Emmy-winning actor, director and screenwriter Al Freeman, Jr., who played Capt. Ed Hall on “One Life to Live” for more than a decade, and Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee’s 1992 film “Malcolm X,” has died.
Freeman, 78, lived on a boat outside of Washington, D.C. and taught at Howard University.
“It is with tremendous sadness that the passing of our beloved Professor Al Freeman, Jr. is confirmed,” Kim James Bey, chair of Howard University’s theater department, told the Star Tribune Friday afternoon.
Freeman was best known for his screen roles. He appeared on such programs as "Roots," “The Cosby Show,” “Law and Order” and “Homicide: Life on the Streets.” He won Emmys for “One Life to Live” and “Malcolm X." He also won an NAACP Image Award for his Elijah Muhammad.
Freeman first gained acclaim for his stage work in Amiri Baraka’s “Dutchman,” in a 1967 off-Broadway production. He played a black subway rider who is tormented by a white woman. He reprised his performance on screen in a movie adaptation.
On Broadway, he acted alongside legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey and acting icon Cicely Tyson in Peter S. Feibleman’s “Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright” in 1962. Two years later, he starred in James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mister Charlie,” under the direction of Burgess Meredith.
Born in San Antonio, Tex., Freeman served in the Air Force during the Korean War. Afterwards, he embarked on an acting career that was inspiring to many in the field.
"At a time when we rarely saw black actors on TV, he was on a soap," said Ralph Remington, director of theater and musical theater at the National Endowment for the Arts and founder of Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis. "He was well-known and all over the TV. "He was legendary for his contributions."
From Around the Web
More from Star Tribune
More from Artcetera
Spotify, Apple Music and Rdio are no longer offering Prince's music but Tidal, Jay Z's new service, has it available.
The band took 80 minutes to strum its way through 10 songs in the opening acoustic segment.
Top administrator sends out ominous memo that doesn't bode well for public-radio giant.
Owatonna's reigning pop star Adam Young has a new album coming July 10.
He will sub for actor Steven Hendrickson, who is out with a medical emergency.