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Sun, 08.27.1905

Frederick O’Neal, performer and leader of arts groups

Frederick O'Neal

Frederick Douglass O'Neal was born on this date in 1905. He was a Black stage, film, and TV actor/director who also organized and led theater and arts groups.

Born in Brooksville, Mississippi, O'Neal may have had his greatest effect on the stage and media industry as a union leader.  In 1964, he was president emeritus of Actors' Equity Association and Associated Actors and Artistes of America. O'Neal was also a major figure in the Black theater in New York City and London, where he founded and organized several theater companies and cultural organizations. The American Negro Theater, which O'Neal co-founded, gave a start to the careers of many, including Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier.

O'Neal's feature credits include Elia Kazan's “Pinky” (1949), Richard Brooks' “Something of Value” (1958), “Anna Lucasta” (1958), and Ossie Davis' “Cotton Comes to Harlem” (1970). O'Neal was also a regular on the 1960s cop sitcom, “Car 54, Where Are You?” Frederick Douglass O’Neal died on August 25, 1992.

Fountainhead® Tanz Theatre Black International Cinema,
Angela Kramer, Production Co-coordinator
Hohenfriedbergstraße 14
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