NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – Calvin Lockhart, an actor who won acclaim for his roles as underworld figures in 1970s “blaxploitation” films, has died. He was 72.

Lockhart, who was buried in Nassau on Saturday, died March 29 of complications from a stroke, his wife Jennifer Miles-Lockhart said. Born the youngest of eight children in 1934 in the Bahamas, Lockhart moved to New York as a teenager to study engineering but quickly found his calling in the theater. His first big screen role was in the 1967 film “Joanna,” about an interracial romance in London.

He was later praised for his portrayal of an unscrupulous preacher in the 1970 Ossie Davis-directed “Cotton Comes to Harlem.” Lockhart also played a disc jockey-turned-sleuth in the 1972 blaxploitation film “Melinda,” and the gangster character Biggie Smalls in 1975’s “Let’s Do It Again.”

Lockhart also appeared on the TV series “Dynasty” and had roles in Hollywood hits such as 1988’s “Coming to America,” starring Eddie Murphy.

“Although his acting career was of relatively short duration, Calvin’s cinematic charisma and talents won him high praise from critics and audiences alike all around the world,” Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie told the Nassau Guardian newspaper.

Lockhart is survived by his wife and two sons.


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