Theater, Film and TV Actor Cleveland Native Anthony Chisholm Dead At 77!

JULY 1997-FEBUARY 2003, By Zack Linly, Posted November 2nd 2020

Theater, film and television actor Anthony Chisholm has died at age 77, The Katz Company, his talent management, announced Friday.

Chisholm was born on April 9, 1943, in Cleveland, Ohio and before he was a beloved actor he was a platoon leader for the U.S. Army’s 4th Armored Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division in the Vietnam War, according to Deadline. In 1987, Chisholm’s experience as a soldier in Vietnam was the inspiration for the HBO TV series Vietnam War Story.

But his career as an actor started soon after he returned from the war.

From Deadline:

Upon returning to the US, Chisholm performed in The Boys from Syracuse and The Threepenny Opera at Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio.

He made his film debut in the 1968 Uptight, directed by Jules Dassin. That launched a career that saw him in such films as Putney Swope in 1969 and Cotton Comes to Harlem in 1970.

Chisholm played the character Wolf in Two Trains Running which premiered on Broadway in 1992. While auditioning for the role in 1990, he met the play’s writer August Wilson and Chisholm became part of the production’s touring company before it hit broadway. Chisholm was also cast in Wilson’s play Jitney, which appeared off-Broadway in New York City in 2000. He went on to play roles in Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean in 2004 and his Pittsburgh Cycle play series in 2007 in which he earned a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Elder Joseph Barlow.

But, again, Chisholm’s career went well beyond the stage. His TV credits include HBO’s Oz in which he played the role of Burr Redding for three seasons. He also played roles in HBO’s High Maintenance as well as Law & Order: SVU.

His film career includes roles in Premium Rush, Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, and Going in Style where he appeared alongside Morgan Freeman, Christopher Lloyd and Michael Caine.

According to Hollywood Reporter, Chisholm received the NAACP Theatre Award in addition to numerous other accolades recognizing his career in theater.

“The Katz Company is saddened to announce the passing of our longtime friend and client, Tony-Nominee, Anthony Chisholm,” president Jeremy Katz said in a statement, according to Variety. “Affectionately called ‘Chiz,’ he was an actor and storyteller like none-other, embodying loyalty, devotion, and compassion to his artistry.”

Fellow actor Viola Davis expressed her sadness over Chisholm’s passing in a tweet Saturday morning.

Oh man!! Why did I think you would live forever?” she tweeted. “Love you Anthony….The acting world will miss your wisdom, your immense talent, your generosity. You were a survivor. Goodnight King. Sleep well. You earned it.”  

Chisholm is survived by his son, Alexander and his daughter Che, as well as son-in-law Peter and grandchildren Ravi and Avani, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The cause of his death has not been revealed.

Zack Linly

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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