Calvin Lockhart

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Calvin Lockhart
Calvin Lockhart.jpg
Lockhart in 1971
BornBert Cooper
(1934-10-18)October 18, 1934
Nassau, Bahamas
DiedMarch 29, 2007(2007-03-29) (aged 72)
Nassau, Bahamas
NationalityBahamian American
EducationCooper Union School of Engineering
OccupationActor
Years active1960–2007
Spouse(s)
Jennifer Miles
(m. 1974; his death 2007)
Children3

Calvin Lockhart (born Bert Cooper; October 18, 1934 – March 29, 2007) was a Bahamian–American stage and film actor.[1] He was best known for his role as Biggie Smalls, a big-time gangster in the 1975 Warner Bros. film Let's Do It Again.

Early life[edit]

Lockhart was born in Nassau, Bahamas, moving to New York City when he was 18. He spent one year at the Cooper Union School of Engineering, then left to pursue an acting career. He drove a taxi and operated a carpentry business in the borough of Queens while trying to establish a career as an actor.

Career[edit]

In 1960 he made his Broadway debut, playing a gang leader in The Cool World, which closed after just two performances. He then travelled to Italy and formed his own theater company in which he both acted and directed, before moving to West Germany and then England, where he landed various roles on British television and small roles in films such as A Dandy in Aspic and Salt and Pepper.

Lockhart's first notable screen role was in Joanna, a 1968 film about an interracial romance, set in London. Joanna was directed by Michael Sarne, who subsequently cast Lockhart in the notorious Myra Breckinridge. Lockhart's first lead role in a film was in Halls of Anger (1970), playing a former basketball star who becomes vice-principal of an inner-city high school to which 60 white students are being moved. An article in The New York Times that year described Lockhart as having "matinee-idol looks" with "chiseled-out-of-marble features" and "skin the color of brown velvet". He also starred in Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) as the Reverend Deke O'Malley.

In 1974 Lockhart became an actor-in-residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. In the 1980s he was a guest star for seven episodes in the prime-time soap opera Dynasty, playing Jonathan Lake. He is familiar to horror film fans after his performance as the millionaire big-game hunter in The Beast Must Die (1974).

Later years and death[edit]

Lockhart returned to the Bahamas in the late 1990s and worked as a director on several productions of the Freeport Players Guild. He married New York interior designer Jennifer L. Miles, the mother of his son, actor Julien Lockhart Miles. Lockhart's last film role was in Rain, a movie that was shot in the Bahamas and was released in 2007. Lockhart died in a Nassau hospital from stroke-related complications. His wife and son indicated they would establish the Calvin Lockhart Scholarship Fund for Bahamian students interested in acting and movie production.

His character's name in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again, Biggie Smalls, was used by musical artist Christopher Wallace for his 1991 demo, and was still used by media and friends after a lawsuit forced Wallace to change it to Notorious B.I.G.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bergan, Ronald (April 23, 2007). "Film". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-12-03.

External links[edit]