January 16 – Happy Birthday Ralph Cooper

Ralph Cooper

(January 16, 1908 – August 4, 1992)

Best known for starting and emceeing Amateur Night at the historic Apollo Theater in 1934.  Mr. Cooper was also an actor who played supporting roles in Hollywood features such as Blonde Venus (1932), Lloyd’s of London (1936) and White Hunter (1936).  In addition he produced, directed and starred in several race films alongside the likes of Lena Horne and Duke Ellington and was often referred to as Dark Gable, the Black Clark Gable.  Source(s): The New York Times; African American Registry; Entertainment Weekly.

Photo Source:  Moviespictures.org