Chordie logo

Dooley Wilson

Dooley Wilson

"Arthur "Dooley" Wilson" (April 3 1886–May 30 1953) was an African American actor and singer. He was born in Tyler, Texas, and is most famous for playing "Sam" in the 1942 film ''Casablanca''.

Wilson worked in black theatre in Chicago and New York from 1908 to the 1930s, in motion pictures and Broadway musicals from the 1930s to the 1950s, and played Bill Jackson on the television situation comedy ''Beulah'' during its final 1952–1953 season.

He received the nickname "Dooley" while working in the Pekin Theatre in Chicago, circa 1908, because of his then-signature Irish song "Mr. Dooley," which he performed in whiteface.

His breakthrough Broadway appearance came in the role of Little Joe, a stereotypic lazy rascal in the musical ''Cabin in the Sky'' (1940–1941). He played Pompey, an escaped slave, in the musical ''Bloomer Girl'' (1946–1948). His performance of the song "The Eagle and Me" in this show was selected by Dwight Blocker Bowers for inclusion in a Smithsonian recordings compilation, ''American Musical Theatre.''

Wilson appeared in over twenty motion pictures, but won immortality for his role as Sam in the 1942 film '...

license: GNU FDL
source: Wikipedia