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Clarence Muse ACTOR


Clarence Muse was born on October 13th, 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland with the birth name Clarence Edouard Muse to parents Alexander and Mary Muse.  His entertainment career began with working in a variety of fields such as an opera singer, minstrel performer and vaudeville actor.  Clarence also had a talent for composing songs and writing plays.  He is considered a pioneer of the Black Movement and was even the first African American to 'star' in a film, “Way Down South” (1939).
He earned a degree in International Law from Dickinson College in Carlisle Pennsylvania.  However, after traveling to Washington DC, he was so upset to see how hard African American Lawyers were trying to work and get accepted into the industry, yet there was a shortage of opportunities out there for them. 
Muse decided instead to pursue an acting career.  He began with doing some work in Jacksonville, Florida and then moved with his wife and infant son to New York and joining a traveling stock company called, Lafayette Players” in New York.  When he received a message from Los Angeles that they wanted him to act on the second talkie film, “Hearts To Dixie” (1929), he took them up on their offer.
His film career then took off and he worked on a number of films such as, “Rain or Shine” (1931), “Dirigible” (1931), “Huckleberry Finn” (1931), “White Zombie” (1932), “Flying Down to Rio” (1933), “The Count of Monte Cristo” (1934), “The Invisable Ghost” (1941) and “Buck and the Preacher” (1972) amongst many others.  At one point he became the highest paid Black actor in Hollywood.
Even though during his era of working as an actor and having to fight the constant battle of African American actors being stereotyped and typecast in mostly servant roles, Muse always took his roles very seriously and displayed a certain level of dignity.
Along with a successful stage and film career, Muse also managed to add to his resume the talent of being a composer.  Some of his more well known songs were, “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South”, “Weary Feet”, “River of Freedom”, “Liberty Road”, “Deep and Mighty is the River”, “Have You Ever Been Down Yonder” and “Lazy Rain”.  

Muse also co wrote some screen plays such as, “Broken Strings” which he also played the lead role in.  His acting career was later made the subject of a television documentary called, “Black Star of the Silver Screen: The Story of Clarence Muse” (1977).  
He married twice throughout his lifetime, his first wife being Willabelie whom he had three children with.  His second time to marry was in 1952 to Irene Ena and they did not have any children together but remained married until he passed away on October 13th, 1979 in Perris, California from a cerebral hemorrhage just one day before his birthday and four days before the release of his final film, "The Black Stallion” (1979).  

Muse was inducted into the, “Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame” in 1973 and performed in over two hindered films and a number of theatrical stage performances as well.  Muse also played an active role during World War II.  He served as an executive member of the Hollywood Victory Committee which was responsible for organizing movie stars to make appearances for the troops and wounded soldiers in hospitals.  

He was and will always be known as, “One of the outstanding character actors in Hollywood”.  


