James Edwards

African American Hollywood Icon

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About the Book

One of Hollywood’s most heralded postwar African American movie stars, James Edwards catapulted to stardom following his breakout role in Stanley Kramer’s Home of the Brave. In his groundbreaking performance as a U.S. soldier experiencing racial prejudice during combat in the South Pacific, Edwards proved that African American actors could handle serious film roles. Edwards performed on radio, television, and theatre, and appeared in two-dozen or more films, including Stanley Kubrick’s breakthrough indie The Killing, John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate, and Franklin J. Schaffner’s Patton.
This book tells the story of Edwards’ life and career, describing his unlikely climb to fame following a serious wartime injury and detailing how this native of Muncie, Indiana, paved the way for the careers of Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and other African American stars to follow.

About the Author(s)

Pamala S. Deane is a writer living in Maryland. She is a novelist and author of essays on television, film, and American popular culture.

Bibliographic Details

Pamala S. Deane
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4415-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5816-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Inner Rage      3

2. The Greatest Break of His Life      10

3. A Brave Picture      16

4. “Hollywood’s Boldest Stroke for Democracy”      26

5. James Edwards Had Arrived      31

6. “Triple-Threat Edwards”      36

7. Soldier Stories      41

8. Reading, Writing, and Radio      52

9. “I Am Arrogant and Shall Remain So”      59

10. “Mad Behavior”      63

11. Scandalize My Name      68

12. “It Wasn’t a Damn Bit Funny”      75

13. The Joe Louis Story      78

14. Some of His Best Work      83

15. Negro Products      92

16. “Hollywood: So What!”      101

17. A Khaki-Clad Stereotype?      112

18. Tarzan, Eartha Kitt, and the Strip Scene      128

19. “The Role Was a Cheat”      139

20. Black Cowboys on a Mission      145

21. Comeback in a Big Picture      151

22. The Black Revolution      163

23. Final Curtain      175

24. “James Edwards Was a Pioneer”      185

Appendix 1: Morse v. Morse      193

Appendix 2: Film, Television, and Radio Performances      195

Chapter Notes      203

Bibliography      217

Index      223