Charlie Hill

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Charlie Hill
Born (1951-07-06)July 6, 1951
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died December 30, 2013(2013-12-30) (aged 62)
Oneida, Wisconsin
Occupation Comedian, writer, actor
For other people named Charles Hill, see Charles Hill (disambiguation).

Charles Allan 'Charlie' Hill (July 6, 1951 – December 30, 2013) was an Oneida-Mohawk-Cree stand-up comedian, actor and writer.[1] He wrote for the television series Roseanne.[2]


Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1951, he moved as a child with his family when they returned to their homestead on the Oneida reservation in 1962. In 1969, he graduated from West De Pere High School and enrolled at University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he majored in speech and drama. He was involved in the Broom Street Theatre Group. He left college and moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as an actor and comedian.[3]


Hill's first network appearance was on the The Richard Pryor Show in 1977.[4] He was the first Native American comedian to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.[4] He also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and made multiple appearances on Late Night with David Letterman.[2]

He was chosen as host for the First Americans in the Arts Awards show in Hollywood three times. Once he cohosted with the Oneida singer, Joanne Shenandoah.[5] As a stand-up comedian, he appeared in venues all over the world and was a regular at The Comedy Store in Hollywood.[6]

Hill appeared on many television shows, and hosted a night of Native American comedians on a Showtime special. He was the subject of a PBS documentary On and Off The Res' with Charlie Hill1999), directed by Sandra Osawa.[2] He was interviewed about American Indian activist Dennis Banks in the David Mueller/Lynn Salt documentary, A Good Day to Die (2010), about the activist.


Hill died December 30, 2013, in Oneida, Wisconsin, after a long battle with lymphoma.[7][8]


  • 2009, Ivy Bethune Tri-Union Diversity Award
  • 2010, Native America on the Web honored Hill for his "lifetime of promoting positive images of Native Peoples and bridging cultural differences through the healing power of humor."

Film and Television[edit]

  • 2010: A Good Day to Die (documentary), includes Hill's comments about Dennis Banks
  • 2009: Reel Injun (documentary), includes routine by Hill
  • 2009: Goin' Native: The Indian Comedy Slam – No Reservations Needed (TV movie)
  • 2009: The Longest Walk Through Hollywood (documentary)
  • 1996: White Shamans and Plastic Medicine Men (documentary short)


External links[edit]