Baskett as Uncle Remus in Song of the South
|Born||February 16, 1904|
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||July 9, 1948 44) (aged|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis, Indiana)|
|Other names||Jimmie Baskette|
James Baskett (February 16, 1904 – July 9, 1948) was an American actor known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus, singing the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" in the 1946 Disney feature film Song of the South . In recognition of his warm portrayal of the famous black storyteller he was given an Honorary Academy Award, making him the first black male performer to receive an Oscar.
Uncle Remus is the fictional title character and narrator of a collection of African-American folktales adapted and compiled by Joel Chandler Harris, published in book form in 1881. A journalist in post-Reconstruction Atlanta, Georgia, Harris produced seven Uncle Remus books. He wrote these stories to represent the struggle in the Southern United States, and more specifically in the plantations. He did so by introducing tales he had heard and framing them in the plantation context. He wrote his stories in a dialect that represented the voice of the narrators and their subculture. For this choice of framing, his collection has encountered controversy.
"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" is a song composed by Allie Wrubel with lyrics by Ray Gilbert from the Disney 1946 live action and animated movie Song of the South, sung by James Baskett. For "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", the film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and was the second in a long line of Disney songs to win this award, after "When You Wish upon a Star" from Pinocchio (1940). In 2004 it finished at number 47 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs, a survey of top tunes in American cinema.
The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Walt Disney or simply Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
After abandoning his plans to study pharmacology for financial reasons, James Baskett supported himself as an actor, moving from his home town of Indianapolis, Indiana to New York City, and joining the company of Bill Robinson, better known as Mr. Bojangles. As Jimmie Baskette, he appeared on Broadway with Louis Armstrong in the all-black musical revue Hot Chocolates in 1929, and was announced for Hummin' Sam in 1933, although it failed to open. Mr. Baskett also acted in several all-black films made in the New York area, including Harlem Is Heaven (1932) starring Bill Robinson. He went to Los Angeles, California and had a supporting role in Straight to Heaven (1939), starring Nina Mae McKinney, and bit parts in the films Revenge of the Zombies (1943) and The Heavenly Body (1944). He was invited by Freeman Gosden to join the cast of the Amos 'n' Andy radio show as lawyer Gabby Gibson, whom he portrayed from 1944 to 1948.
Pharmacology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.
Indianapolis, often shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U.S. The Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U.S., with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles (950 km2), making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U.S.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
In 1945, he auditioned for a bit part voicing one of the animals in the new Disney feature film Song of the South (1946), based on the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris. Walt Disney was impressed with Baskett's talent and hired him on the spot for the lead role of Uncle Remus. Baskett was also given the voice role of Brer Fox, one of the film's animated antagonists, and even filled in as the main animated protagonist, Brer Rabbit, in one sequence. This was one of the first Hollywood portrayals of a black actor as a non-comic character in a leading role in a film meant for general audiences.
A bit part is a role in which there is direct interaction with the principal actors and no more than five lines of dialogue, often referred to as a five-or-less or under-five in the United States, or under sixes in British television.
Song of the South is a 1946 American live-action/animated musical film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. It is based on the collection of Uncle Remus stories as adapted by Joel Chandler Harris, and stars James Baskett as Uncle Remus. The film takes place in the southern United States during the Reconstruction Era, a period of American history shortly after the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. The story follows 7-year-old Johnny who is visiting his grandmother's plantation for an extended stay. Johnny befriends Uncle Remus, one of the workers on the plantation, and takes joy in hearing his tales about the adventures of Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear. Johnny learns from the stories how to cope with the challenges he is experiencing while living on the plantation.
Joel Chandler Harris was an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist best known for his collection of Uncle Remus stories. Harris was born in Eatonton, Georgia, where he served as an apprentice on a plantation during his teenage years. He spent most of his adult life in Atlanta working as an associate editor at the Atlanta Constitution.
Baskett was not allowed to attend the film's premiere in Atlanta, Georgia because Atlanta was racially segregated by law.
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is also the 38th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.
Although Baskett was occasionally criticized for accepting such a "demeaning" role, his acting was almost universally praised, and columnist Hedda Hopper was one of the many journalists who declared that he should receive an Academy Award for his work.
Hedda Hopper was an American actress and gossip columnist, notorious for feuding with her arch-rival Louella Parsons. She had been a moderately successful actress of stage and screen for years before being offered the chance to write the column Hedda Hopper's Hollywood for the Los Angeles Times in 1938. At the height of her power in the 1940s she commanded a 35 million strong readership. She was well known for her political conservatism, and during the McCarthy era she named suspected communists. Hopper continued to write gossip until the end, her work appearing in many magazines and later on radio.
On March 20, 1948, Baskett received an Honorary Academy Award for his performance as Uncle Remus.He was the first African-American male actor to win an Academy Award.
