Did you know that Earle
Hyman, help to break racial stereotypes on Broadway and in Scandinavia in
works by Shakespeare and Ibsen?
Did you know that Hyman was better known to millions of
Americans as Bill Cosby’s father on “The Cosby Show,” died on Friday in
Englewood, N.J., he was 91?
Did you know that Hyman was Hyman was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity?
Did you know that Hyman was the first cousin once removed of singer Phyllis Hyman
Did you know that Hyman was Height: 6′ 4″?
Did you know that actors like Mr. Hyman love the stage, and he acted in television drama — soap operas and police dramas?
|Hyman on the Cosby Show
Did you know that Hyman played Russell Huxtable, the father of Dr. Cliff Huxtable,
in 40 episodes of Mr. Cosby’s hugely popular NBC situation comedy about
an upper-middle-class black family, broadcast from 1984 to 1992?
Did you know that Hyman was only 11 years older than Mr. Cosby?
Did you know that Hyman was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in New York in 1997?
Did you know that Mr.
Hyman appeared on and off Broadway in a score of productions over six
decades, a lifetime of Beckett, O’Neill, Pinter, Albee and lesser lights
as well as Shakespeare and Ibsen?
Did you know that Hyman was a major influence in
developing black theater in America?
Did you know that Hyman appeared in black-cast
productions on Broadway and in regional theaters and was a founder of
the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Conn., which began in
1955 and often cast black actors in customarily white leading roles?
Did you know that Hyman lived and worked in England for five years
and spent parts of each year in Scandinavia, mostly in Norway, for more
than a half century?
Did you know that Hyman became fluent in Norwegian and Danish, spoke
passable Swedish, and performed in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm in
plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen and O’Neill.
his debut at the National Theater in Bergen in “Othello” in 1963?
Did you know that Hyman, was the first American to perform for Norwegians in their own
language, was hailed by Norwegian critics?
Did you know that Hyman had performed in 50 consecutive sellouts while he was building international attention?
Did you know that he was born George
Earle Hyman in Rocky Mount, N.C., on Oct. 11, 1926?
|Anna Lucasta poster
Did you know that Hyman first Broadway hit, in 1944, was “Anna Lucasta,” Philip Yordan’s play
about a Polish family, turned into a story about blacks, with an
American Negro Theater cast that also included Alice Childress Hilda
Simms and Canada Lee?
Did you know that “Anna Lucasta,” It ran for 957 performances and was one of Broadway’s
longest-running nonmusical plays at the time?
Did you know that after “Anna Lucasta,” closed in 1946,
Mr. Hyman toured with the company in
America and Europe?
|Hyman played Othello
Did you know that Hyman found little work on Broadway in the early ’50s, so he moved to London and over
several years performed 13 roles in 10 Shakespeare plays, including the
lead in a televised “Hamlet?”
Did you know that Hyman played Othello in 1957 with the
American Shakespeare Festival in Connecticut, and that year visited
Norway for the first time?
Did you know that Hyman was impressed with Norway colorblind perspective on race?
Did you know that Hyman, never married, lived at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood?
Did you know that Hyman leaves no immediate survivors?
Did you know that Hyman appeared in a number of made-for-television films and movies, including
“Macbeth” (1968), “Julius Caesar” (1979) and “Coriolanus” (1979)?
Did you know that Hyman also provided voices for numerous episodes of the 1980s animated TV
Did you know that Hyman was nominated for a Tony for his 1980 Broadway role in Edward Albee’s
“The Lady From Dubuque,” and for an Emmy in 1986 for his “Cosby Show”
Did you know that Hyman won a CableACE Award in 1983 for best actor in a drama for
“Long Day’s Journey Into Night”; an Outstanding Pioneer Award in 1980
from the Audience Development Committee, which recognized achievements
by black theater artists; and the Medal of St. Olav from the King of
Norway in 1988 for his work there?
Now if you didn’t know, now you know…
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