November 15, 1939
|Died||October 9, 1991
Albuquerque, New Mexico
|Cause of death||Heart Failure|
Thalmus Rasulala (November 15, 1939 – October 9, 1991) was an African American actor who starred in Blaxploitation films. He also was an original cast member of ABC's soap opera One Life to Live from its premiere in 1968 until he left the show in 1970.
Born Jack Crowder in Miami, Florida, he appeared in many films and made guest appearances in TV shows. Notable Blaxploitation film roles include Sidney Lord Jones in Cool Breeze (1972), Dr. Gordon Thomas in Blacula (1972) and Robert Daniels in Willie Dynamite (1974); he also was the assistant director of The Slams (1973). On television, he was known as Skeeter Matthews on Sanford and Son, "Ned" in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Lt. Jack Neal in One Life to Live, Bill Thomas (Raj's Father) on What's Happening!!, and Omoro Kinte (Kunta Kinte's father) on Roots. He also appeared on The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The Sophisticated Gents.
His other film roles include Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975), Bucktown (1975), The Last Hard Men (1976), The Boss' Wife (1986), New Jack City (1991) and his last film role as General Afir in Mom and Dad Save the World. He died shortly after completing his scenes, and the film, released a year after his death, is dedicated to his memory.
Rasulala died on October 9, 1991, from a heart attack in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He died two days before actor Red Foxx who also died of a heart attack and with whom he guest starred on Sanford & Son .