Charlie Hill

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Charlie Hill
Charlie Hill 1977.jpg
Charlie Hill on The Richard Pryor Show, 1977
Born (1951-07-06)July 6, 1951
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died December 30, 2013(2013-12-30) (aged 62)
Oneida, Wisconsin, United States
Occupation Comedian, writer, actor
Years active 1978-2010
Spouse(s) Lenora Hatathlie (m. 1980–2013) (his death) (4 children)[1]

Charles Allan 'Charlie' Hill (July 6, 1951 – December 30, 2013) was an Oneida-Mohawk-Cree stand-up comedian, actor and writer.[2] He wrote for the television series Roseanne.[3]


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.[4]


Hill's first network appearance was on the The Richard Pryor Show in 1977.[5] He was the first Native American comedian to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.[5] He also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and made multiple appearances on Late Night with David Letterman.[3]

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.[6] As a stand-up comedian, he appeared in venues all over the world and was a regular at The Comedy Store in Hollywood.[7]

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 Hill (1999), directed by Sandra Osawa.[3]

Hill was interviewed about American Indian Movement activist Dennis Banks in the documentary, A Good Day to Die.[8]


Hill died December 30, 2013, in Oneida, Wisconsin, after a long battle with lymphoma.[9][10]


  • 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]


  1. ^ Rickert, Levi (January 2, 2014). "Native Comedian Charlie Hill's Funeral Ceremony On Friday, January 3". 
  2. ^ Charlie Hill profile, The New York Times; accessed December 31, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c NPR profile; accessed December 31, 2013.
  4. ^ Charlie Hill-obituary
  5. ^ a b Kendra Meinert, "Groundbreaking Oneida comedian Charlie Hill dies at 62", Green Bay Press Gazette, 31 December 2013, accessed 26 May 2014
  6. ^ Charlie Hill: The Indian Spirit is American, Kumeyeaay
  7. ^ "Charles Hill", The Comedy Store
  8. ^ "A Good Day to Die Transcript". 
  9. ^ Indian Country Today Media Network: Comedian Charlie Hill Walks On
  10. ^ Warrior of Comedy Charlie Hill Has Walked On at 62

External links[edit]