See biography by F. MacShane (1985); study by J. R. Giles (1981).
(born Jan. 17, 1931, Arkabutla, Miss., U.S.) U.S. actor. He studied acting in New York City and made his Broadway debut in 1957. He was praised for his performance in Othello (1964) and in roles with the New York Shakespeare Festival (1961–73). He starred as the black boxer in The Great White Hope (1969, Tony Award; film, 1970). After returning to Broadway in Paul Robeson (1978) and Fences (1985, Tony Award), he starred in the television series Paris (1979–80) and Gabriel's Fire (1990–91, Emmy Award). He has appeared in numerous films; his sonorous voice lent gravity to the character of Darth Vader in Star Wars (1977) and its sequels and to the Mufasa role in The Lion King (1994).
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