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Herb Jeffries (Umberto Alejandro Ballentino)

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Biography

Detroit, Michigan, USA
This velvet-toned jazz baritone and sometime actor was (and perhaps still is) virtually unknown to white audiences. Yet, back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Herb Jeffries was very big...in black-cast films. Today he is respected and remembered as a pioneer who broke down rusted-shut racial doors in Hollywood and ultimately displayed a positive image as a black actor on celluloid.

The Detroit native was born Herbert Jeffrey on September 24, 1911 (some sources list 1914). Read more...

Actor

Character: Himself

Varieties 1952

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14
Character: Himself

Basin Street Revue 1956

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Character: Calypso Joe

Calypso Joe 1957

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Character: Herb Jeffries

The Cherokee Kid 1996

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Character: Himself - Actor

The Oscars 2015

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Character: Himself

Austin City Limits 1975

1
Character: Himself

Tempest Storm 2016

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Composing

Character: Calypso Joe

Calypso Joe 1957

3