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Alvin Childress (September 10, 1907 – April 19, 1986) was an American theater, film and television actor, best known for his role as taxi driver Amos Jones in the series television of the 1950s Amos’ n Andy.
Born in Meridian, Mississippi, he was educated at Rust College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. When he began his education at the college, Childress did not intend to pursue acting, but ended up taking part in theatrical activities outside of study time.Childress moved to New York and worked as an actor with the Harlem’s Lafayette Players, a group of performers. of repertoire associated with the Lafayette Theater of Harlem. Shortly after, he acted for the Federal Theater Project, the American Negro Theater, and film productions of race (with cast of black actors) as Keep Punching (1939) .His greatest theatrical success came with the role of Noah in the popular comedy Anna Lucasta, who performed 957 times, also worked at the Teachers College of Columbia University, and ran his own store dedicated to radio and records in New York.
When he heard of the casting for the television series Amos’ n Andy, Childress decided to apply, being hired a year before the show was aired, he was chosen to play Amos Jones, and the series was broadcast for two years. by CBS, also working in the vaudeville comedian Tim Moore. Childress originally wanted the role of The Kingfish, but Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden wanted him to play Amos. [13 ]
Shortly after the show was over, it was planned to turn it into a vaudeville number, with Childress, Spencer Williams and Moore playing the same roles in the series. It is not known if any representation was made. In 1956, when the program was no longer broadcast, Childress and some of his partners on the show (Moore, Williams and Lillian Randolph and his choir), began a tour of the country under the title of “The TV Stars of Amos ‘n’ Andy”. The tour was stopped by CBS, as the network considered it infringed on their rights to the program. Without interpretive work, for a short time Childress had to make a living parking cars in a luxury restaurant in Beverly Hills, California.
Subsequently, Childress was able to do other television works, including the one he played in the Perry Mason series, Sanford and Son, Good Times and The Jeffersons, as well as participating in the film productions Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) and The Day of the Locust (1975).
Childress’s first wife was Alice Herndon, a writer and actress known by the name of Alice Childress (1916-1994). The couple remained married from 1934 to 1957, and had a daughter, Jean Rosa.
From 1961 to 1973, Childress worked for the Personnel Department of Los Angeles and the Civil Service Commission of Los Angeles County.
Affected by diabetes and other illnesses, Alvin Childress died in Inglewood, California, in 1986. He was buried in the Harmony Park National Memorial Cemetery in Landover, Maryland. < / p>
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