Richard Ward (actor)

Last updated
Richard Ward
Born(1915-03-15)March 15, 1915
DiedJuly 1, 1979(1979-07-01) (aged 64)
OccupationActor
Years active19491979

Richard Ward (March 15, 1915 – July 1, 1979) was a gravel-voiced African American actor on the stage, television, and in films, from 1949 until his death. [1] [2] Though best known through his TV appearances late in life, both in sitcoms and police procedurals, Ward also had an extensive film resume and a distinguished stage career, one of the highlights of the latter being his portrayal of Willy Loman in the 1972 production of Death of a Salesman , staged in Baltimore's Center Stage (the first African American production of Arthur Miller's signature opus, produced with the playwright's blessing). [1] [3] [4] Ward's own favorite among his theatrical vehicles was Ceremonies in Dark Old Men . [5]

Actor person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

Television telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images

Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.

Willy Loman fictional character from Death of a Salesman

William "Willy" Loman is a fictional character and the protagonist of Arthur Miller's classic play Death of a Salesman, which debuted on Broadway with Lee J. Cobb playing Loman at the Morosco Theatre on February 10, 1949. Loman is a 63-year-old travelling salesman from Brooklyn with 34 years of experience with the same company who endures a pay cut and a firing during the play. He has difficulty dealing with his current state and has created a fantasy world to cope with his situation. This does not keep him from multiple suicide attempts.

Contents

Life and career

Ward was born in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He worked as a New York City police detective for ten years before beginning his acting career. [6] An Actors Studio alumnus, [7] Ward belatedly made his television debut in 1950 on the Perry Como Show, [2] later appearing on dramatic anthology series such as Playhouse 90, Studio One, and Hallmark Hall of Fame, before becoming a familiar face on seventies sitcoms like Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman , All in the Family , and The Jeffersons . [1]

<i>Playhouse 90</i> television series

Playhouse 90 was an American television anthology drama series that aired on CBS from 1956 to 1960 for a total of 133 episodes. The show was produced at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, California. Since live anthology drama series of the mid-1950s usually were hour-long shows, the title highlighted the network's intention to present something unusual: a weekly series of hour-and-a-half-long dramas rather than 60-minute plays.

<i>Hallmark Hall of Fame</i> television series

Hallmark Hall of Fame, originally called Hallmark Television Playhouse, is an anthology program on American television, sponsored by Hallmark Cards, a Kansas City-based greeting card company. The longest-running primetime series in the history of television, it first aired in 1951 and continues into the present day. From 1954 onward, all of its productions have been broadcast in color. It is one of the first video productions to telecast in color, a rarity in the 1950s. Many television movies have been shown on the program since its debut, though the program began with live telecasts of dramas and then changed to videotaped productions before finally changing to filmed ones.

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is an American satirical soap opera that aired in daily (weekday) syndication from January 1976 to May 1977. The series was produced by Norman Lear, directed by Joan Darling, Jim Drake, Nessa Hyams, and Giovanna Nigro, and starred Louise Lasser. The series writers were Gail Parent and Ann Marcus.

Ward made three guest appearances on Good Times as James's dad Henry (the name that James was known by on Maude), who had walked out on James' mom and siblings when he was younger. The first episode he appeared on, Henry was discovered by Thelma at ship port where he was working and she brought him home to surprise James for his birthday. At first, James didn't want to see him, but after a deep conversation, Henry was welcomed by his son to join the celebration. James wished he could have 100 more years with his dad. The other two episodes Henry appeared on were after James' death. On Sanford and Son, Ward appeared in the episode "The Stung" (1975); in it, Fred asks a professional gambler (played by Ward) to teach Lamont and his friends a lesson. In the pilot film for the cop show, Starsky and Hutch , Ward played Captain Dobey, though in the series itself that role was played by Bernie Hamilton. Ward did appear as a different character in one episode in the final series, shortly before his death of a heart attack.

<i>Good Times</i> American television sitcom

Good Times is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from February 8, 1974, to August 1, 1979. Created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, and developed by Norman Lear, the series' primary executive producer, it was television's first African American two-parent family sitcom. Good Times is a spin-off of Maude, which was itself a spin-off of All in the Family.

<i>Maude</i> (TV series) television series

Maude is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS network from September 12, 1972, until April 22, 1978.

<i>Sanford and Son</i> television series

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Partial filmography

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<i>Death of a Salesman</i> (1966 U.S. film) 1966 American television drama film by Alex Segal

Death of a Salesman is a 1966 American made-for-television film adaptation of the play of the same name by Arthur Miller. It was directed by Alex Segal and adapted for television by Miller. It received numerous nominations for awards, and won several of them, including three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Directors Guild of America Award and a Peabody Award. It was nominated in a total of 11 Emmy categories at the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1967. Lee J. Cobb reprised his role as Willy Loman and Mildred Dunnock reprised her role as Linda Loman from the original 1949 stage production.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Associated Press: "Richard Ward: Played Grandpa Evans on TV's 'Good Times;' Was Real Life Detective". The Toledo Blade. July 5, 1979.
  2. 1 2 "Guide to Richard Ward Papers" (PDF). New York Public Library. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  3. "Black TV Cook Says Role is Not Degrading". Jet. December 11, 1975.
  4. Murphy, Brenda (1995). "Production Chronology". Miller: Death of a Salesman (Plays in Production). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 179. ISBN   0-521-47865-0.
  5. Treaster, Joseph B.: "RICHARD WARD DIES; STAGE AND TV ACTOR; Played in 'Ceremonies in Dark Old Men' and 'Anna Lucasta'-- 'Good Times' Grandpa In Vaudeville With Sisters; Favorite Role Was in 'Ceremonies'". The New York Times. July 4, 1979.
  6. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=NCgxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=iwIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4315,1645553&dq=good-times+richard-ward&hl=en
  7. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of the Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN   0-02-542650-8.
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