Mr. Welson’s marriages to Barbara Sotello and Debbie Morgan ended in divorce. He was the co-founder of the Alumni of this company and directed many of their productions. He auditioned for “Big Time Buck White,” the play that would be turned into the Broadway musical “Buck White.” He didn’t get the part, but he was given work as an understudy and running lights.

He was the co-founder of the Alumni of this company and directed many of their productions. Weldon had three children with his first wife Barbara Sotello, got remarried to second wife Debbi Morgan, and was single at the time of his death. He was 78.

Charles Jauverni Weldon was born on June 1, 1940, in Wetumka, Okla. His parents, Beatrice (Jennings) and Roosevelt Weldon, were farm workers, and when he was a year old they moved the family to Bakersfield, Calif., following farm work. The Hollywood Reporter is part of MRC Media and Info, a division of MRC. “I hated it. FACEBOOK “The new MacDaddy,” Mr. Barnes wrote in his review in The Times, “humorous and resourceful, is Charles Weldon, who strides through the play resplendent in his white suit, carrying his juju stick with charm and courage.”. He died on Mr. Weldon is survived by a son, Charles Jr.; a daughter, Barbara Rae Pettie; three sisters, the actress Ann Weldon, the singer Maxine Weldon and Mae Frances Weldon; and 10 grandchildren. [2], As the lead singer of The Paradons, he co-wrote the hit record "Diamonds and Pearls" in 1960. His film acting credits include Serpico, Stir Crazy and Malcolm X. Weldon made his Broadway debut in 1969 in Buck White, which featured Muhammad Ali in the title role; and returned in NEC's production of The River Niger in 1973. Charles Weldon was born on June 1, 1940 in Wetumka, Oklahoma, USA.

“They’ll see all the pictures and see all the people that came through this place at one time,” he said, “and I’ll say: ‘Oh. During his career he worked with Denzel Washington, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Alfre Woodard, Muhammad Ali, and Oscar Brown Jr.[1][2][3], Weldon's mother was Beatrice Jennings; his father was Roosevelt Weldon. | Cookie Settings. Another son, Nick, died in 2015. [6], In 1973, he was a part of the Broadway cast of The River Niger, with Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. But we were playing across the street from the Negro Ensemble Company.”.
After the group disbanded, Weldon joined the soul group Blues for Sale. Trilby Beresford

A celebration of Weldon's life will take place in January. Other later roles included Hedley, the Bible-quoting ranter, in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” which he played in a revival by the Signature Theater Company in Manhattan in 2006.
He was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for thirteen years. The death of his friend and fellow actor Adolph Caesar in 1986 — he had a heart attack at 52 — knocked Mr. Weldon even further off course, and the return to truck driving followed. In the 1980s, a reckless lifestyle and personal trauma derailed his career for a time; from 1986 to 1989 he went back to the work he had done as a young man, long-haul trucking. After a time a musician he had met in Bakersfield called from Colorado offering him a job with a soul group, Blues for Sale. He was 78.

He was an actor and producer, known for Malcolm X (1992), Stir Crazy (1980) and A Woman Called Moses (1978). by

As a young boy, he worked in the cotton fields of Bakersfield until the age of seventeen, when he joined a local doo-wop group.

After a brief career as a singer, Mr. Weldon turned to acting in the late 1960s and found quick success, landing on Broadway in 1969 in “Buck White,” a musical that starred Muhammad Ali as a black militant leader.

Born in Wetumka, Oklahoma, in 1940, Weldon worked in cotton fields as a teenager and achieved early success as a member of a doo-wop group called The Pardons, and, subsequently, a soul group.

His last project was the short film Paris Blues in Harlem, which he co-produced and starred in with Nadhege Ptah and Michele Baldwin, who cast him in the project. He was the brother of actress Ann Weldon, singer Maxine Weldon, and Mae Frances Weldon. He went there. “I never had any idea I’d be doing this. He was soon appearing in that company’s productions, and by 1977 he was playing the title character, a bootlegger, in its revival of “The Great MacDaddy,” a musical survey of a century of African-American history that the company had first staged in 1974.

The River Niger was written by Joseph A. Walker (playwright) and won a Tony Award for best play.[7]. All rights reserved. During his career, he directed numerous company productions, including Colored People Time, Savanna Black and Blue, The Waiting Room and NEC's 50th-anniversary revival of Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier's Play. For the Canadian lawyer and politician, see,, "Charles Weldon, Artistic Director of Negro Ensemble Company, Dies at 78", "Charles Weldon, Who Led the Negro Ensemble Company, Dies at 78", "Actor, Director, and Artistic Leader Charles Weldon Dies at Age 78", "Remembering NEC Artistic Director Charles Weldon, dead at 78", "Actor Charles Weldon, Director Of Negro Ensemble Company, Dead At 78", "Interview: Living Legend Charles Weldon, A.D. of The Negro Ensemble Company", "All That Chat - CHARLES WELDON, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY, DIES AT 78", "Diamonds and Pearls" - Charles Weldon of The Paradons,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Negro Ensemble Theater Companies 50th Anniversary revival of, This page was last edited on 4 August 2020, at 18:44.

Charles Weldon and S. Epatha Merkerson in the play “Birdie Blue” at the Second Stage Theater in Manhattan in 2005. I wanted to be, like, a cabinetmaker.”. Mr. Weldon was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for the past 13 years. His last stage role was in 2016, in a 50th-anniversary production of “Day of Absence,” a play by Douglas Turner Ward, a founder of the Negro Ensemble Company, which was created in 1967 to promote works by black theater artists. He appeared in episodes of “Police Story,” “Kojak” and other series, and continued to play TV roles occasionally for the rest of his career. Mr. Weldon’s work in the show drew a favorable mention from Clive Barnes in The New York Times.

EMAIL ME. He was 78. He then entered the theater world and began auditioning for regional productions. Weldon starred in the role of the Jamaican Grim Reaper (the body-snatcher) in Sophia Romma's (playwright and Literary Manager of the Negro Ensemble Company from 2012) allegorical satire, The Blacklist at the 13th Street Repertory Company in 2016. By the time he left Blues for Sale, his sister, the actress Ann Weldon, was working with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Weldon appeared in the original San Francisco production of Hair and directed and acted in many regional theaters. “I used to borrow her car sometimes,” he told the website StageBuddy in 2013, “and I’d have to pick her up, and she would be in rehearsals for all these plays, and I use to sit there and wait for her, but I never thought about being an actor — just waiting to give her car back.”. He was also in “Stir Crazy,” the 1980 Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder movie, and, he said later, sometimes traveled in Mr. Pryor’s hard-living circles — “a crazy time,” as he put it, one that affected his work and his personal life. The Negro Ensemble Company has sometimes struggled since the glory days of “The River Niger” and “A Soldier’s Play,” its 1981 hit. Weldon’s underplaying of Hedley, if ungainly at times, is a welcome relief from the usual barnstorming associated with such characters,” Ben Brantley wrote in his review in The Times.

He graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1959. Charles Weldon (June 1, 1940 – December 7, 2018) was an actor, director, educator, singer, and songwriter. The family moved from Wetumka, Oklahoma, to Bakersfield, California, when he was seven years old. The group, unable to recapture that lightning in a bottle, disbanded.

That’s why I’m doing it.’ ”, Charles Weldon, Who Led the Negro Ensemble Company, Dies at 78.

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