Stewart as Sergeant Bryant in Roll Out, 1973.
September 19, 1929
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||February 24, 2002
Pacifica, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Alzheimer's disease|
|Other names||Melvin Stewart
|Occupation||Actor, television director, musician|
|Spouse(s)||Annie Dong (m. 1976–2002)|
Milton "Mel" Stewart (September 19, 1929 – February 24, 2002) was an American character actor, television director, and musician who appeared in numerous films and television shows from the 1960s to the 1990s. He is best known for playing Henry Jefferson on the popular television series All in the Family and for playing section chief Billy Melrose on the television series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Stewart is sometimes credited as Melvin Stewart or Mel Stuart.
Mel Stewart began his acting career in 1959 with small roles in TV and films. In the early 1960s, Stewart also appeared in the Broadway shows Purlie Victorious, The Hostage, The Cool World, and Simply Heavenly.
Stewart's early career also included notable work as a voice actor. He provided the narration for "Scenes in the City", a long jazz composition with a text by Lonne Elder and Langston Hughes that appeared on Charles Mingus' 1957 album A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry. In 1961, Stewart recorded an album of Langston Hughes' poetry on Folkways Records: Langston Hughes' The Best of Simple. He was also a member of the San Francisco based improv group, The Committee and appeared in 1969 on The Dick Cavett Show.
Stewart went on to land roles in various television series including That Girl, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Bob Newhart Show, Good Times, and Harry O. One of his most memorable roles was as "Henry Jefferson", George Jefferson's brother, in the series All in the Family. In 1973, he co-starred in the short-lived series Roll Out. The following year, Stewart directed two episodes of yet another short-lived series Get Christie Love!, before co-starring in On the Rocks. After On the Rocks was canceled in 1976, Stewart portrayed the role of Marvin Decker in the Bewitched spin-off series Tabitha from 1977 to 1978.
In the 1980s, Stewart starred on Scarecrow and Mrs. King as section chief Billy Melrose during the show's four-year run from 1983 through 1987, and continued guest starring in both television and films. His last on screen appearance came in the 1993 film Made in America, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson.
In addition to acting and directing, Stewart was an accomplished jazz saxophonist. A longtime resident of San Francisco, he also taught acting at San Francisco State University. His students included actor Danny Glover. He established the theater group Black Actors Now Through Unity (BANTU) and directed plays at the Center for African and African-American Art and Culture in San Francisco and the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California.
Personal life and death
|1959||Odds Against Tomorrow||Hotel Juno Elevator Operator||Uncredited|
|1964||Nothing But a Man||Riddick|
|1970||Landlord, TheThe Landlord||Professor Duboise||Credited as Melvin Stewart|
|1971||Cry Uncle!||Lt. Fowler||Alternative titles: American Oddballs
Credited as Melvin Stewart
|1972||Hammer||Professor||Alternative title: BJ Hammer|
|1972||Trick Baby||Blue Howard|
|1973||Steelyard Blues||Black Man in Jail||Alternative title: The Final Crash|
|1975||Let's Do It Again||Ellison|
|1981||Whose Life Is It Anyway?||Dr. Barr|
|1988||Dead Heat||Captain Mayberry|
|1990||Martians Go Home||Judge|
|1990||Bride of Re-Animator||Dr. Graves||Alternative title: Re-Animator 2|
|1962||Car 54 Where Are You?||Officer||Episode: "That's Show Business"
|1963||Naked City||Pharmacist||Episode: "Barefoot on a Bed of Coals"
|1964||Nurses, TheThe Nurses||Grand Jury Foreman||Episode: "The Love of a Smart Operator"|
|1969||The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour||Mr. Harris||Episode #1.1|
|1971–1973||All in the Family||Henry Jefferson||8 episodes|
|1972||Bold Ones: The Senator, TheThe Bold Ones: The Senator||Dawson||Episode: "A Single Blow of a Sword"|
|1974||Toma||George Sawtelle||Episode: "A Funeral for Max Berlin"|
|1974||Lucas Tanner||Mr. Browder||Episode: "Look the Other Way"|
|1975||On the Rocks||Mr. Gibson||Series regular|
|1975||Rockford Files, TheThe Rockford Files||Police Lieutenant||Episode: "Charlie Harris at Large"|
|1975||That's My Mama||Laforche||Episode: "Business Is Business"|
|1977||What's Happening!!||Spike Gibbs||Episode: "The Hospital Stay"|
|1977||Sanford and Son||Clarence||Episode: "Fred the Activist"|
|1979||Roots: The Next Generations||Dr. Crawford||Miniseries|
|1979||Benson||Loromo||Episode: "The President's Double"|
|1980||Soap||Walter Coleman||Episode: "3.14|
|1981||Little House: A New Beginning||Hertzell Lundy||Episode: "Make a Joyful Noise"|
|1981||Greatest American Hero, TheThe Greatest American Hero||Sherman||Episode: "Saturday Night on Sunset Boulevard"|
|1983–1987||Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Billy Melrose||series regular|
|1983||The Kid with the 200 I.Q.||Debs||television film|
|1984||Cheers||Man||Episode: "Coach Buries a Grudge"|
|1987||Amen||Brother Clark||Episode: "California Dreaming"|
|1988||Frank's Place||Ben Coleman||Episode: "Cultural Exchange"|
|1989||227||Jack McGee||Episode: "The Real Decoys"|
|1989||Matlock||Sgt Lou Marshall||Episodes: "The Mayor: Part 1"
"The Mayor: Part 2"
|1989||Golden Girls, TheThe Golden Girls||Judge||Episode: "Love Under the Big Top"|
|1990||In the Heat of the Night||Calvin Peterson||Episodes: "Brotherly Love: Part 1"
"Brotherly Love: Part 2"
- Hobbs, John (2002-04-10). "Milton 'Mel' Stewart: Legit, TV actor". Variety. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
- Heckman, Don (February 11, 2001). "A More Complete Introduction to Mingus". Los Angeles Times.
- The Best of Simple Album Details at Smithsonian Folkways
- "Actor Milton Stewart dies". Jet. 2002-04-01. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
- Mel Stewart at the Internet Broadway Database
- Mel Stewart at the Internet Movie Database
- Mel Stewart at Find a Grave