Earl Cameron, who was one of the first black actors to perform in a typical British film and played a minor role in enduring icons of show business, such as James bond and the title role in Doctor Who before appearing in the United Nations Thriller “the interpreter” in the 80 years, has died. He was 102.
Cameron died on Friday, reports the Royal Gazette newspaper in his native Bermuda. The British newspaper the Guardian, referring to the agent of the actor, said he died at home in Warwickshire, England.
Cameron stumbled into acting as a way to earn money during the Second World War and was kept in his repertory theater roles and training granddaughter of Ira Aldridge, an American who became a famous Shakespearean actor in England, according to Cameron, British film Institute Biography.
His breakthrough in the movie also broke the barriers for British cinema. Cameron was thrown into one of the main roles in “pool of London” – 1951 crime Noir film, which was the first British movie to show interracial relationships. His character, johnny Lambert, is a merchant seaman who was Dating a white woman while on shore.
Cameron worked steadily to make movies throughout the 1950-ies, sometimes in stereotypical roles such as the sorcerer and the murderous rebel leader in British Kenya, and sometimes the role is designed to confound stereotypes, such as the actor who played the role of a doctor in Simba 1955, the year, a film that also dealt with the uprising of Mau Mau in Kenya.
He made his 007 stripes in the fourth film about James bond “Thunderball” in 1965, playing the exploration in the Bahamas opposite Sean Connery. During the 1950s and 1960s, he supplemented his film work with frequent British television roles, including two episodes of Doctor Who in 1966.
“If it was not specified that it was a part for a black actor, they never would have considered a black actor for the role. And they would never consider changing the white part to the black part,” Cameron told the Guardian in 2017 interview.
“So it was my problem. I mostly have small details and it was very frustrating not only for me but for other black actors. We had a very hard time getting decent roles.”
In 1972, Cameron should work together with the other Bahama-born actor who broke barriers for black actors in cinema. Sidney Poitier roles Cameron to play Ambassador of an African country in “a warm December” in which Poitier starred and directed.
Born in Bermuda in 1917, and the youngest of six children, Cameron arrived in England in 1939, after joining the British merchant fleet. After Britain entered the Second World war in the same year, “it was almost impossible for a Black man to get at least some work” and he had no qualifications, Cameron would like to remind.
“Based on Bermuda in 1939, which was a very racist island, the degree of racism in England was not a surprise for me. I grew up with him,” he said, “the Royal Gazette” in an interview 2018.
Cameron appeared in several major Hollywood and British films at the end of his life, including “the interpreter” with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn (2005); “the Queen” with Helen Mirren (2006) and “inception” (2010).
Queen Elizabeth II named him a commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 for his contribution to British entertainment.
“At a time when the whole world is studying the history of people of color, Earl Cameron the life and legacy forces us to pause and remember how he broke down the barriers and refused to come down to the fact that its humble beginnings, perhaps, dictated by his way,” David Burt, Prime Minister of Bermuda, said “Royal Gazette” on Friday evening.
Cameron is survived by his wife, Barbara, and his children.
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