African American actor Al Freeman Jr. dies, aged 78

Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:14pm EDT

(Reuters) - Actor Al Freeman Jr., perhaps best known for his portrayal of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's 1992 film "Malcolm X," has died, Howard University said on Friday.

"It is with tremendous sadness that the passing of our beloved Professor Al Freeman, Jr. is confirmed," Kim James Bey, chair of the university's theater department said in a statement. Freeman was a faculty member at the university.

She gave no details about the death of Freeman, who was 78 and taught acting at the Washington-based university, but said a statement would be issued later.

Freeman's long career in film, television and theater included an enduring role playing police Captain Ed Hall on the TV soap opera "One Life to Live" from 1972 through 1987.

He was credited with being the first African American to win a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor for his work on the soap opera, a prize he was awarded in 1979.

Freeman's theater credits included a starring role on Broadway in James Baldwin's "Blues for Mister Charlie" in 1964.

(Reporting By Tom Brown; editing by Todd Eastham)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
GailS wrote:
So sad to hear of his passing. Loved him in so many things … especially “Malcolm X” and “Down in the Delta.” Condolences to his family and friends.

Aug 12, 2012 2:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.