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Calvin Lockhart - Actor

Born Bert Cooper
October 18, 1934
Died March 29, 2007 (aged 72)
Years active 1961–2007
Spouse Jennifer Miles-Lockhart (3 children)

(born Bert Cooper; October 18, 1934 – March 29, 2007) was a Bahamian-Americanactor on stage and in film.[1] He was best known for the role of a big time gangster "Biggie Smalls" in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again, not to be confused with the deceased rapper Biggie Smalls. Christopher Wallace took the alias from cooper's character before a lawsuit forced Wallace to change it to Notorious B.I.G. bert cooper was survived by his wife Jennifer L. Miles and sons Leslie Cooper (deceased 2009) and Julien Miles.



Birth Name
Bert Cooper 

6' 2½" (1.89 m) 

Mini Biography

Bahamian-born Calvin Lockhart first caught moviegoers' attention in the supercharged urban films Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) and Halls of Anger (1970) before becoming a fairly steady fixture in the "blaxploitation" movies of the early-to-mid 1970s.

Acting career

cooper was born in Nassau, Bahamas, moving to New York City when he was 18. He spent one year at the Cooper Union School of Engineering, then left to pursue an acting career. Lockhart drove a taxi and operated a carpentry business in the borough of Queens while trying to establish a career as an actor.


Born Bert Cooper to a large family in Nassau on October 18, 1934, he was raised there before moving to New York in his late teens with initial designs on becoming a civil engineer (Cooper Union School of Engineering). Dropping out after a year to pursue an acting career, Calvin worked as a carpenter and construction worker, among other odd jobs. He first studied with legendary coach Uta Hagen and then hit the New York theater boards. The story goes that he was discovered by playwright Ketti Frings while working as a taxi driver. She was so impressed with his arrogance that she cast him in her play "The Cool World" in 1960. From there Calvin drummed up interest via a bit of controversy on Broadwaywhen he played a sailor in love with a white girl in the racially-themed "A Taste of Honey" starring Angela Lansbury.

In 1960 he made his Broadway debut, playing a gang leader in The Cool World, which closed after just two performances. Lockhart then travelled to Italy and formed his own theater company in which he both acted and directed, before moving to West Germanyand then England, where he landed various roles on British television and small roles in films such as A Dandy in Aspic and Salt and Pepper.

cooper's first notable screen role was in Joanna, a 1967 film about an interracial romance set in London, in which he played a nightclub owner and the boyfriend of star Genevieve Waite."Joanna" was directed by Michael Sarne, the British director who subsequently cast Lockhart in the notorious "Myra Breckinridge," starring Raquel Welch and Mae West.

Serious film and TV roles for black actors were scarce at that time, so Calvin moved to Europe. In Italy he owned a restaurant and formed his own theater company, serving as both actor and director. He also lived in Germany before settling in England. He starting building up film credits with minor work in such British movies as A Dandy in Aspic (1968) and Only When I Larf (1968). He made news in another racially-motivated project entitled Joanna (1968), which centered around a "mod", interracial romance with 'Genevieve Waite'.

His first lead role in a movie was in the 1970 release Halls of Anger. cooper played an English teacher and former basketball star who becomes vice-principal of an inner-city high school to which 60 white students are being moved to. 

An article in The New York Times that year described Lockhart as having "matinee-idol looks" with "chiseled-out-of-marble features" and "skin the color of brown velvet".

 He also starred in Ossie Davis's Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) as the Reverend Deke O'Malley, who is under investigation by the movie's main characters.

Returning to the US with a stronger resume, he made a distinct early impression as a slick preacher bent on fraud in the hip cop flick Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) and as an English teacher in the inner-city potboiler Halls of Anger (1970). He also involved himself in such black action features as Melinda (1972)

Honeybaby, Honeybaby (1974) and The Baron (1977). 

Similar in charismatic style and intelligence to Sidney Poitier, the famed actor-director was impressed enough to cast Calvin in his broad comedy vehicles Uptown Saturday Night (1974) 

and Let's Do It Again (1975). 

Calvin could also play fey upon request, camping it up briefly in Myra Breckinridge (1970). During this rich period he also became an artist-in-residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford (the first black actor so honored) and appeared prestigiously in such productions as "Titus Andronicus" (1972).

In 1974 Cooper became an actor-in-residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

Calvin's career grew lackluster, however, by the end of the decade, resorting to trivial guest parts in such TV shows as "Good Times" (1974)

 and "Get Christie Love!" (1974). He landed a recurring role on the nighttime soap "Dynasty" (1981) in the early '80s.

