Cleavon Little - Rotten Tomatoes

Cleavon Little

Highest Rated:   90% Blazing Saddles (1974)
Lowest Rated:   18% Once Bitten (1985)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Chickasha, Oklahoma, USA
Born in Oklahoma, African American actor Cleavon Little was raised in California where he attended San Diego College. Trained for a performing career at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, Little made his off-Broadway debut in the 1968 political satire MacBird In 1970, he won a Tony award for his work in the Broadway musical Purlie, and within a year was hired as an ensemble player (along with such luminaries as Jack Gilford and Marcia Rodd) on the syndicated TV variety weekly The David Frost Revue. Little's star turn as Dr. Jerry Noland on the network sitcom Temperatures Rising (1972-74) made him a "hot" enough performer to win the coveted lead role of Sheriff Bart in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974) -- beating out Richard Pryor, who had written the part for himself! Blazing Saddles was the high point of Little's career, which subsequently went into a slow decline. Cleavon Little's last major assignment was the role of Sal on the 1991 TV series Bagdad Café; one year later, he died of colon cancer at the age of 53.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet In the Nick of Time
  • Actor
1991
83% Separate But Equal
  • Carter
1991
No Score Yet Perfect Harmony
  • Pastor Clarence Johnson
1991
37% Fletch Lives
  • Calculus Entropy
1989
No Score Yet Murder by Numbers
  • David Shelby
1989
No Score Yet Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln'
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet The Gig
  • Marshall Wilson
1985
18% Once Bitten
  • Sebastian
1985
No Score Yet Toy Soldiers
  • Buck
1984
No Score Yet E. Nick: A Legend in His Own Mind
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Surf II
  • Daddy O
1984
No Score Yet The Salamander
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Jimmy the Kid
  • Herb
1982
No Score Yet Double Exposure
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet High Risk
  • Rockney
1981
No Score Yet Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel' Paige
  • Rabbit
1981
No Score Yet The Salamander
  • Maj. Malinowsky
1981
No Score Yet The Sky is Gray
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Scavenger Hunt
  • Jackson
1979
22% FM
  • Prince
1978
No Score Yet Greased Lightning
  • Peewee
1977
No Score Yet Once Upon a Brothers Grimm
  • Wolf
1977
90% Blazing Saddles
  • Bart
1974
No Score Yet The Homecoming: A Christmas Story
  • Dooley
1971
No Score Yet Cotton Comes to Harlem
  • Lo Boy
1970
38% John and Mary
  • Film Director
1969
No Score Yet What's So Bad About Feeling Good?
  • Phil
1968
No Score Yet The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery
  • Actor
1959

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet MacGyver
1985-1992
  • Actor
  • 1991
  • 1989

Quotes from Cleavon Little's Characters