Stepin Fetchit

Active - 1927 - 1976  |   Born - May 30, 1902   |   Died - Nov 19, 1985   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Musical

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Biography by Rovi

African American comedic character actor Stepin Fetchit, born Lincoln Perry, left his home in 1914 to pursue a show-business career. He first joined the Royal American Shows plantation revues adopting the stage name "Stepin Fetchit." He went on to spend several years on the vaudeville circuit. In the late '20s, he arrived in Hollywood where he made an immediate impact; by the time he appeared in Hearts in Dixie (1929) he was being hailed by some as one of the greatest screen comedians. In the more politically correct 1990s, Fetchit's screen persona of the lazy, inarticulate, and easily frightened Negro is considered extremely racist and offensive, but back in the unenlightened '30s, audiences found him hysterically funny, and he was the most celebrated black comic actor in Hollywood. He made few films after 1940, drifting into obscurity before resurfacing in the late '60s as a member of boxer Muhammad Ali's entourage (he had converted to the Black Muslim faith); he was also the litigant in a suit against CBS, whom he felt had negatively represented him in a 1968 TV documentary. He made two more films in the '70s, Amazing Grace (1974) and Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976).

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