) as Train Porter (uncredited)
- Three Little Sisters (1944)
- Experiment Perilous (1944) as Train Porter (uncredited)
- Joe Palooka, Champ (1946)
- The Egg and I (1947)
- Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947)
- Heavenly Daze (1948, Short)
- Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)
- Flamingo Road (1949)
- Fritz, Jose. "The Optimistic Doughnut Hour." Arcane Radio Trivia, October 9, 2008. www.tenwatts.blogspot.com. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- "Cast Member: Sam McDaniel." The Three Stooges Online Filmography. www.threestooges.net. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- The Amos 'n' Andy Show, episode "Getting Mama Married" at IMDb
- The Amos 'n' Andy Show Full Cast at IMDb