Hal DeWindt

Hal DeWindt was an American producer, director, actor, and model. He worked to increase opportunities for African Americans in the arts.[1][2]

Hal DeWindt
Harold DeWindt

Died(1997-06-16)June 16, 1997
Los Angeles, California, US

Early life

DeWindt was born and raised in Harlem.[3] His father Clifford acted with the original Lafayette Theatre.[3]


In 1959, DeWindt became the first male model for the Ebony Fashion Fair. He traveled with that fashion troupe for two years.[2]

DeWindt began his stage career in the Broadway play Golden Boy.[3] He played a leading role in the Louis S. Peterson play Entertain A Ghost.[4] He also appeared in the Kurt Weill musical Lost in the Stars.[5] In 1962, DeWindt staged an Off-Broadway production of Raisin' Hell in the Son, a spoof of A Raisin in the Sun that he co-wrote with Reni Santoni.[1][6]

DeWindt served as production stage manager at the New York Shakespeare Festival for seven years.[1] He was a director with Robert Hooks's Group Theater Workshop, which led to the creation of the Negro Ensemble Company,[1] which he served with as a workshop director.[7]

DeWindt was the founder and artistic director of the American Theatre of Harlem, and artistic director of the Inner City Repertory Company in Los Angeles.[1][2] In 1977, he formed the Hal DeWindt Theatre in San Francisco.[7]

DeWindt helped Arthur Mitchell bring the Dance Theatre of Harlem to Broadway, and helped Leonard Bernstein bring black musicians into the New York Philharmonic.[1][5][2] In 1969, as assistant producer of The Angel Levine, DeWindt helped run a black apprenticeship program funded by a Ford Foundation grant.[1] He also worked on a number of other film and television productions, and led acting workshops.[1] DeWindt acted on television as well.[1]

In 1983, DeWindt co-authored the book Kill, Bubba, Kill! with former NFL player and actor Bubba Smith.[8][9] DeWindt was serving as an acting professor at Loyola Marymount University at the time of his death.[2][7]

Personal life and death

In 1958, DeWindt and his wife Violet had their first child, Hal D. Jr.[10] In 1975, DeWindt met actress Sheila Wills when she enrolled in an actor's workshop he was teaching in Los Angeles. They married two years later.[11] The couple divorced in 1981.[12] In 1984, DeWindt married actress/model Angelique.[13] He later married another woman, Suzanne.[1]

DeWindt died of cancer in Los Angeles on June 22, 1997. The New York Times reported his age at death as 63.[1]

Filmography (selected)

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Youngblood Associate producer
1978 A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich Associate producer
1975 Barbary Coast Director
1970 The Angel Levine Assistant producer
1968 Get Smart Novak Episode: The Worst Best Man
1968 The Wild Wild West Taro Episode: The Night of the Undead


  1. Mel Gussow (June 22, 1997). "Hal DeWindt, 63, a Producer And an Advocate for Integration". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  2. "Hal DeWindt, Acclaimed Director-Producer-Actor, Dies". Jet. July 14, 1997. p. 65. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  3. Doug Galloway (June 19, 1997). "Hal DeWindt". Variety. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  4. "Ghost Player". Jet. April 19, 1962. p. 62. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  5. David Lefkowitz (June 24, 1997). "Inner City Rep's Hal DeWindt, 63, Dies In L.A." Playbill. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  6. "Critics Offer Harsh Reviews For DeWindt's Play". Jet. July 19, 1962. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  7. Anthony D. Hill; Douglas Q. Barnett (December 4, 2008). Historical Dictionary of African American Theater. Scarecrow Press. pp. 18, 140. ISBN 9780810862760. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  8. Margalit Fox (August 3, 2011). "Bubba Smith, N.F.L. Star and Actor, Dies at 66". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  9. Bubba Smith; Hal DeWindt (1983). Kill, Bubba, Kill!. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780671476472. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  10. "This Week's Census". Jet. November 13, 1958. p. 46. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  11. "Sheila De Windt: BJ And Bear Star Says Beauty Can Be A Handicap". Jet. August 6, 1981. p. 54. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  12. Sylvia P. Flanagan (October 21, 1985). "Sheila DeWindt Combines Successful Career With Motherhood". Jet. p. 57. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  13. Gerri Major (April 9, 1984). "Society World". Jet. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
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