Calvin Lockhart

Calvin Lockhart (born Bert Cooper; October 18, 1934 - March 29, 2007) was a Bahamian-American actor on stage and in film. He was known for the role of Biggie Smalls in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again, from which Notorious B.I.G. garnered one of his aliases.

Early career

Lockhart was born in Nassau, Bahamas. He moved from the Bahamas to New York City at age 18. He spent one year at the Cooper Union School of Engineering, then left that school to pursue an acting career. Lockhart drove a taxi and operated a carpentry business in the borough of Queens while trying to establish a career as an actor.

In 1960 he made his Broadway debut, playing a gang leader in The Cool World, which closed after just two performances. Lockhart then moved to Italy and formed his own theater company in which he both acted and directed. Lockhart moved from Italy to West Germany and then to England, where he landed various roles on British television and small roles in films such as A Dandy in Aspic and Salt and Pepper.

In 1974 Lockhart became an actor-in-residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Lockhart's first notable screen role was in Joanna, a 1967 film about an interracial romance set in London. Lockhart played a nightclub owner and the boyfriend of star Genevieve Waite.

His first lead role in a movie was in the 1970 release Halls of Anger. Lockhart played an English teacher and former basketball star who becomes vice principal of an inner-city high school to which 60 white students are being bused in. 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) as the Reverend Deke O"Malley.

Later years

Lockhart returned to the Bahamas in the late 1990s. He worked as a director on several productions of the Freeport Players Guild. Lockhart married New York Interior Designer Jennifer L. Miles, the mother of his son Julien Lockhart Miles.

His last film role was in Rain, a movie that was shot in the Bahamas and was released in 2007.

Lockhart died in a Nassau hospital from stroke-related complications. His wife indicated they would establish a scholarship fund in his name for Bahamian students interested in acting and movie production. The Calvin Lockhart Scholarship Fund for Bahamian students interesteding acting and/or filmaking is being formed by Jennifer Miles-Lockhart and son Julien.



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