Jester Hairston Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (8)

Overview (4)

Born in Belews Creek, North Carolina, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameJester Joseph Hairston
Nickname Rolly

Mini Bio (1)

Composer, songwriter, conductor, singer and actor, educated at Tufts University, Juilliard, and the University of the Pacific (hon. Mus. D.). He acted on radio and television besides on film, and played Leroy on the "Amos 'n Andy" radio series for fifteen years. He directed the Federal Theatre Project, and was assistant conductor of the 'Hall Johnson Choir' in New York for fifteen years and trained choirs for radio and Broadway musicals. Coming to Hollywood in 1936, he sang and appeared with the Hall Johnson Choir in the film The Green Pastures (1936). Organizing his own choir in 1943, he arranged and conducted film background music and conducted choral groups in colleges and high schools, touring Europe for the State Department in 1961. Joining ASCAP in 1956, his popular-song compositions include "Mary's Boy Child," "Poor Man Lazarus," and many Gospel songs including "In Dat Great Gittin' Up Mornin'," "Amen," and "Gossip, Gossip."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Spouse (1)

Isabel Margaret Swannigan (1939 - 16 August 1986) ( her death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (8)

He wrote the song, "Amen," used in the film Lilies of the Field (1963) and dubbed the singing voice for Sidney Poitier. "Amen" was a Top 10 hit in 1964 for The Impressions.
Graduated from Tufts University in 1928.
Wrote the popular Christmas song "Mary's Boy Child," a top-ten hit in 1956 for Harry Belafonte and a standard today.
Is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Portrayed King Moses on the syndicated radio show "Bold Venture" (1950-1952).
Had 3 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
Spent his formative years in Homestead, Pennsylvania, where he graduated high school in 1921.
Appeared in three films that were Oscar-nominated for Best Picture: "The Alamo" (1960), "To Kill A Mockingbird" (1962) and "In the Heat of the Night" (1967).

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