1979 The Black Stallion
1977 Passing Through
1976 Car Wash
1973 A Dream for Christmas
1973 The World's Greatest Athlete
1972 Buck and the Preacher
1960 The Swamp Fox: A Case of Treason
1960 The Swamp Fox: Day of Reckoning
1960 The Swamp Fox: Redcoat Strategy
1960 The Swamp Fox: Tory Vengeance
1956 Porgy and Bess
1956 The First Traveling Saleslady
1953 Jamaica Run
1953 The Sun Shines Bright
1952 Caribbean
1952 The Las Vegas Story
1951 Apache Drums
1951 My Forbidden Past
1950 Riding High
1949 The Great Dan Patch
1948 An Act of Murder
1947 A Likely Story
1947 My Favorite Brunette
1947 Unconquered
1947 Welcome Stranger
1946 Night and Day
1946 Two Smart People
1945 God Is My Co-Pilot
1945 Jungle Queen [Serial]
1945 Scarlet Street
1945 The Lost Weekend
1945 Without Love
1944 Double Indemnity
1944 In the Meantime, Darling
1944 Jam Session
1944 San Diego, I Love You
1944 The Thin Man Goes Home
1943 Flesh and Fantasy
1943 Heaven Can Wait
1943 Honeymoon Lodge
1943 Johnny Come Lately
1943 Shadow of a Doubt
1943 Sherlock Holmes in Washington
1943 The Sky's the Limit
1943 Watch on the Rhine
1942 Sin Town
1942 Tales of Manhattan
1942 The Black Swan
1942 The Talk of the Town
1942 Tough As They Come
1941 Adam Had Four Sons
1941 Among the Living
1941 Gentleman from Dixie
1941 Kisses for Breakfast
1941 Love Crazy
1941 The Flame of New Orleans
1941 The Invisible Ghost
1940 Chad Hanna
1940 Maryland a
1940 Murder over New York
1940 Sporting Blood
1940 That Gang of Mine
1940 Zanzibar
1939 Way Down South
1938 Prison Train
1938 Secrets of a Nurse
1938 The Toy Wife
1937 High Hat
1937 Mysterious Crossing
1936 Follow Your Heart
1936 Laughing Irish Eyes
1936 Muss 'em Up
1936 Show Boat
1936 Spendthrift
1935 Alias Mary Dow
1935 Daniel Boone
1935 East of Java
1935 Harmony Lane
1935 O'Shaughnessey's Boy
1935 So Red the Rose
1934 Black Moon
1934 Broadway Bill
1934 Kid Millions
1934 Massacre
1934 The Count of Monte Cristo
1934 The Personality Kid
1933 Flying Down to Rio
1933 From Hell to Heaven
1933 Laughter in Hell
1933 The Mind Reader
1933 The Wrecker
1932 Attorney for the Defense
1932 Big City Blues
1932 Hell's Highway
1932 If I Had a Million
1932 Is My Face Red?
1932 Man Against Woman
1932 Night World a
1932 Prestige
1932 The Cabin in the Cotton
1932 The Wet Parade
1932 Washington Merry-Go-Round a
1932 White Zombie
1932 Winner Take All
1931 Dirigible
1931 Huckleberry Finn
1931 Safe in Hell
1931 Secret Service
1931 The Fighting Sheriff
1931 The Last Parade
1931 The Secret Witness
1930 Guilty?
1930 Rain or Shine
1929 Election Day
1929 Hearts in Dixie 

Matinee Classics - The Broken Earth starring Clarence Muse
Matinee Classics - My Forbidden Past starring Robert Mitchum, Ava Gardner, Melvyn Douglas, Lucile Watson, Janis Carter, Gordon Oliver, Basil Ruysdael, Clarence Muse, Walter Kingsford, Jack Briggs and Will Wright
Matinee Classics - Broken Strings starring Clarence Muse, Clarence Brooks and Matthew 'Stymie' Beard
Matinee Classics - The Peanut Man starring Clarence Muse
Matinee Classics - Buck and the Preacher starring Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Cameron Mitchell, Nita Talbot and Clarence Muse
Matinee Classics - An Act of Murder starring Fredric March, Edmond O'Brien, Florence Eldridge, Geraldine Brooks, Stanley Ridges, John McIntire, Will Wright, Frederic Tozere, Francis McDonald, Mary Servoss, Don Beddoe, Virginia Brissac and Clarence Muse
Matinee Classics - Prison Train starring Fred Keating, Clarence Muse, Faith Bacon, Dorothy Comingore, Sam Bernard, Alexander Leftwich, John Pearson, James Blakeley, Val Stanton, Peter Potter, Nestor Paiva, Kit Guard, Franklyn Farnum and George Lloyd
Matinee Classics - Spirit of Youth starring Joe Louis, Clarence Muse, Edna Mae Harris, Mae Turner, Cleo Desmond, Mantan Moreland and Jewel Smith
Matinee Classics - That Gang of Mine starring The East Side Kids - Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Clarence Muse, Dave O'Brien, Joyce Bryant, Ernest 'Sunshine Sammy' Morrison, Milton Kibbee, David Gorcey, Donald Haines, Richard Terry, Wilbur Mack, Hazel Keener and Eugene Francis
Matinee Classics - The Cabin in the Cotton starring Richard Barthelmess, Dorothy Jordan, Bette Davis, Hardie Albright, David Landau, Berton Churchill, Dorothy Peterson, Russell Simpson, Tully Marshall, Henry B. Walthall, Edmund Breese, John Marston, Erville Alderson, William Le Maire and Clarence Muse

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