The Academy Honorary Award – instituted in 1950 for the 23rd Academy Awards – is given annually by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards, although prior winners of competitive Academy Awards are not excluded from receiving the Honorary Award.
Baskett had been in poor health around 1946 during the filming of Song of the South due to diabetes and suffered a heart attack. His health continued to decline, and he was often unable to attend the Amos and Andy show he was in. On July 9, 1948 during the show's summer hiatus,Baskett died of heart failure resulting from diabetes at age 44. He was survivied by his wife Margaret and his mother Elizabeth. He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.
|1932||Harlem Is Heaven||Money Johnson||Film debut; credited as Jimmy Baskette|
|1933||20,000 Cheers for the Chain Gang||Vocalist||Uncredited|
|1938||Gone Harlem||Credited as Jimmie Baskette|
|1938||Policy Man||Credited as Jimmie Baskette|
|1939||Straight to Heaven||First Detective|
|1943||Revenge of the Zombies||Lazarus||Alternative title: The Corpse Vanished|
|1944||The Heavenly Body||Porter||Uncredited|
|1946||Song of the South|| Uncle Remus |
Br'er Fox (voice)
Br'er Rabbit (voice, one scene)
|(final film role)|
Sir Sidney Poitier, is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author, and diplomat.
Paul Murry was an American cartoonist and comics artist. He is best known for his Disney comics, which appeared in Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics from 1946 to 1984.
So Dear to My Heart is a 1948 feature film produced by Walt Disney, whose world premiere was in Chicago, Illinois on November 29, 1948, released by RKO Radio Pictures. Like 1946's Song of the South, the film combines animation and live action. It is based on the 1943 Sterling North book Midnight and Jeremiah which was revised by North to parallel the film's storyline amendments and then re-issued under the title So Dear to My Heart.
Gary Anthony Williams is an American actor and voice actor. He provided the voice of Uncle Ruckus on The Boondocks, Yancy Westridge in the video game Alpha Protocol, and Horace Warfield in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. He appeared on the television series Weeds, Boston Legal, Blue Collar TV and as Abe Kenarban in Malcolm in the Middle. Williams co-founded and is Artistic Director of the L.A. Comedy Shorts film festival in Hollywood, California. He starred alongside Cedric the Entertainer on the TV Land sitcom The Soul Man, He has been a recurring guest on the improv comedy TV series Whose Line is it Anyway, and is a regular member of the live improv comedy show The Black Version.
A Symposium on Popular Songs is a special cartoon featurette made by Walt Disney Productions in 1962. It features songs written by the Sherman Brothers with music arrangements by Tutti Camarata. The Shermans also co-wrote the screenplay but are not credited for this. Host Ludwig Von Drake invites his audience into his mansion where he tells all about popular music through the years, introducing several songs illustrated with stop-motion photography. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. It was released on DVD in 2005 as part of the Walt Disney Treasures set Disney Rarities.
The Adventures of Brer Rabbit is a book, a play, and a film inspired by the Uncle Remus stories. The central character's actual name is Br'er Rabbit, but in the title "Br'er" is simplified as "Brer".
No film received more than three awards at the 20th Academy Awards. This would not recur until the 78th Academy Awards.
Br'er Rabbit, also spelled Bre'r Rabbit or Brer Rabbit, is a central figure as Uncle Remus tells stories of the Southern United States. Br'er Rabbit is a trickster who succeeds by his wits rather than by brawn, provoking authority figures and bending social mores as he sees fit. The Walt Disney Company later adapted this character for its 1946 animated motion picture Song of the South.
Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear are fictional characters from the Uncle Remus folktales adapted and compiled by Joel Chandler Harris.
Hamilton Luton Luske was an American animator and film director. He joined the Walt Disney Productions animation studio in 1931 and he was soon trusted enough by Walt Disney to be made supervising animator of Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Baskett is a surname that may refer to:
John Dotson Lee Jr. was an American singer, dancer and actor known for voicing the role of Br'er Rabbit in Disney's Song of the South (1946). He is probably best remembered as the clownish, cringing, tremulous-voiced shyster pseudo-lawyer Algonquin J. Calhoun in the CBS Amos 'n' Andy TV and radio comedy series in the early 1950s.
Riley A. Thomson, Jr. was an American animator and comics artist who spent most of his career working with Walt Disney films and characters. He directed six Disney short films including The Nifty Nineties and Symphony Hour.
Events in 1948 in animation.
A live-action animated film is one that combines live action filmmaking with animation.
Harlem Is Heaven is a 1932 American pre-Code crime drama and musical film directed by Irwin Franklyn and featuring a virtually all African-American cast. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson stars in his first leading role on screen, along with Putney Dandridge, John Mason, and some of the top entertainers of the period from Harlem's famous Cotton Club, including James Baskett, Anise Boyer, Henri Wessell, and Alma Smith. Eubie Blake and his orchestra perform most of the background music and instrumentals during the film's onstage song and dance numbers.