Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson

Highest Rated: 100% King Solomon's Mines (1937)

Lowest Rated: 50% Song of Freedom (1937)

Birthday: Apr 9, 1898

Birthplace: Not Available

His father was a Presbyterian minister who had escaped from slavery in his youth; his mother was a schoolteacher. An outstanding athlete, Robeson attended Rutgers on a scholarship and lettered in baseball, basketball, track, and football; later he played pro football while attending law school. Meanwhile, he performed in an amateur stage production at the Harlem YMCA. His acting was very successful and well received; playwright Eugene O'Neill requested that he star in his plays All God's Chillun Got Wings and The Emperor Jones. Thus he gave up law for the theater, and soon gained much critical praise. Robeson began singing in recitals and appearing in films, soon becoming known as one of the most talented performers of his generation; his fame spread to Europe, where he frequently performed onstage and in concerts. He became especially identified with the song Ole Man River, made famous by his vibrant baritone rendition. In 1934 he visited the Soviet Union, returning several times in subsequent years. Seeking remedies to American civil rights abuses and racism, he became an exponent of leftist politics. In the early '40s he performed on Broadway and in a national tour in Othello. Robeson quit making movies after appearing in Tales of Manhattan (1942), in which ridiculous portrayal of rural blacks made him disgusted with Hollywood stereotypes; he denounced the film and never acted onscreen again. He became increasingly controversial for his political views. In 1946 he denied under oath that he had been a member of the Communist party, but refused to repeat his denial in a later inquiry. In 1950 his passport was revoked by the State Department. In 1952 he was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize, but not until 1958 was he permitted to leave the country to receive it. Although publicity about his political views led to a great reduction in his income, he continued touring Europe until the early '60s, when illness obliged him to return to the U.S. He was the subject of a documentary, Paul Robeson: Portrait of an Artist (1979).

Highest Rated Movies



95% Sing Your Song Paul Robeson $48.2K 2012
No Score Yet The Black American Experience: Famous Activists: Paul Robeson & Richard Wright Actor 2009
No Score Yet Please Stand Back! (zurrueckbleiben bitte) Actor 2008
No Score Yet Paul Robeson: Speak of Me as I Am Actor 2007
No Score Yet Aida's Brothers and Sisters: Black Voices in Opera Actor 2000
No Score Yet Scandalize My Name: Stories From the Blacklist Actor 1999
No Score Yet Paul Robeson: Here I Stand Actor 1999
No Score Yet Paul Robeson: Here I Stand Actor 1999
No Score Yet Paul Robeson: Speak of Me as I Am Actor 1998
No Score Yet Tales of Manhattan Luke 1942
No Score Yet Native Land Narrator 1942
No Score Yet The Proud Valley (The Tunnel) David Goliath Director 1940
No Score Yet Land of Liberty Actor 1939
No Score Yet Jericho (Dark Sands) Clp. Jericho Jackson 1937
100% King Solomon's Mines Umbopa 1937
No Score Yet Big Fella Joe 1937
50% Song of Freedom John 'Johnny' Zinga 1937
100% Show Boat Joe 1936
No Score Yet Sanders of the River Bosambo 1935
71% The Emperor Jones Brutus Jones 1933
No Score Yet Borderline Actor 1930
83% Body and Soul Reverend Isaiah T. 1925
No Score Yet Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist Actor 1925


John Zinga says: Everything's so different from what I expected.