In honor of TCM and their “Summer Under the Stars” series, we launch our companion series, Summer Madness. The series will spotlight the achievements and films of one Black actor, daily throughout the month of August.
Adolph Caesar (December 5, 1933 – March 6, 1986) was a decorated and prominent actor. Born in Harlem, New York, Caesar graduated from George Washington High School in New York City. He enlisted in the Navy where he achieved the rank of chief petty officer.
After military retirement, he studied dramatic arts at New York University. In 1970, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company, performing in many of their productions including, The River Niger, The Brownsville Road, and the one-man show The Square Root of Soul.
He worked with the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Lincoln Center Repertory Company, the American Shakespeare Company in Stratford, Connecticut, and the Center Theater Group at the Mark Tapper Forum in Los Angeles. Caesar came to prominence in 1981 with a strong performance of Sgt. Vernon C. Waters in the Negro Ensemble Company’s production of A Soldier’s Play. This earned him an Obie Award and a New York Drama Desk Award.
His performance in the film version of the same drama earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in 1984. Other credits included The Color Purple (1985) and Club Paradise (1986).
Caesar died while filming Tough Guys on March 6, 1986. #SummerMadness #Caesar
The Hitter (’79)
Fist of Fear, Touch of Death (’80)
A Soldier’s Story (’84)
The Color Purple (’85)
Club Paradise (’86)