Paul Winfield

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Paul Winfield
PaulWinfield.jpg
Born(1939-05-22)May 22, 1939
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMarch 7, 2004(2004-03-07) (aged 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Heart attack
Resting place
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Other namesPaul E. Winfield
EducationManual Arts High School, Los Angeles City College
Alma materUniversity of Portland, Stanford University, University of California at Los Angeles
OccupationActor
Years active1965–2004
Partner(s)Charles Gillan, Jr. (1972–2002)
 
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Paul Winfield
PaulWinfield.jpg
Born(1939-05-22)May 22, 1939
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMarch 7, 2004(2004-03-07) (aged 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Heart attack
Resting place
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Other namesPaul E. Winfield
EducationManual Arts High School, Los Angeles City College
Alma materUniversity of Portland, Stanford University, University of California at Los Angeles
OccupationActor
Years active1965–2004
Partner(s)Charles Gillan, Jr. (1972–2002)

Paul Edward Winfield (May 22, 1939 – March 7, 2004) was an American television, film and stage actor. He was known for his portrayal of a Louisiana sharecropper who struggles to support his family during the Great Depression in the landmark film Sounder, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Winfield portrayed Captain Clark Terrell of the Starship Reliant in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and he also portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1978 television miniseries King, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Early years[edit]

Winfield was born in Los Angeles, California to Lois Beatrice Edwards, a union organizer in the garment industry. His stepfather from the age of eight was Clarence Winfield, a city trash collector and construction worker.[1][2] He attended Manual Arts High School, the University of Portland, Stanford University, Los Angeles City College and the University of California at Los Angeles.[3]

Career[edit]

A life member of The Actors Studio,[4] Winfield carved out a diverse career in film, television, theater and voiceovers by taking ground breaking roles at a time when African-American actors were rarely cast. He first appeared in the 1965 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Runaway Racer," as Mitch, a race car mechanic. His first major feature film role was in the 1969 film, The Lost Man starring Sidney Poitier. Winfield first became well-known to television audiences when he appeared for several years opposite Diahann Carroll on the groundbreaking television series Julia. Filmed during a high point of racial tensions in the United States, the show was unique in featuring an African-American female as the central character. He also starred as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1978 miniseries King.

In 1973, Winfield was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1972 film Sounder,[5] and his co-star in that film, Cicely Tyson, was nominated for Best Actress. Prior to their nominations, and Diana Ross for Lady Sings the Blues the same year with Winfield and Tyson, only three other African AmericansDorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier and James Earl Jones – had ever been nominated for a leading role. He also appeared, in a different role, in the 2003 Disney-produced television remake of Sounder, which was directed by Kevin Hooks, his co-star from the original. Winfield played the part of “Jim the Slave” in Huckleberry Finn (1974) which was a musical based on the novel by Mark Twain. Winfield would recall late in his career that as a young actor he had played one of the two leads in Of Mice and Men in local repertory, made up in whiteface, since a black actor playing it would have been unthinkable. Winfield also starred in the miniseries, including Scarlett, and two based on the works of novelist Alex Haley: Roots: The Next Generations and Queen: The Story of an American Family.

Winfield gained a new segment of fans for his brief but memorable roles in several science fiction television series and movies. He portrayed Starfleet Captain Clark Terrell of the USS Reliant, an unwilling minion of Khan Noonien Singh, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Lieutenant Ed Traxler, a friendly but crusty cop partnered with Lance Henriksen in The Terminator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1996, he was part of the 'name' ensemble cast in Tim Burton's comic homage to 1950s science fiction Mars Attacks!, playing the complacently self-satisfied Lt. General Casey. On the small screen Star Trek franchise, he appeared as an alien captain who communicates in metaphor in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok". He also appeared in the second season Babylon 5 episode "Gropos" as General Richard Franklin, the father of regular character Dr. Stephen Franklin, and on the fairy tale sitcom The Charmings as The Evil Queen's wise-cracking Magic Mirror. He also portrayed the character of Julian Barlow in the television series 227 during its last two seasons.

Winfield also took on roles as gay characters in the films Mike's Murder in 1984 and again in 1998 in the film Relax...It's Just Sex. He found success off-camera due to his unique voice. He provided voices on the cartoons Spider-Man, The Magic School Bus, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, Batman Beyond, Gargoyles, K10C and The Simpsons, on the latter voicing the Don King parody Lucius Sweet. In his voiceover career, he is perhaps best known as the narrator for the A&E true crime series City Confidential, a role he began in 1998 and continued with until his death in 2004.

Throughout his career, Winfield frequently managed to perform in the theater. His only Broadway production, Checkmates, in 1988, co-starring Ruby Dee, was also the Broadway debut of Denzel Washington. He also appeared in productions at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Winfield was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in the King and Roots: The Next Generations. He won an Emmy Award, in 1995, for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for his appearance as Judge Harold Nance in an episode of the CBS drama Picket Fences.

Personal life and death[edit]

Winfield was gay but remained discreet about it in the public eye.[6] His partner of 30 years, architect Charles Gillan, Jr., died on March 5, 2002 of bone cancer.

Winfield long battled obesity and diabetes. He died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 64, at Queen of Angels – Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles.[7] Winfield and Gillan are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

He was also the cousin of actor William Marshall who played the lead role in the classic 1972 Blaxploitation horror film[8] Blacula.

