Anthony Chisholm, the Tony-nominated actor who appeared in several movies and TV series, has passed away. The news comes from The Katz Company with a post on Facebook, although a cause of death hasn’t yet been revealed. He was 77 years old.
“The Katz Company is saddened to announce the passing of our longtime friend and client, Tony-Nominee, Anthony Chisholm,” the post reads, including a photo of the veteran performer. “Affectionately called ‘Chiz,’ he was an actor and storyteller like none-other, embodying loyalty, devotion, and compassion to his artistry. We lost a great one today.”
Chisholm was born on April 9, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio. After serving for the United States Army in the Vietnam War, Chisholm pursued acting by performance on stage at Cleveland’s Karamu House. By 1968, he had made his movie debut in Jules Dassin’s Uptight, and more movie and TV roles were quick to follow. This includes roles in the classic movies Cotton Comes to Harlem and Summerdog, along with roles in Great Performances and The American Parade. His experiences from the Vietnam War were also used as inspiration for the HBO series Vietnam War Story in 1987.
On television, Chisholm would later be seen on shows like Hack, The Handler, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. One of Chisholm’s most recognizable TV roles came along when he joined the HBO prison drama Oz partway through its fourth season. He played war veteran and inmate Burr Redding, playing prominently in several major storylines until the series ended after six seasons. His interactions with Harold Perrineau as lead character Augustus Hill are particularly memorable.
A natural performer, Chisholm has also found great success with his stage work. This includes playing a lead role in August Wilson’s Jitney on Broadway in 1992, part of a years-long collaboration between the two. For Jitney, Chisholm won both the Drama Desk Award and the Obie Award. In 2007, he was nominated for a Tony Award for playing Elder Joseph Barlow in Wilson’s Radio Golf. He has also received the NAACP Theatre Award, the AUDELCO Award, the Ovation Award, and the I.R.N.E. Award.
Chisholm has also performed on stage internationally. This includes playing in the Vietnam play Tracers in prestigious theatres in Australia and England. Performing in Jitney at London’s National Theatre on the South Bank would also earn the actor another achievement, helping the production win the Olivier Award for Best New Play.
In more recent years, Chisholm appeared in the Spike Lee movie Chi-Raq in 2015. He also had recurring roles on the TV series Random Acts of Flyness and Wu-Tang: An American Saga. He also acted in this year’s The Dark End of the Street and can be seen posthumously in the upcoming short film The Breakthrough, playing a character described as a “wise and cynical old shrink.”
Chisholm’s survivors include his son, Alexander Chisholm; his daughter, Che Chisholm; his son-in-law, Peter Vietro-Hannum; and grandchildren, Ravi and Aviani Vietro. Our thoughts go out to them at this time. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Katz Company on Facebook.