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Thu, 08.20.1942

Gilbert Moses, Stage, and Media Artist born

Gilbert Moses (L)

*Gilbert Moses was born on this date in 1942. He was a Black activist, theater, television, and film actor and director.

Gilbert Moses III was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and began acting as a child at Karamu House. He studied at Oberlin College and spent a year at Sorbonne University in Paris before leaving college to join the civil rights movement. Moses was the co-founder of the Free Southern Theater company in 1963. Moses was married three times to actress Denise Nicholas, Wilma Butler, and singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and had two daughters, Tsia and China.

His 1971 Broadway debut, Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, won him a Tony Award nomination and the Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Director. In 1976, he and George Faison teamed to co-direct and choreograph the ill-fated Alan Jay Lerner-Leonard Bernstein musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which closed after seven performances.

Moses' off-Broadway work as a director won him an Obie Award for Amiri Baraka's Slave Ship (1969) and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for The Taking of Miss Janie (1975). Among Moses' television credits are BensonGhostwriterThe Paper ChaseLaw & Order, several episodes of the mini-series Roots, and several television movies.

His only feature films were Willie Dynamite (1974) and The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979). Gilbert Moses died of multiple myeloma in New York City on April 15, 1995. He was 52 years old.

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