Paul Winfield dead at 62
Academy Award-nominated actor
Paul Winfield, who was known for his versatility in stage, film and television
roles has died.
Winfield, who was 62, died
Sunday of a heart attack, said his agent Michael Livingston.
district, Paul Winfield first gained attention while attending
where he became the first black actor to win Best Actor in the annual Speech and
Drama Teachers Association Drama Festival and the first person of any color to
win the same honor three years in a row. In his senior year, he won his first
professional acting job. To continue his theatrical education, Winfield won a
two-year scholarship to the
and subsequent scholarships to Stanford and
finally earning his Bachelor's degree from UCLA.
His first big break came when Burgess Meredith cast him in Le Roi Jones's
controversial one-act play The Dutchman and the Toilet. After six months under
contract at Columbia Pictures doing minor television work, he asked to be
released to join the Stanford Repertory Theatre at
where he developed his abilities performing in plays by Chekhov, Shakespeare,
and many modern playwrights. In 1969 Mr. Winfield joined the Inner City Cultural
Center Theatre in
which produced professional plays for high school students. After two years he
resumed his work in television and films, guest-starring in more than 40
television shows, appearing twice with Sidney Poitier in The Lost Man and
Brother John, as well as in Stanley Kramer's RPM, Ossie Davis's Gordon's War,
the musical version of Huckleberry Finn, and Ivan Dixon's Trouble Man.
Winfield's other television appearances include starring roles in Strange
Justice (in which he played Thurgood Marshall), Tyson (in which he played Don
King), Scarlett, The Blue and the Gray, Maya Angelou's Sister Sister, James
Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain, and Breathing Lessons.
Winfield received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance
in Martin Ritt's Sounder. His other films include A Hero Ain't Nothing But a
Sandwich, Carbon Copy, Star Trek II, Damnation Alley, the Australian film On the
Run, the controversial White Dog, Dennis the Menace, Cliffhanger, Mike's Murder,
Mars Attacks!, Knockout, and Catfish in Black Bean Sauce.
During this period Winfield also performed in more than 20 stage plays at
Mark Taper Forum, including The Latent Heterosexual, starring Zero Mostel and
directed by Burgess Meredith. Winfield also appeared in Richard III at
Lincoln Center Theatre and served as Artist in Residence at the
and later at the
Winfield has been honored by Cord, the Black Publishers of America, the National
Association of Media Women, the California Federation of Black Leadership, and
Black Child Development Institution of Washington, D.C. He received the NAACP
Image Award for Best Actor and has been inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall
of Fame. In August 2000 Winfield appeared with John Williams and the Boston Pops
Orchestra at Tanglewood on Parade, as narrator of The Unfinished Journey.
Petrella, the first
lady of Country Soul
Petrella, a little bit of
Country and a Little bit of Soul, also.
March 9, 2004
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