Moses Gunn

Actor, Teacher of speech and drama, Theatrical director
Authoritative black character actor of film and TV also enjoyed a successful career on stage. Gunn made his NY stage debut in the original off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's "The Blacks" (1962). A co-founder of the ... Read more »
Born: 10/01/1929 in St Louis, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Actor (48)

Memphis 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Fitting Punishment 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

A Man Called Hawk 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Cosby Show 1989 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Luckiest Man in the World 1989 (Movie)

The Voice (Actor)

Bates Motel 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Dixie Lanes 1987 (Movie)

Popinjay (Actor)

Leonard Part 6 1987 (Movie)

Giorgio (Actor)

Heartbreak Ridge 1986 (Movie)

Sergeant Webster (Actor)

Certain Fury 1985 (Movie)

Doctor Freedman (Actor)

Firestarter 1984 (Movie)

Dr Pynchot (Actor)

The Killing Floor 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Neverending Story 1984 (Movie)

Cairon (Actor)

The Ninth Configuration 1984 (Movie)

Major Nammack (Actor)

Amityville II: The Possession 1982 (Movie)

Turner (Actor)

Ragtime 1981 (Movie)

Booker T Washington (Actor)

The Contender 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Remember My Name 1978 (Movie)

Pike (Actor)

The First Breeze of Summer 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Rollerball 1975 (Movie)

Cletus (Actor)

Aaron Loves Angela 1974 (Movie)

Ike (Actor)

Amazing Grace 1974 (Movie)

Welton J Waters (Actor)

Cornbread, Earl & Me 1974 (Movie)

Blackwell (Actor)

The Cowboys 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Eagle in a Cage 1972 (Movie)

General Gourgaud (Actor)

The Iceman Cometh 1972 (Movie)

Joe Mott (Actor)

Shaft 1971 (Movie)

Bumpy Jonas (Actor)

Shaft's Big Score 1971 (Movie)

Bumpy Jonas (Actor)

The Hot Rock 1971 (Movie)

Dr. Amusa (Actor)

Carter's Army 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

The Great White Hope 1970 (Movie)

Scipio (Actor)

Wild Rovers 1970 (Movie)

Ben (Actor)

Wusa 1970 (Movie)

Clotho (Actor)

What's So Bad About Feeling Good? 1968 (Movie)

(Actor)

Nothing But a Man 1964 (Movie)

(Actor)

Brother Future (TV Show)

Actor

Father Murphy (TV Show)

Actor

Good Times (TV Show)

Actor

Haunts of the Very Rich (TV Show)

Actor

Law of the Land (TV Show)

Actor

Memphis (Movie)

Tio Wiggins (Actor)

Murder Times Seven (TV Show)

Actor

Perfect Harmony (TV Show)

Actor

Roots (TV Show)

Actor

The House of Dies Drear (TV Show)

Actor

The Sheriff (TV Show)

Actor

The Women of Brewster Place (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Authoritative black character actor of film and TV also enjoyed a successful career on stage. Gunn made his NY stage debut in the original off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's "The Blacks" (1962). A co-founder of the celebrated Negro Ensemble Company, he distinguished himself in many of their productions, notably "The First Breeze of Summer" (1975). Gunn was also known for his Shakespearean performances with the Yale Repertory Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival.

Gunn rarely had comparable roles to showcase his talents in films but his large, regal features and booming yet somewhat raspy voice stood out during his 25-year film career. Gunn may be best remembered as Bumpy Jonas, the powerful Harlem gangster whose daughter is kidnapped in Gordon Parks' "Shaft" (1971). He reprised that role in Parks' "Shaft's Big Score" (1972). Gunn was also memorable as Booker T. Washington in "Ragtime" (1981). His last major film was Clint Eastwood's "Heartbreak Ridge" (1986) in which he played aging vet Sergeant Webster.

Gunn also worked extensively in TV. He was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of African chief Kintango in the first installment of "Roots" (ABC, 1977). Gunn joined the cast of the hit CBS sitcom, "Good Times" in 1977 as Carl Dixon, the appliance store owner who marries the widowed Esther Rolle and whisks her away from the projects. He was also a guest star on numerous series including "The Cosby Show", "Equal Justice" and "Homicide".

Relationships

George Gunn

Father

Mary Gunn

Mother

Dorothy Acuff

Sister
younger survived him resides in St Louis, Missouri

Gwendolyn Gunn

Wife
survived him

Justin Gunn

Son
survived him resides in Guilford, Connecticut

George Gunn

Brother
younger survived him resides in St Louis, Missouri

Kirsten Mudd

Daughter
survived him resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jewel Richie

Foster Parent

Rae Scott

Sister
younger survived him resides in St Louis, Missouri

Ora Wiggins

Sister
younger survived him resides in Benton Harbor, Michigan

EDUCATION

University of Kansas

Lawrence , Kansas
did graduate work; performed "Othello" for the first time

Tennessee State University

Nashville , Tennessee

Tennessee State University

Nashville , Tennessee

Milestones

1989

Cast as a regular on "A Man Called Hawk", the spinoff from "Spencer: For Hire"

1977

Joined the cast of the popular CBS sitcom, "Good Times"

1974

Starred in short-lived ABC-TV version of the John Wayne-starrer, "The Cowboys"

1964

Film debut, "Nothing But A Man"

1962

Stage acting debut, Genet's "The Blacks"

1946

Moved into the home of English and diction teacher, Jewel Richie (date approximate)

1940

Mother died when Gunn was 12 (date approximate)

1938

Began performing dramatic readings at the age of nine (date approximate)

Final stage appearances included Athol Fugard's, "Blood Knot" and "My Children, My Africa"

While an undergraduate, founded the Footlights Across Tennessee theater company; toured colleges in the South and the Midwest

Taught speech and drama at Grambling College in Louisiana to earn enough money to move to NY

Moved to New York

Hired as an understudy in the original off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's "The Blacks"

Bonus Trivia

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Gunn was nominated for the Best Actor Tony for "Poison Tree".

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Awarded the NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Booker T. Washington in "Ragtime" (1981)

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He was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor for Sam Shepard's play "Fool For Love".

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