November 27, 1906|
Chickasha, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||September 23, 1968
Lynwood, California, U.S.
Dudley Dickerson (November 27, 1906 – September 23, 1968) was an African American film actor. Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, he appeared in nearly 160 films between 1932 and 1952, and is best remembered for his roles in several Three Stooges films.
Given the era that Dickerson performed, he was usually cast in stereotypical roles that were common in films of the time. His boundless energy can be seen in what are rather restrictive roles, and was a master at what has become known as "scared reaction" comedy. Dickerson also appeared in Soundies musical films with Dorothy Dandridge and Meade Lux Lewis.
Modern viewers will remember Dickerson for his portrayals of startled cooks, quizzical orderlies, frightened porters, and apprehensive watchmen in such Three Stooges films as They Stooge to Conga, A Gem of a Jam, and Hold That Lion! In Hold that Lion, he played a lovable train conductor who memorably bugged out his eyes and shrieked, "He'p, he'p, ah'm losin' mah mahnd!" when a lion attacked him and ripped the seat of his pants while he was shining a pair of shoes. The scene was so funny that the crew (and Dickerson himself) could hardly contain their laughter as one can hear in the final release.
Probably Dickerson's most memorable role was that of the hapless chef in the Stooges' A Plumbing We Will Go, in which he uttered in bewilderment, "This house has sho' gone crazy!" The footage would be recycled twice more in future Stooge comedies: 1949's Vagabond Loafers and 1956's Scheming Schemers.
Dickerson also made his mark in the Our Gang series in 1936's Spooky Hooky. Dickerson received featured billing in several Hugh Herbert comedies produced by Columbia Pictures, in which, as Herbert's valet, he is always in scary situations and reacts with comic terror.
In the early 1950s, Dickerson appeared in several episodes of The Amos 'n Andy Show television program, usually as a lodge member or Joe the Barber. Dickerson retired from acting in 1959.
Dickerson died of a brain tumor in 1968 at age 61. He is buried at Lincoln Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California. He had lived to see the renewed interest during the 1960s in his work with the Three Stooges.
- Spooky Hooky (1936)
- A Day at the Races (1937)
- Shall We Dance (1937)
- The Adventures of Jane Arden (1939)
- At the Circus (1939)
- You're Next! (1940)
- My Life with Caroline (1941)
- Some More of Samoa (1941)
- Phoney Cronies (1942) (short)
- The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
- George Washington Slept Here (1942)
- Gung Ho! (1943 film)
- The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944)
- Pardon My Terror (1946)
- Tall, Dark and Gruesome (1948)
- Super Wolf (1949)
- One Shivery Night (1950)
- Between Midnight and Dawn (1950)
- The Amos 'n Andy Show (1951–1953)
- Mr. and Mrs. North (1952)
- Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)
- Hook a Crook (1956)
- The Alligator People (1959)
With the Three Stooges
- From Nurse to Worse (1940)
- A Plumbing We Will Go (1940)
- My Sister Eileen (1942)
- They Stooge to Conga (1943)
- A Gem of a Jam (1943)
- Hold That Lion! (1947)
- Who Done It? (1949)
- Vagabond Loafers (1949)
- Booty and the Beast (1953) (stock footage)
- Scheming Schemers (1956) (stock footage)
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