Freita Shaw Johnson with Laurel and Hardy during the filming of "Pardon Us," 1931
- Freita Shaw Johnson with Laurel and Hardy during the filming of "Pardon Us," 1931
- Alternative title
- Black Actors in White Studios
- Date Created
Miriam Matthews Photograph Collection
Written on back of photo: Group of early actors and actresses including Clarence Muse, Rex Ingraham [sic]. Madame Sul-te-wan, Louise Beavers, Maidie Norman. Mildred Blount (center) designed historical women's hats for the movies. / Harry Adams photo, 1958 ?.
Noble Johnson was a character actor in cinema, one of the few African Americans in the field during the studio era. A childhood friend of Lon Chaney, Johnson followed him into the industry in 1915. He was an extra in D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916) as a Babylonian soldier. Because of his large size 6’2″, 215 lbs., Johnson was often cast in key character roles representing not just African Americans, but Native Americans, Asians, Arabians, and Pacific Islanders. Johnson founded Lincoln Motion Picture Company, the first American studio that produced “race” films, pictures for African Americans, exclusively, from 1916 to 1923. He continued to work in the sound era, retiring at the age of 69.
- 1 photograph