Willie Best

Born May 27, 1916

William "Willie" Best, sometimes known as Sleep n' Eat, was an American television and film actor. Best was one of the first well-known African American film actors and comedians, although his work, like that of Stepin Fetchit, is today sometimes reviled because he was often called upon to play stereotypically lazy, illiterate, and/or simple-minded characters in films.… Read More

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1916 Birth Born on May 27, 1916.


1940 24 Years Old Similarly, comedian Bob Hope acclaimed Best as "the best actor I know," while the two were working together in 1940 on The Ghost Breakers. … Read More
1941 25 Years Old …  He also played the character of "Hipp" in three of RKO’s six Scattergood Baines films with Guy Kibbee: 1941’s Scattergood Baines, 1942’s Scattergood Survives a Murder, and 1943’s Cinderella Swings It. (Actor Paul White, who played a young version of Best’s "Hipp" in the first film, went on to play "Hipp" in the next three films. … Read More


1950 34 Years Old He also played Willie, the house servant/handyman and close friend of the title character of ABC’s The Trouble with Father, for its entire run from 1950 to 1955.


1962 46 Years Old 1 More Event
He was buried (by the Motion Picture Fund) on March 5, 1962, at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery. … Read More
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