Historically noted as being the first African-American actor to co-star in a television Western, actor Otis Young began his career in front of the camera later in life than most, receiving his first formal training after enrolling in New York University's acting program following service in the Korean War.
Born into a family of 13 siblings in Providence, RI, in 1932, Young fought in the Korean War after joining the Marine Corps at the age of 17. Appearing off-Broadway and in a few small roles in television and film following his service, the veteran received his breakthrough role in the television series The Outcasts during the 1968-1969 season. Later continuing his career trajectory in such efforts as The Last Detail (1973) and The Capture of Bigfoot (1979), Young also continued to work in television with roles in Twin Detectives (1976) and Palmerstown, U.S.A. (1980). After becoming an intern pastor in the early '80s, the former actor earned a bachelor's degree from Los Angeles' L.I.F.E. Bible College and served as a senior pastor at Elim Foursquare Gospel Church in Rochester, NY. A career as Communications Professor and Drama Program Director at Rochester's Monroe Community College followed, and Young received his master's degree in Communications from the State University of New York in 1992. Retiring in 1999, Young suffered a fatal stroke in October of 2001. He was 69.