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Sunshine Sammy Morrison, The First Black Actor To Sign A Long-Term Film Contract

Sunshine Sammy morrison


Ernest Fredric “Sunshine Sammy” Morrison was a member of the original Little Rascals. Morrison is thought to be the first black actor to sign a long-term film contract, as well as the first black child actor.


Morrison was born in 1912 in New Orleans and began his film career almost immediately. He was cast in a film for the first time because the original child actor was constantly crying. A crew member requested that Morrison’s father bring his infant son, and because the baby provided everything the crew required, he was given the nickname “Sunshine.”

He appeared in Baby Marie Osbourne silent film features as a child. “The Sunshine Sammy Series” was created for him by the time he was four years old. Between 1922 and 1924, Morrison appeared in 28 episodes of the Little Rascals.

Morrison returned to the United States after extensive traveling and touring in Australia with his partner Sleepy Williams, and was chosen by Sam Katzman to be one of the East Side Kids. Morrison could identify with the role from the start, thanks to his upbringing on New York’s East Side. Morrison played “Scruno,” the only black member of the gang, and had the same number of lines as the rest of the cast.

Morrison wanted to pursue other opportunities in show business, so after three years of working with the gang, he decided to part ways. Morrison later appeared in shows like “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons.” In addition, he appeared in 145 films and was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1987. Morrison died on July 24, 1989, in Lynwood, California.




Written by How Africa News

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