Monday, April 09, 2007

The Cocoa Lounge Remembers: Calvin Lockhart

From The Cocoa Lounge

We were devastated to learn of the passing of Calvin Lockhart, and it is with great sorrow that we remember this legendary actor, one of our all-time favorites...

The Cocoa Lounge Remembers Calvin Lockhart (1934-2007)

Before Denzel Washington, and slightly after the reign of Harry Belafonte, there was Calvin Lockhart. During his nearly 30 year film career, his acting talent was upstaged only by his tremendous good looks. Though his skill and physical assests surpassed many of his caucasian contemporaries, Hollywood failed to capitalize on the ball of fire that was Calvin Lockhart. Despite the limitations of the film industry for black actors of the time, his contribution to film remains etched on celluloid; showcasing a talent unbound by continent, genre, or race.

The Cocoa Lounge Remembers Calvin Lockhart (1934-2007)Calvin Lockhart was born Bert Cooper on October 18, 1934 and raised in Nassau Bahamas, moving to New York City at the tender age of 19. The story goes that during this time, he was so disturbed by people's fascination with his looks that he attempted to disfigure his face with scissors. He later moved to London where many of his early films were produced, and would also become the place he called home for 13 years. The looks that he resented so much in his youth would come to work to his advantage; in 1971 he was declared "The World's Sexiest Man" by the British public. Much of his early work can not be seen on video in the U.S., though he worked extensively in America during the 1970's. His most memorable available work can be seen in 1973's Cotton Comes to Harlem opposite Cocoa Lounge Legend, Judy Pace and the Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier comedies Uptown Saturday Night and Let's Do It Again in which he played characters "Silky Slim" and "Biggie Smalls" respectively, roles that later influenced members of the hip-hop community, most namely, the Notorious B.I.G.

Though Calvin Lockhart's appearances would diminish in number and acclaim over the years, he left an indelible mark in the hearts of filmgoers the world over. He is perhaps one of the most beautiful men of African descent ever to inhabit a film frame and beyond that, a captivating presence to watch onscreen.

Mr. Lockhart died March 29th, 2007 of complications from a stroke. He was reportedly filming a movie titled "Rain," one of his first screen roles in over 10 years. For Lockhart fans, the film may provide one last look at a man who was instrumental in opening doors for African American leading men. He will be truly missed.

The Cocoa Lounge Remembers Calvin Lockhart (1934-2007)The Cocoa Lounge Remembers Calvin LockhartThe Cocoa Lounge Remembers Calvin Lockhart (1934-2007)


More information on Calvin Lockhart:

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34 comments:

Casey said...

OMG! That is sad sad news. Calvin stands up there as one of the finest brothers I've seen in my life and I loved seeing him in all those old movies. I hope he's resting in peace.

Mister Mr said...

Not my man Biggie Smalls. Aw naw! Now we lost both of em. :(

Anonymous said...

When I found out about this, I didn't believe it was true. The first brotha I heard speak with a British accent. RIP

J-Mill said...

I found your site looking up Calvin on wikipedia. How unfortunate.

I always remembered the line from Cotton comes to harlem when Gravedigger said to Calvin "You could've been another Marcus Garvey or even another Malcolm X..." That's true about a lot of young black men and it always stuck with me. RIP.

Charece said...

Aww! I remember him from one of my favorite movies Let's Do It Again, what a handsome man he was, definately a true beauty.

Irena said...

No idea who he was but I'm going to find out and he is much cuter than denzel...my opinion though:-)

black socialite said...

This news is indeed tragic. I wish his family the best.

Anonymous said...

abzolutely beautiful as a young man. does anyone know if he had any children or sons?

The Cocoa Lounge said...

I'm sure Mr. Lockhart would appreciate all the love in here. CL did have sons. I think the youngest is in his mid-20's, and he didn't have much contact with his father until recently. He's not an exact replica of his dad, but he is a handsome young man.

Jennifer said...

Calvin had 4 children sons Michael, Leslie, and Julien and daughter Shari. Julien is his youngest son and yes is very handsome.

Thank you for your condolences.

Mrs. Calvin Lockhart
Jennifer Miles-Lockhart

Jennifer said...

News report his birthdate as 9/18/1934. His correct birthdate is October 18., 1934.

Boo Hooing!! said...

WOW!! I was busy mourning my pastor's (Bishop G.E. Patterson) passing that I had been caught up in funeral's and gatherings to stay abreast of worldly goings ons, nut to my dismay when I picked up a friends JET magazine and only to find that my main man has passed on! This is my very first crush!! Oh My GOD!! I LOVED this man! I even went on yahoo answers and asked the question does anybody other than me think he was the dreamiest man ever!! I would sit and watch that Leo the Last and The Beast just to see him! And yall know I got most of the ones he did here! I remember him being on Good Times as fine ass Cousin Raymond and I almost lost my mind! I think I was 4 or 5 and remembered that name cause that brother was car wreck fine! Man I just started feeling better only to be sad again! p.s. on a lighter note "Glad I found this page"! To the family my condolences

The Cocoa Lounge said...

Thank you, Mrs. Lockhart. We're honored to have your presence here. Your family is definitely in our hearts and prayers at this time.

The Cocoa Lounge said...

Boo--

There with you, sista! In addition to Leo The Last, We ebay-ed and scoured through flea markets to find Joanna, Melinda, and Halls of Anger; plowed through old Jet & Ebony magazines at the library for months, tivo-ed several episodes of Good Times (on TV one), re-watched the Poitier-Cosby comedies for the nth time...all to get a few more glances at that face. What an impact!

Last year, while working here in LA, I met the screenwriter (an older caucasian man) of a film Calvin Lockhart had work on in the 60's. I of course told him how much I admired Mr. Lockhart. The writer then proceeded to recall to me the exact day he met Calvin...remembering him down to the white suit he wore that day. He called Calvin the "most beautiful man" he had seen in his life. And I wholeheartedly agree with him.

Anonymous said...

Truly, the 1st man I fell in love w/Silky Slim! My prayers goes out to his family.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Lockhart in the
70's and he became a friend of ours. He was a true gentleman and most interesting company. He was not only blessed with extraordinary looks but an exceptional mind, as well.

wendy said...

I loved Calvin Lockhart, this brother had poise, class and style. He was one sexy man! A true chocolate drop. It is hard to believe that he was that old when he passed. Although I had not seen him in years, he always seemed to be so youthful.

He should have been a leading man. I will definitely miss him.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing the film Joanna at the tender age of 15, thinking to myself that man is finer than my father. He should have been a huge star ..... no one should ask who is Calvin Lockhart?

Hanshi said...

The brother is smooth, cool and fun to watch. He steals the show in his flicks.

johnny said...

My brother Calvin,
I will always remember you as the greatest and the best of the best during those years in Hollywood. Thanks.
Prince Johnny Ousseni-Bello

Kim said...

Alas,
The end of an era. Mr Lockhart was definitely one of a kind. Now I can see why I find Marcus Samuelsson so stunning!I was remembering my childhood crush on Calvin Lockhart...

Anonymous said...

" Yes,"! I truly miss one of my
Favorite actors!! Growing up as a kid in "Chicago" going to stage plays and movies in the very early seventies. Watching him, Sidney, William Marshall, Jim, Ossie. Now, I'm in the acting business. U ( Calvin), Sidney, William Marshall--Thank u sir. Loved u in " Melinda, Halls of Anger"!!! ADRIAN/Chicago!

www.castellon-3d.com said...

For my part every person ought to go through it.

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JoAnnGamble said...

Just research Mr.Lockhart after seeing "Let's Do It Again,thinking what a amazing actor he was not to mention he was so beautiful.My grandson could be his twin, same color,facial features,hair yes my grandson is"fine"just 16 years old and smart,shy and smart.Just seeing Mr.Lockhart I couldn't help but see the resemblance.Well anyone so sorry he passed even though it's been several years,he was an awesome actor.RIP

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Heather Bradley said...

Perfection of no parallel to any other human being. From his perfectly aligned toes to the tip of his head. This was Calvin Lockheart. Perfection in his speach made his voice quite distinguishable. Flawless complextion of chocolate allmost untouchable and too good to be true. Definately one of Gods angels made in his own image and likeness. Rest In Peace my friend until we meet again. Love you till I take my last breath.

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Anonymous said...

Why doesnt anyone mention that he has a
daughter in Miami, Fl?