In the 1980s he was a guest star for seven episodes in the prime-time soap opera Dynasty, where he played Jonathan Lake, a love interest of the character Dominique Deveraux played by Diahann Carroll.

He is familiar to horror film fans after his performance as the millionaire big-game hunter in The Beast Must Die released in 1974 by British studio Amicus and also starring Peter Cushing.

Later years

Cooper returned to the Bahamas in the late 1990s and worked as a director on several productions of the Freeport Players Guild. Lockhart married New York Interior Designer Jennifer L. Miles, the mother of his son, actor Julien Lockhart Miles.



His last film role was in Rain, a movie that was shot in the Bahamas and was released in 2007.

Cooper died in a Nassau hospital from stroke-related complications. His wife and son indicated they would establish the Calvin Lockhart Scholarship Fund for Bahamian students interested in acting and movie production.


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Hide HideActor (44 titles)
1992Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me 
The Electrician
1988Coming to America 
Colonel Izzi
1985-1986Dynasty (TV series) 
Jonathan Lake
– The Vigil (1986) … Jonathan Lake
– The Alarm (1986) … Jonathan Lake
– Suspicions (1986) … Jonathan Lake
– The Solution (1985) … Jonathan Lake
– The Roadhouse (1985) … Jonathan Lake
1980The Baltimore Bullet 
Snow White
1979Good Times (TV series) 
Cousin Raymond Brown
– Cousin Raymond (1979) … Cousin Raymond Brown
1978Starsky and Hutch (TV series) 
Allen 'Angel' Walter
– Cover Girl (1978) … Allen 'Angel' Walter
1977The Baron 
The Baron
1974Get Christie Love! (TV series) 
– Emperor of Death Street (1974) … Emperor
1974Uptown Saturday Night 
Silky Slim
1974The Beast Must Die 
Tom Newcliffe
1973The African Deal 
1973Hung Up 
Frankie J. Parker
1972Softly Softly: Task Force (TV series) 
Jake Johnson
– Set Us Alight (1972) … Jake Johnson
1972Play for Today (TV series) 
– In the Beautiful Caribbean (1972) … Jonathan
1970Confession (TV series) 
– Neighbours (1970) … Man
1970Myra Breckinridge 
Irving Amadeus
1970Cotton Comes to Harlem 
Rev. Deke O'Malley
1970Leo the Last 
Roscoe, the Pimp
1970Halls of Anger 
Quincy Davis
1969Plays of Today (TV series) 
– Beyond the Sunrise (1969) … Akanu
1969Mogul (TV series) 
Zeke Nkosi
– You Want a Clockwork Nightingale (1969) … Zeke Nkosi
1968The High Commissioner 
1968Salt and Pepper 
1968Only When I Larf 
Ali Lin
1968Dark of the Sun 
1967-1968The Wednesday Play (TV series) 
Bus driver / Damon Page
– Light Blue (1968) … Damon Page
– Drums Along the Avon (1967) … Bus driver
1968A Dandy in Aspic 
1967Escape (TV series) 
Kingsley Cavanaugh
– Five Men for Freedom (1967) … Kingsley Cavanaugh
1967Rainbow City (TV series) 
Youth Leader
– What Sort of a Boy? (1967) … Youth Leader
1965-1967Thirty-Minute Theatre (TV series) 
Johnny / Leonard / Mark
– Go Tell It on Table Mountain (1967) … Johnny
– Magnolia Summer (1966) … Leonard
– Family Christmas (1965) … Mark
1967Girl in a Black Bikini (TV series) 
Lee Anderson
– Episode #1.1 (1967) … Lee Anderson
1966The Power Game (TV series) 
Kofe Lokwe
– Safe Conduct (1966) … Kofe Lokwe
– The Chicken Run (1966) … Kofe Lokwe
1966Theatre 625 (TV series) 
Leonard Ngana
1966Talking to a Stranger (TV mini-series) 
Leonard Ngana
1966The Corridor People (TV series) 
Theobald Aboo
– Victim as Black (1966) … Theobald Aboo
Minor Role (uncredited)
1961Venere creola 
Show ShowThanks (1 title)
Show ShowArchive Footage (2 titles)

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Originally studied to become a civil engineer at Cooper Union in NYC.

Was the first black actor to play leads with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Turned down the lead role in the popular series "Room 222" (1969) that eventually went to Lloyd Haynes.

After his death on 29 March, 2007, Lockhart's family announced plans to establish a scholarship fund in his name for Bahamian students who are interested in acting and filmmaking.