Charles Weldon, an actor and director who led the New York theater troupe the Negro Ensemble Company for the past 13 years, died on Dec. 7 in Manhattan.

He died on “I never had any idea I’d be doing this. NEC has been a touchstone for African-American theater artists since 1965. For the Denver Theater Center, he appeared in twelve productions. Years later, when he was with the Denver Center Theater Company, he would draw on his trucker experiences to create, with Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman, a revue called “Mama Hated Diesel,” which centered on stories and songs about truckers. Weldon had three children with his first wife Barbara Sotello, got remarried to second wife Debbi Morgan, and was single at the time of his death. From left, Cecilia Antoinette, Jay Ward, Mr. Weldon and Chauncey DeLeon Gilbert in the Negro Ensemble Company’s 50th-anniversary production of Douglas Turner Ward’s “Day of Absence” in 2016. Mr. Welson’s marriages to Barbara Sotello and Debbie Morgan ended in divorce. When the show had its premiere in 2010, he was also a member of the ensemble. “I hated it.

He joined with several other local teenagers to form the Paradons, a doo-wop group, and in 1960 a song they recorded, “Diamonds and Pearls,” became a modest hit. The group, unable to recapture that lightning in a bottle, disbanded.

Charles worked in the cotton fields near Bakersfield into his teens. “I ended up in a play called ‘Do Your Own Thing,’ ” he said in a 1977 interview with The Times. Charles Weldon, the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company, has died. TWITTER

The River Niger was written by Joseph A. Walker (playwright) and won a Tony Award for best play.[7]. The Negro Ensemble Company has sometimes struggled since the glory days of “The River Niger” and “A Soldier’s Play,” its 1981 hit.

Privacy | He became artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company in 2005. The theater company said the cause was lung cancer. Charles Weldon, the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company, has died. “Mr. “Charles Weldon was very funny as a kind of black pantherine Hell’s Angel,” Mr. Barnes wrote. After a brief career as a singer, Mr. Weldon turned to acting in the late 1960s and found quick success, landing on Broadway in 1969 in “Buck White,” a musical that starred Muhammad Ali as a black militant leader. He went there. He was the co-founder of the Alumni of this company and directed many of their productions. He appeared in episodes of “Police Story,” “Kojak” and other series, and continued to play TV roles occasionally for the rest of his career. Charles Weldon (June 1, 1940 – December 7, 2018) was an actor, director, educator, singer, and songwriter. He was 78. Mr. Weldon was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for the past 13 years. by

That experience helped him refocus — “I didn’t go off and drive a truck because I wanted to be saved, but it saved me,” he told The Denver Post in 2010 — and he resumed acting and directing, continuing to work until his death. The group appeared on the Dick Clark's American Bandstand television show and also toured with James Brown and Fats Domino. Mr. Weldon was also beginning to get television and film work as the 1970s progressed. That’s why I’m doing it.’ ”, Charles Weldon, Who Led the Negro Ensemble Company, Dies at 78. During his career, he directed numerous company productions, including Colored People Time, Savanna Black and Blue, The Waiting Room and NEC's 50th-anniversary revival of Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier's Play. “I call myself the accidental actor,” Mr. Weldon said that year in an interview for the Primary Stages Off Broadway Oral History Project. I wanted to be, like, a cabinetmaker.”. He was 78. As a young boy, he worked in the cotton fields of Bakersfield until the age of seventeen, when he joined a local doo-wop group. He was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for thirteen years. “The new MacDaddy,” Mr. Barnes wrote in his review in The Times, “humorous and resourceful, is Charles Weldon, who strides through the play resplendent in his white suit, carrying his juju stick with charm and courage.”. From left, Kevin Carroll, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Mr. Weldon in the Signature Theater Company’s 2006 revival of August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars.”. He sang around the United States with the group for several years. He graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1959.

I really didn’t. “I used to borrow her car sometimes,” he told the website StageBuddy in 2013, “and I’d have to pick her up, and she would be in rehearsals for all these plays, and I use to sit there and wait for her, but I never thought about being an actor — just waiting to give her car back.”. But in 2013 Mr. Weldon said one thing that kept him going was when young theater aspirants came into his office, filled with photographs of actors who had worked with the company. He was 78. In the 1980s, a reckless lifestyle and personal trauma derailed his career for a time; from 1986 to 1989 he went back to the work he had done as a young man, long-haul trucking. © 2020 The Hollywood Reporter By the time he left Blues for Sale, his sister, the actress Ann Weldon, was working with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Weldon acted in many more, among them The Great McDaddy and The Brownsville Raid. He joined the Negro Ensemble Company in 1970 and later became its artistic director in 2005. That show closed after seven performances, but it started Mr. Weldon on a career in New York that included roles in a string of Negro Ensemble Company productions. Charles Weldon (June 1, 1940 – December 7, 2018) was an actor, director, educator, singer, and songwriter. Though “Buck White” had only a short run, it got him some auditions.

In 1973 he was part of the Broadway cast of “The River Niger,” an Ensemble show written by Joseph A. Walker that won the Tony Award for best play. Charles Jauverni Weldon was born on June 1, 1940, in Wetumka, Okla. His parents, Beatrice (Jennings) and Roosevelt Weldon, were farm workers, and when he was a year old they moved the family to Bakersfield, Calif., following farm work. It was Mr. Weldon’s last stage role. Charles Weldon and S. Epatha Merkerson in the play “Birdie Blue” at the Second Stage Theater in Manhattan in 2005. Charles Weldon, a prolific actor and director who was artistic director of The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) since 2005, died December 7 at age 78. Weldon starred in the role of the Jamaican Grim Reaper (the body-snatcher) in Sophia Romma's (playwright and Literary Manager of the Negro Ensemble Company from 2012) allegorical satire, The Blacklist at the 13th Street Repertory Company in 2016. A celebration of Weldon's life will take place in January.

He was the brother of actress Ann Weldon, singer Maxine Weldon, and Mae Frances Weldon. Yet one thing led to another. [6], In 1973, he was a part of the Broadway cast of The River Niger, with Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. FACEBOOK He was an actor and producer, known for Malcolm X (1992), Stir Crazy (1980) and A Woman Called Moses (1978). Charles Weldon was born on June 1, 1940 in Wetumka, Oklahoma, USA. He was the artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company for thirteen years.

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