Image of Clarence Muse

Clarence Muse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Clarence Muse (October 14, 1889 – October 13, 1979) was an American actor, screenwriter, director, composer, and lawyer. He was inducted in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1973. Muse was the first Negro to "star" in a film. He acted for more than sixty years appearing in more than 150 movies. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Alexander and Mary Muse, he studied at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and received an international law degree in 1911. He was acting in New York by the 1920s, during the Harlem Renaissance with two Harlem theatres, Lincoln Players and Lafayette Players. Muse moved to Chicago for a while, and then moved to Hollywood and performed in Hearts in Dixie (1929), the first all-black movie. For the next fifty years, he worked regularly in minor and major roles. While with the Lafayette Players, Muse worked under the management of producer Robert Levy on productions that helped black actors to gain prominence and respect. In regards to the Lafayette Theatre's staging of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Muse said the play was relevant to black actors and audiences "because, in a way, it was every black man's story. Black men too have been split creatures inhabiting one body.". Muse appeared as an opera singer, minstrel show performer, vaudeville and Broadway actor; he also wrote songs, plays, and sketches. In 1943, he became the first African American Broadway director with Run Little Chillun. Muse was also the co-writer of several notable songs. In 1931, with Leon René and Otis René, Muse wrote "When It's Sleepy Time Down South", also known as "Sleepy Time Down South". The song was sung by Nina Mae McKinney in the movie Safe in Hell (1931), and later became a signature song of Louis Armstrong. He was the major star in Broken Earth (1936), which related the story of a black sharecropper whose son miraculously recovers from fever through the father's fervent prayer. Shot on a farm in the South with nonprofessional actors (except for Muse), the film's early scenes focused in a highly realistic manner on the incredible hardship of black farmers, with plowing scenes. In 1938, Muse co-starred with boxer Joe Louis in Spirit of Youth, the fictional story of a champion boxer which featured an all black cast. Muse and Langston Hughes wrote the script for Way Down South (1939). Muse performed in Broken Strings (1940), as a concert violinist who opposes the desire of his son to play "swing". From 1955-56, Muse was a regular on the weekly TV version of Casablanca, playing Sam the pianist (a part he was under consideration for in the original Warner Brothers film), and in 1959, he played Peter, the Honey Man, in Porgy and Bess. He appeared on Disney's TV miniseries The Swamp Fox. Other film credits include Buck and the Preacher (1972), The World's Greatest Athlete (1973) and as Gazenga's Assistant, "Snapper" in Car Wash (1976). His last acting role was in The Black Stallion (1979).


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Born:
Oct 14, 1889 In Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
120
First Appeared:
In the movie Hearts in Dixie 1929-01-02
Latest Project:
Movie The Black Stallion 1979-10-13
Known For
Poster of The Black Stallion
Poster of Lux Video Theatre
Poster of Shadow of a Doubt
Poster of Muss 'em Up
Filmography
Movie The Black Stallion Snoe 1979-10-13
Movie Passing Through 1977-01-01
Movie Car Wash Snapper 1976-10-22
Movie Black Shadows on the Silver Screen Self (archive footage) 1975-04-19
Movie A Dream for Christmas Donald Freeland 1973-12-24
Movie Buck and the Preacher Cudjo 1972-03-17
Movie Porgy and Bess Peter 1959-06-24
Series Casablanca Unknown 1955-09-27
Series The 20th Century Fox Hour Unknown 1955-10-05
Movie She Couldn't Say No Diaper Delivery Man 1954-02-15
Movie Jamaica Run Mose 1953-04-21
Movie The Sun Shines Bright Uncle Zack 1953-05-02
Movie The Las Vegas Story Train Porter (uncredited) 1952-01-30
Movie Caribbean Quashy 1952-09-01
Movie Apache Drums Jehu 1951-04-01
Movie Katie Did It Mose 1951-04-01
Movie My Forbidden Past Pompey 1951-04-25
Movie Riding High Whitey 1950-04-12
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Movie The Great Dan Patch Voodoo 1949-07-22
Movie An Act of Murder Mr. Pope 1948-12-05
Movie My Favorite Brunette Second Man on Death Row (uncredited) 1947-03-19
Movie Welcome Stranger Clarence, Train Waiter (uncredited) 1947-06-13
