Al Freeman Jr.
Al Freeman Jr. , son of actor Al Freeman, began his own acting career in 1958. He worked on several television shows before appearing in the 1964 film "Black Like Me," an adaptation of John Howard Griffin's classic nonfiction account of racial attitudes in the late '50s. Several years later, Freeman played the role of Howard in Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-nominated film "Finian's Rainbow" starring Fred Astaire. Freeman landed his first major part in 1970, with the title role in "My Sweet Charlie" costarring Patty Duke; he earned his first Emmy nomination for his performance. He received his second Emmy nom in 1979, playing Malcolm X on the acclaimed miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations." Freeman played other important characters in the Civil Rights struggle as well, in the miniseries "King" and in Spike Lee's film "Malcolm X," where he portrayed Malcolm X's spiritual teacher, Elijah Muhammad. In addition to his acting work, Freeman has directed episodes of the long-running soap opera "One Life to Live," and teaches acting at Howard University.