Otis Young

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Otis E. Young
Otis Young The Outcasts 1968.JPG
Young as Jemal David in The Outcasts, 1968.
Born(1932-07-04)July 4, 1932
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
DiedOctober 12, 2001(2001-10-12) (aged 69)

Otis E. Young (July 4, 1932 – October 12, 2001) was an actor and writer. He co-starred in a television Western, The Outcasts (1968–1969), with Don Murray. Young was the second African-American actor to co-star in a television Western, the first being Raymond St Jacques on the final season of Rawhide in 1965. Young played another memorable role as Jack Nicholson's shore patrol partner Richard "Mule" Mulhall in the 1973 comedy-drama film The Last Detail, and his later film credits included the low budget horror films The Capture of Bigfoot (1979) and Blood Beach (1981).

Early life and education[edit]

Young was born in Providence, Rhode Island, one of 14 children. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17[1] and served in the Korean War. He then enrolled in acting classes at New York University School of Education where his classmate was the young Louis Gossett Jr.


He trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse, and worked off-Broadway as an actor and writer in the early 1960s. He appeared on Broadway in James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie,[2] with such notables as Diana Sands, and Al Freeman, Jr. His first movie appearance was in Murder in Mississippi (1965).

On television, Young portrayed Jemal David, a former slave, in the ABC western The Outcasts (1968-1969).[3] and the Episode "Identity Crisis" in Columbo (season 5).

In 1983 Young earned his bachelor's degree from L. I. F. E. Bible College in Los Angeles and became an ordained pastor, eventually serving as senior pastor of Elim Foursquare Gospel Church in Rochester, New York, from 1986 to 1988. He taught acting classes at School Without Walls, a college-like alternative public high school in Rochester, from 1987 through 1991. In 1989 he joined the faculty at Monroe Community College in Rochester; he remained there as a Professor of Communication and head of the Drama Department until his retirement in 1999.


Young suffered a stroke in Los Angeles and died on October 12, 2001, at the Veterans Hospital. He was buried by his (second) wife, Barbara, in Rochester NY, soon after a memorial ceremony was held at Pepperdine University Chapel, by his children: Saudia Young, Lovelady Young, El Mahdi Young, and Jemal Young. His memorial service was held at Pepperdine University's chapel.


  1. ^ "Actor Otis Young Will Be Featured Speaker Here". Colorado Springs Gazette. June 1, 1969. p. 118wooq. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "Otis Young". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  3. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 801. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.

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