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James Baskett (James Baskett)

James Baskett

Actor. He is fondly remembered for his portrayal of ‘Uncle Remus’ in the 1946 Walt Disney live action/animated musical film “Song of the South” that was based on the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris. He studied pharmacology as a young man but gave it up to pursue an acting career. He moved to New York City, New York where he joined up with Bill ‘Mr. Bojangles’ Robinson. Using the name Jimmie Baskette, he appeared with Louis Armstrong on Broadway in the 1929 black musical revue “Hot Chocolates” and in several all-black New York films, including “Harlem is Heaven” (1932). He later moved to Los Angeles, California and had small roles in “Straight to Heaven” (1939), “Dumbo” (1941), “Revenge of the Zombies” (1943), and “The Heavenly Body” (1944). From 1944 until 1948 he joined the cast of the “Amos ‘n’ Andy Show” as lawyer ‘Gabby Gibson’. In 1945 he auditioned for a voice role in Disney’s “Song of the South.” An impressed Walt Disney hired him on the spot for the lead role of ‘Uncle Remus’ that featured his song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” He also performed the voice role of ‘Brer Fox’, one of the film’s animated antagonists. In March 1948 he won an Honorary Academy Award for his role as ‘Uncle Remus in the “Song of the South,” making him the first African-American performer to receive an Oscar. Suffering from poor health in the last two years of his life, he died of heart failure stemming from diabetes at the age of 44. (bio by: William Bjornstad)  Family links:  Parents:  John Baskett (1869 – 1921)Cause of death: Heart disease Inscription:Dedicated to the memory ofIndianapolis nativeJames BaskettFor his academy award winningPortrayal of master storytellerUncle Remus in Walt Disney’s1946 movie, “Song of the South”

Born

  • February, 16, 1904
  • USA

Died

  • July, 07, 1948
  • USA

Cause of Death

  • Heart disease 

Cemetery

  • Crown Hill Cemetery
  • Indiana
  • USA

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