Godfrey Cambridge

Biography

Godfrey MacArthur Cambridge (February 26, 1933 - November 29, 1976) was an American comedian and actor. He was especially popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a regular guest on The Merv Griffin Show and other talk shows. He had originally received a scholarship to study medicine but opted for an acting career instead. Cambridge appeared both on stage and screen. Memorable film roles include Watermelon Man, where he plays the lead character, a white bigot who one day wakes up and discovers his skin color has turned to black, and The President's Analyst, where he plays a depressed government agent. He also had a starring role in the 1970 Ossie Davis adaptation of the Chester Himes novel Cotton Comes to Harlem of the same name. He perhaps reached his largest audience in a series of comical television commercials for Jockey brand underwear. Cambridge is also remembered for his starring role in Beware! The Blob, a sequel to the The Blob, as well as appearances on several syndicated television programs, including Car 54 Where Are You? ("The Curse of the Snitkins"), The Dick Van Dyke Show ("The Man From My Uncle"), and I Spy ("Court of the Lion"). He had a number of starring theatrical roles, both on and off Broadway, including his Broadway debut in Nature's Way (1951). He later appeared in The Blacks, in a performance that earned him an Obie award in 1961. He also did a stock version of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum four years later. Aired on January 6th, 1971, Cambridge gave an outstanding television performance along side Tom Bosley in an episode of Rod Serling's the "Night Gallery". Directed by Steven Spielberg, this episode called "Make Me Laugh" showed the actors ability to portray his own stage act trade in a story about someone who failed miserably in show business and looked for a quick fix to success. In addition to acting, Cambridge was a well-known standup comedian who appeared on The Tonight Show and other television shows. His routines were imbued with biting sarcasm and trenchant topical humor that was common in comedic circles at the time.

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Known For
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Cotton Comes to Harlem

Gravedigger Jones

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Watermelon Man

Jeff Gerber

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Friday Foster

Ford Malotte

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The Biscuit Eater

Willie Dorsey

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The Biggest Bundle of Them All

Benjamin 'Benny' Brownstead

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Gone Are the Days!

Gitlow Judson

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Come Back Charleston Blue

Gravedigger Jones

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The Last Angry Man

Nobody Home (uncredited)

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The President's Analyst

Don Masters, CEA Agent

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Scott Joplin

Tom Turpin

Starring In
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Scott Joplin

Tom Turpin

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Friday Foster

Ford Malotte

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Beware! The Blob

Chester Hargis

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The Biscuit Eater

Willie Dorsey

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Come Back Charleston Blue

Gravedigger Jones

Movie Poster

Cotton Comes to Harlem

Gravedigger Jones

Movie Poster

Watermelon Man

Jeff Gerber

Movie Poster

The Biggest Bundle of Them All

Benjamin 'Benny' Brownstead

Movie Poster

The President's Analyst

Don Masters, CEA Agent

Movie Poster

Gone Are the Days!

Gitlow Judson

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Splendor in the Grass

Chauffeur (uncredited)

Movie Poster

The Last Angry Man

Nobody Home (uncredited)

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