Tim Moore: The Kingfish

Tim (Harry Roscoe) Moore (born today in 1887) is best known to posterity) for playing the Kingfish in the television version of Amos ‘n’ Andy (1951-53). (The characters had been played by white actors on radio, but blackface wouldn’t fly in the 1950s, so African Americans were hired when the popular show moved to tv). Moore was ostracized for Uncle Tom-ism in the business after the show went off the air, which was a shame because Moore had a substantial career prior to Amos ‘n’ Andy. He’d begun singing and dancing on street corners, was a pick in Cora Miskel’s traveling show, was in medicine shows, carnivals (as a geek), Tom shows, and black vaudeville and revues (including Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds and his own Tim Moore’s Follies). He passed away in 1958.

Here is the televised introduction of the Amos ‘n’ Andy cast including Moore.

To find out more about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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