Richard Berry Harrison (Richard Berry Harrison)

Richard Berry Harrison

Actor. The son of fugitive slaves who had escaped to Canada on the Underground Railroad, he was named “Richard” after his mother had seen a performance of ‘Richard III’. His interest in theatre led him to Detroit, where he studied acting at the Detroit Training School of Dramatic Art. He traveled frequently, giving dramatic readings of Shakespeare and the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar. His most famous role was playing “De Lawd” in Marc Connelly’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, ‘The Green Pastures’. He appeared in the role in 1650 performanes in 203 cities. He became the first African-American to appear on the cover of TIME magazine, in 1935. He died of a sudden heart attack just ten days after his appearance on TIME. He had been the 1930 recipient of the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. (bio by: Garver Graver)


  • September, 28, 1864
  • Canada


  • March, 03, 1935
  • USA


  • Lincoln Cemetery
  • Illinois
  • USA

2550 profile views