The Caribbean has produced a number of quality actors, several of whom emerged during the 1960s. One of them was Bahamian Calvin Lockhart.
Many in Hollywood looked at Lockhart as the successor to Sidney Poitier, another Bahamas-reared actor who broke ground in Tinsel Town in the 1950s. Those lofty expectations did not materialize but Lockhart certainly put in some outstanding performances throughout the 1970s.
Some of his best work came in films directed by Poitier. These films included: Uptown Saturday Night, and Let’s Do It Again.
The suave Lockhart played two shady characters in those hit movies: Silky Slim and Biggie Smalls. The latter was the inspiration for rapper the Notorious B.I.G.’s initial moniker early in his career.
Calvin Lockhart’s career got a boost while living in England in the late 1960s, appearing in Joana, a movie about inter-racial romance. In the US, he came to prominence through the movie Cotton Comes To Harlem, a 1970 crime epic that helped kick off the Blaxploitation era.
What may have hurt Lockhart’s progress was his selection of roles. He appeared in several bombs including Every Nigger Is a Star, and The Marijuana Affair, two Jamaican films that went nowhere.
During the 1970s, Lockhart lived in Jamaica, settling in the hills of St. Mary parish. It was not until the 1980s that he enjoyed a revival, appearing for a short time in the hit soap opera, Dynasty.
He was also seen in the 1988 Eddie Murphy movie, Coming to America.
Calvin Lockhart died in his hometown, Nassau, in 2007 from complications of a stroke. He was 72.
For more actors with Caribbean roots, visit: Famous faces that you did not know have Caribbean roots