Hyman, Earle

Hyman, (George) Earle

(1926–  ) stage actor; born in Rocky Mount, N.C. He graduated from high school in Brooklyn, N.Y. (1943), and having joined the American Negro Theatre, he appeared in their first hit, Anna Lucasta (1944), both on Broadway and in London. He would later study with the Actors Studio in New York, but he was most drawn to classic roles, first playing Hamlet in 1951, eventually playing Othello in productions in several countries, and appearing in ten other roles with the American Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford, Conn. Although he would occasionally find choice parts in the professional New York stage—Mr. Johnson (1956), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Pygmalion (1991)—and appeared infrequently in American television and movies, he felt that his skin color denied him a full range of roles in the American theater and he spent many years acting in Europe, particularly in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark (in their languages). He won the State Award in Oslo, Norway, for instance, for his portrayal in Emperor Jones (1965).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.