Napoleon B. Whiting

Napoleon B. Whiting

Birth
Canton, Madison County, Mississippi, USA
Death 22 Oct 1984 (aged 75)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot 76 Pineview
Memorial ID 79758795 · View Source
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Actor. By the age of 21-years-old, he left Mississippi for New York City, New York in pursuit of an acting career. After going to Hollywood, he appeared in uncredited movie bit parts and became a typecast for the role of the “black butler”. His first major break was the part of Jefferson Swazey in the 1956 movie “Giant” with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. In 1959, he played the part of Eugene, the waiter, in the Doris Day movie “It Happened to Jane”. In 1963, he appeared in “Living Between Two Worlds”. From 1965 to 1969, he played the recurring role of Silas in the TV series “The Big Valley”. Although he again played the “black butler”, he had more active appearance in “The Big Valley” with scripted lines supporting the plot, thus becoming an interesting character interacting with the lead actors in the series. Since “The Big Valley” is rerunning in today’s TV schedules, generations have come to know him as “Silas” in the Barkley household. In 1975, he had the part of a hotel clerk in the movie “Farewell, My Lovely” and another bit part in “Fugitive Lovers.” Even as the “black butler”, he worked to overcame the prejudices in a mainly white industry, which led to giving breaks to other African American actors in lead roles years later.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Chris Mills
  • Added: 2 Nov 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 79758795
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Napoleon B. Whiting (21 Sep 1909–22 Oct 1984), Find a Grave Memorial no. 79758795, citing Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .