Gordon Heath

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Gordon Heath
Born (1918-09-20)September 20, 1918
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died August 27, 1991(1991-08-27) (aged 72)
Paris, France
Occupation Actor, musician, café owner
Years active 1953-1989

Gordon Heath (September 20, 1918 – August 27, 1991) was an African-American actor and musician who narrated the animated feature film Animal Farm (1954) and appeared in the title role of The Emperor Jones (1953) and Othello (1955), both live BBC telecasts, respectively directed by Alvin Rakoff and Tony Richardson.

He and music and business partner, Lee Payant, operated a Left Bank café in Paris, France, called L'Abbaye where many of the duo's folk albums were recorded and released on various international labels including Elektra Records. Payant died on December 14, 1976.

Heath died in Paris after a lengthy illness on August 27, 1991.[1]

Select filmography[edit]

Select discography[edit]

  • Gordon Heath and Lee Payant Sing Songs of the Abbaye ‒ Elektra (1954)
  • Gordon Heath and Lee Payant Sing Encores from the Abbaye ‒ Elektra (1955)
  • An Evening at L'Abbaye – Elektra (1957)


  1. ^ Eleanor Blau (August 31, 1991). "Gordon Heath, 72; Co-Starred in Play 'Dweep are the Roots'". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 


  • Bourne, Stephen. "Heath, Gordon." Who's Who in Contemporary Gay & Lesbian History from World War II to the Present Day. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. 183.
  • Breman, Paul. "Obituary: Gordon Heath." The Independent (London) (September 13, 1991): 26.
  • Heath, Gordon. Deep Are the Roots: Memoirs of a Black Expatriate. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1992.
  • Shipman, David. "Obituary: Gordon Heath." The Independent (London) (September 2, 1991): 21.

External links[edit]