Selected filmography[edit]

Film
YearFilmRoleNotes
1967Who's Minding the Mint?Garbage manUncredited
1970R. P. M.Steve Dempsey
1971Brother JohnHenry Birkart
1972Trouble ManChalky Price
1972SounderNathan Lee Morgan
1973Gordon's WarGordon Hudson
1974ConrackMad Billy
1974Huckleberry FinnJim
1975HustleSergeant Louis Belgrave
1976High VelocityWatson
1977Damnation AlleyKeegan
1977The GreatestLawyer
1977Twilight's Last GleamingWillis Powell
1978A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a SandwichButler
1981Carbon CopyBob Garvey
1982White DogKeys
1982Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanCaptain Clark Terrell
1983On the RunHarry
1984The TerminatorLt. Ed Traxler
1984Mike's MurderPhilip
1986Blue CityLuther Reynolds
1987Death Before DishonorAmbassador
1987Big ShotsJohnnie Red
1988The Serpent and the RainbowLucien Celine
1990Presumed InnocentJudge Larren Lyttle
1993CliffhangerWalter Wright
1993Dennis the MenaceChief of Police
1994The Killing JarJudgeAlternative title: Trapped
1995In the FleshWilliam Stone
1996Original GangstasReverend DorseyAlternative title: Hot City
1996Mars Attacks!Lt. General Casey
1997Strategic CommandRowan
1998Assignment BerlinAl Spector
1999Catfish in Black Bean SauceHarold Williams
2000KnockoutRon Regent
2001Vegas, City of DreamsEdgar Jones
2002Second to DieDetective Grady
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1965Perry MasonMitch1 episode
1966The Man from U.N.C.L.E.EP The Minus x AffairMilitary M.P.
1966DaktariRoy Kimba2 episodes
1967Cowboy in AfricaKabutu1 episode
1968Mission: ImpossibleKlaus1 episode
1969MannixWalter Lucas1 episode
1970The Young RebelsPompey1 episode
1973The Horror at 37,000 FeetDr. EnkallaTelevision movie
1974It's Good to Be AliveRoy CampanellaTelevision movie
1977Green EyesLloyd DubeckTelevision movie
1978KingDr. Martin Luther King Jr.Miniseries
1979Backstairs at the White HouseEmmett Rogers Sr.Miniseries
1980Angel CityCyTelevision movie
1981The Sophisticated GentsRichard "Bubbles" WigginsTelevision movie
1982The Blue and the GrayJonathan HenryMiniseries
1983For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers StoryTelevision movie
1984The Fall GuyBert Perkins1 episode
1985Murder, She WroteDet. Lieutenant Starkey1 episode
1986Under SiegeAndrew SimonTelevision movie
1987Mighty PawnsMr. WrightTelevision movie
1987–1988The CharmingsThe Magic Mirror19 episodes
1988–1990227Julian C. Barlow24 episodes
1989The Women of Brewster PlaceSam MichaelMiniseries
WiseguyIsaac Twine6 episodes
1990L.A. LawDerron Holloway4 episodes
1991Family MattersJimmy Baines1 episode
1991Star Trek: The Next GenerationCaptain Dathon1 episode
1993Irresistible ForceCommander TooleTelevision movie
1994ScarlettBig SamMiniseries
1994–1998The Magic School BusMr. RuhleOccasional guest voice
1995TysonDon KingTelevision movie
1995Babylon 5General Richard Franklin1 episode
1995White DwarfDr. AkadaTelevision movie
1995–2003Touched by an AngelSam13 episodes
1996Second NoahRamses1 episode
1998Walker, Texas RangerPastor Roscoe Jones1 episode
1999–2004City ConfidentialNarrator94 episodes
1999Strange JusticeThurgood MarshallTelevision movie
2002Crossing JordanDr. Phillip Sanders1 episode
2003SounderKindly schoolteacherTelevision movie

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardResultCategoryFilm or series
1973Academy AwardNominatedBest Actor in a Leading RoleSounder
2004Black Reel AwardsNominatedTelevision: Best Supporting ActorSounder
1997Daytime Emmy AwardNominatedOutstanding Performer in a Children's SpecialThe Legend of Gator Face
1982NAACP Image AwardsWonBest Performance by an Actor in a Dramatic Series or Miniseries or Television MovieThe Sophisticated Gents
1978Primetime Emmy AwardNominatedOutstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a SpecialKing
1979Roots: The Next Generations
(For episode V)
1995WonOutstanding Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesPicket Fences
(For episode "Enemy Lines")
1999St. Louis International Film FestivalWonLifetime Achievement Award

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paul Winfield Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  2. ^ "Paul Winfield Biography". yahoo! Movies. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  3. ^ "Paul Winfield". Contemporary Black Biography. The Gale Group, Inc. 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  4. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 
  5. ^ Roger Greenspun (1972-09-25). "Sounder (1972) Screen: 'Sounder' Opens: Story of a Negro Boy in Louisiana of 1930's". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Linda Rapp (2005). "Winfield, Paul". glbtq encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  7. ^ King, Susan (2004-03-09). "Oscar-nominated actor Paul Winfield dies". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  8. ^ Allmusic Gene Page, Blacula

External links[edit]