Though moral dilemma initially left actor Nick Stewart slightly uncomfortable about his decision to portray Lightnin' on the Amos and Andy show, the role shot the actor to superstardom, providing him with ample funding to found his labor of love, the Los Angeles Ebony Showcase Theater, a theater which shattered stereotypes by providing black artists a medium to create meaningful, serious-minded drama.
A native of Harlem, NY, Stewart initiated his show-business career as a multi-talented entertainer in such legendary institutions as the Hoofer's Club and the Cotton Club. Stewarts' film career was given a thankful boost when Mae West cast him in the role of Nicodemus in the classic Go West, Young Man (1936). A noted radio performer throughout the 1940s, Stewart would go on to find fame in such popular films as She Wouldn't Say Yes (1945) and Carmen Jones (1954), though it was Disney's infamous take on the tales of Joel Chandler Harris, Song of the South (1946) (in the voice-role of Br'er Bear), that left an audible impression on many audiences of the era.
Though Stewart appeared regularly in film throughout the 1940s and '50s, his roles would decline in consistency through the '70s and '80s, taking minor roles in such films as Silver Streak and Hollywood Shuffle. Nick Stewart died at his son's Los Angeles home at the age of 90.