Gunsmoke Guests on
Rex Ingram (1895-1969)
Rex Ingram

The Good Samaritans, March l0th, 1969 Written by Paul Savage, Directed by Bernard McEveety, Guest Cast: Brock Peters, Rex Ingram, L.Q. Jones, Sam Melville, Robert DoQui, Hazel Medina, Pauline Myers, Lynn Hamilton, Davis Roberts, John Brandon, Alyssia Gardner, Pepe Brown, Dan Ferrone

Rex Ingram was an American original. He broke down barriers all through his life. He was a handsome individual, tall and white-haired as we best remember him, with a booming baritone voice. He was born on October 20, 1895 on the riverboat Robert E. Lee in Cairo, Illinois, the son of a fireman who worked on the boat. He worked with his father on the riverboat until at age 18 he left to attend Northwestern University. He majored in medicine and became the first black member of Phi Beta Kappa fraternity. Upon graduation he headed for California and a career in medicine as a qualified M.D. but a strange quirk of fate led him to an acting career. He was discovered by a talent agent and persuaded to audition for a role as a native in the first Tarzan movie with Elmo Lincoln. Thus began a long career in acting. He worked in silents at the outset and also had a successful career on stage. Initially he played porters, African natives, butlers and other stereotypical roles but he vowed to never portray Negroes in a demeaning light. His film credits include: "Tarzan of the Apes" (1918) with Elmo Lincoln; "The Emperor Jones" (1934) as Court Crier; his most famous and best known role in "The Green Pastures" (1936) as De Lawd; "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1939) as the slave Jim, my favorite of his roles; "The Thief of Bagdad" (1940) with Sabu, as the Djinn, another of his great roles; "The Talk of the Town" (1942) as Tilney; "Cabin in the Sky" (1943) as Lucifer Jr./Lucius, a kind of reversal of his Green Pastures role; "Sahara" (1943) with Humphrey Bogart, as Sgt. Tambul, another terrific role; "A Thousand and One Nights" (1945) as Giant; "Moonrise" (1948) as Mose; "Congo Crossing" (1956) as Dr. Leo Gorman; "Anna Lucasta" (1958) as Joe Lucasta; "God's Little Acre" (1958) as Uncle Felix; "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1964) as Teetot and "Journey to Shiloh" (1968) as Jacob, his final film. On TV he was also quite prolific appearing as a guest star on such series as: "Gunsmoke"; "Black Saddle"; "Daktari"; "Branded"; "I Spy" and "Playhouse 90." He died of a heart attack on September 19, 1969 in Hollywood, California at age 73.

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