A graduate of Rust College, actor Alvin Childress made his first New York stage appearance in 1931. Though jobs were traditionally scarce for black actors in the Depression era, Childress was able to find work with the Federal Theater Project and served as a teacher for the American Negro Theater. His biggest Broadway success was Philip Yordan's all-black Anna Lucasta. He made his film debut in Keep Punching (1939), a low-budget vehicle for boxing champ Joe Louis. In 1951, he won out over hundreds of applicants for the role of philosophical Harlem cabdriver Amos Jones in the TV-series version of radio's Amos 'N' Andy, remaining with the series for two seasons. Though Amos 'N' Andy was the subject of controversy due to its alleged perpetuation of black stereotypes, Childress always staunchly defended the series, pointing out that it was the only network TV program of its era to depict blacks as judges, doctors, teachers, and businessmen merely than household servants. When his acting assignments began to diminish in the 1950s, Childress worked as a Los Angeles social worker. Alvin Childress made a comeback in the 1970s, playing featured roles in such films as The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings (1976) and such TV programs as Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons.