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Mel Stewart

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Mel Stewart
Mel Stewart
Mel Stewart in an episode of CBS-TV's Murder, She Wrote'

Birthname

Milton Stewart

Born

(1929-09-19)September 19, 1929

Birthplace

Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

Died

February 24, 2002(2002-02-24) (aged 72)

Deathplace and cause

Pacifica, California, U.S. (Alzheimer's disease)

All In The Family character

Henry Jefferson, seasons 1-4

Occupation

Actor, television director, musician

Years active

1959–1993

Spouse

Annie Dong, 1976-2002, his death

Small flag infobox wordmark

Milton "Mel" Stewart (September 19, 1929 – February 24, 2002) was an American character actor, television director, and musician who appeared in numerous films and television shows from the 1960s to the 1990s. He is best known for playing Henry Jefferson on the popular television series All In The Family. Stewart is sometimes credited as Melvin Stewart or Melvin Stuart.

CareerEdit

Mel Stewart began his acting career in 1959 with bit parts in TV and films. In the early 1960s, Stewart also appeared in the Broadway theatre shows Purlie Victorious, The Hostage, The Cool World, and Simply Heavenly.[1]

Stewart's early career also included notable work as a voice actor. He provided the narration for "Scenes in the City", a long jazz composition with a text by Lonne Elder and Langston Hughes that appeared on Charles Mingus' 1957 album A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry.[2] [3] In 1961, Stewart recorded an album of Langston Hughes' poetry on Folkways Records: Langston Hughes' The Best of Simple.[4]

Stewart went on to land roles in various television series including That Girl, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Bob Newhart Show, Good Times, and Harry O. One of his most memorable roles was as Henry Jefferson on the series All in the Family. In 1973, he co-starred in the short-lived series Roll Out. The following year, Stewart directed two episodes of yet another short-lived series Get Christie Love!, before co-starring in On the Rocks. After On the Rocks was canceled in 1976, Stewart portrayed the role of Marvin Decker in the Bewitched spin-off series Tabitha from 1977 to 1978.

In the 1980s, Stewart continued guest starring in both television and films. He also had a recurring role on Scarecrow and Mrs. King as Billy Melrose during the show's four year run. His last on screen appearance came in the 1993 film Made in America, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson.

Side projectsEdit

In addition to acting and directing, Stewart was an accomplished jazz saxophonist. A longtime resident of San Francisco, he also taught acting at San Francisco State University.[1] His students included actor Danny Glover.[5] He established the theater group Black Actors Now Through Unity (BANTU) and directed plays at the Center for African and African-American Art and Culture in San Francisco and the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California.[1]

A third degree black belt in aikido, Stewart opened a dojo for inner-city youth in the Bayview district of San Francisco.[1]

Personal life and deathEdit

On July 11, 1976, Stewart married Annie Dong. The couple had one child together, a daughter.[1] On February 24, 2002, Mel Stewart died of Alzheimer's disease.

ReferencesEdit

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