Movie Joe Palooka in the Knockout Smoky 1947-09-20
Movie Unconquered Jason 1947-10-10
Movie Two Smart People Train Porter 1946-06-04
Movie Without Love Train Porter 1945-03-22
Movie Jungle Queen Kyba 1945-01-22
Movie She Wouldn't Say Yes Porter (uncredited) 1945-11-29
Movie Scarlet Street Ben - Bank Janitor (uncredited) 1945-12-25
Movie The Racket Man George the Butler 1944-01-18
Movie Jam Session Henry 1944-04-13
Movie Double Indemnity Man (uncredited) 1944-06-14
Movie San Diego I Love You Porter (uncredited) 1944-09-29
Movie In the Meantime, Darling Henry 1944-09-22
Movie The Soul of a Monster Entertainer (uncredited) 1944-08-17
Movie The Sky's the Limit Colonial Club Doorman (uncredited) 1943-07-13
Movie Sherlock Holmes in Washington George 1943-03-24
Movie Honeymoon Lodge Porter 1943-07-23
Movie Shadow of a Doubt Pullman Porter 1943-01-15
Movie Heaven Can Wait Jasper (uncredited) 1943-08-05
Movie Over the Wall Sam 1943-12-25
Movie Flesh and Fantasy Jeff (uncredited) 1943-10-29
Movie Johnny Come Lately Butler 1943-09-03
Movie Twin Beds George 1942-04-30
Movie Tough as They Come Eddie 1942-06-05
Movie Strictly in the Groove Durham's Valet (uncredited) 1942-11-20
Movie The Talk of the Town Supreme Court Doorkeeper (uncredited) 1942-08-20
Movie The Black Swan Margaret's Servant 1942-12-04
Movie Invisible Ghost Evans the Butler 1941-04-25
Movie Adam Had Four Sons Sam (uncredited) 1941-03-27
Movie Love Crazy Robert - Hat Check Man at Party 1941-05-23
Movie Belle Starr Bootblack in Saloon (uncredited) 1941-09-12
Movie Kisses for Breakfast Old Jeff 1941-07-05
Movie Gentleman from Dixie Jupe 1941-09-02
Movie The Flame of New Orleans Samuel, Carriage Driver 1941-07-07
Movie Sporting Blood Jeff 1940-07-11
Movie Zanzibar Bino 1940-03-08
Movie Broken Strings Arthur Williams 1940-01-01
Movie Alice in Movieland Train Porter 1940-03-03
Movie Maryland Reverend Bitters 1940-07-19
Movie Chad Hanna Henry Prince 1940-12-25
Movie Murder Over New York Butler 1940-12-13
Movie That Gang of Mine Ben 1940-09-23
Movie Way Down South Uncle Caton 1939-07-21
Movie Spirit of Youth Frankie Walburn 1938-04-01
Movie The Toy Wife Brutus 1938-06-10
Movie Prison Train Train Steward / Sam 1938-10-17
Movie High Hat Congo MacRosenbloom 1937-01-01
Movie Jungle Menace Lightning 1937-09-01
Movie Muss 'em Up William 1936-02-13
Movie Show Boat Sam 1936-05-17
Movie The Broken Earth The Farmer 1936-04-16
Movie Spendthrift Restaurant Table Captain 1936-07-22
Movie Mysterious Crossing Lincoln 1936-12-27
Movie Alias Mary Dow 'Rufe' 1935-05-01
Movie Red Hot Tires Bud's Truck Partner 1935-02-02
Movie After the Dance Cook 1935-06-25
Movie So Red the Rose Cato 1935-12-20
Movie O'Shaughnessy's Boy Jeff 1935-09-27
Movie East of Java First Mate Johnson 1935-12-01
Movie Harmony Lane Old Joe 1935-10-22
Movie A Very Honorable Guy Black Man 1934-04-18
Movie Massacre Sam 1934-01-20
Movie The Personality Kid Shamrock 1934-06-06
Movie Black Moon 'Lunch' McClaren 1934-06-15
Movie Kid Millions Native (uncredited) 1934-11-10
Movie Broadway Bill Whitey 1934-11-30
Movie From Hell to Heaven Sam 1933-02-24
Movie Laughter in Hell Abraham Jackson 1933-01-12
Movie The Mind Reader Sam 1933-04-01
Movie Flying Down to Rio Caddy in Haiti (uncredited) 1933-12-22
Movie The Life of Jimmy Dolan Masseur 1933-06-03
Movie Night World Tim Washington, the Doorman 1932-05-04
Movie Attorney for the Defense Jefferson Q. Leffingwell 1932-05-21
Movie Lena Rivers Curfew 1932-03-27
Movie Prestige Nham 1932-01-22
Movie Is My Face Red? Horatio 1932-06-17
Movie The Wet Parade Taylor Tibbs 1932-03-26
Movie The Woman from Monte Carlo Tombeau 1932-01-09
Movie Winner Take All Rosebud, the Trainer 1932-07-16
Movie The Death Kiss Shoeshine Man 1932-12-05
Movie The Cabin in the Cotton A Blind Negro 1932-09-26
Movie Washington Merry-Go-Round Clarence 1932-10-15
Movie Blonde Venus Charlie, the Bartender (unconfirmed) 1932-09-23
Movie Big City Blues Nightclub Singer (uncredited) 1932-09-18
Movie Huckleberry Finn Jim 1931-08-07
Movie Dirigible Clarence 1931-04-04
Movie The Fighting Sheriff Curfew 1931-05-15
Movie Secret Service Jonas Polk 1931-11-14
Movie Safe in Hell Newcastle 1931-12-12
Movie The Secret Witness Jeff - Building Janitor 1931-12-31
Movie X Marks the Spot Eustace Brown 1931-12-13
Movie A Royal Romance Rusty 1930-03-17
Movie Honey Black Revivalist 1930-03-29
Movie The Thoroughbred Stablehand 1930-08-09
Movie Swing High Singer 1930-05-18
Movie Rain or Shine Nero 1930-08-15
Movie Hearts in Dixie Nappus 1929-01-02
Movie Election Day Farina's father 1929-01-12