Albert Freeman, Jr., ‘Malcolm X’ Star, Dies at 78

ALBERT FREEMAN JR.Albert Freeman, Jr., best known as the actor who portrayed Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in the 1992 biopic Malcolm X, died on Friday at the age of 78. The Huffington Post reports the news, as confirmed by the Washington D.C. institution Howard University, where Freeman taught acting. The cause of death has not been disclosed.

In addition to his featured role in Spike Lee’s aforementioned Malcolm X biopic, Freeman played Malcolm X himself in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generations. Freeman’s varied acting career also boasted films such as the civil rights story Black Like Me and the musical fantasy Finian’s Rainbow, as well as television programs such as One Life to Live, Homicide: Life on the Street, and The Cosby Show.

Freeman also co-wrote the script for the 1976 drama Cool Red with star and director Ossie Davis.

[Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.

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