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Baptiste, Thomas (1936-)


Main image of Baptiste, Thomas (1936-)

Thomas Baptiste was born in Guyana and came to Britain in the late 1940s. He has worked as an actor and opera singer in Britain since then. He was an early member of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Company. In the late '60s he was a founder member of the Actors Equity Advisory Committee, which campaigned on behalf of black actors in Britain.

His numerous stage roles include George in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Alfred P. Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and Paul Robeson in Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?. He has appeared in over twenty-five films including The Ipcress File (d. Sidney J Furie, 1965), Jemima and Johnny (d. Lionel Ngakane, 1966), Sunday Bloody Sunday (d. John Schlesinger, 1971), Shaft in Africa (US, d. John Guillermin, 1973), and Ama (d. Kwate Nee-Owoo & Kwesi Owusu), which premiered at the 1991 London Film Festival.

He has made numerous television appearances since the 1950s including Nightfall at Kriekville (1961), Harold Pinter's The Room (1961), Coronation Street (1963), John Hopkins' Wednesday Play: Fable (1965), Alun Owen's Play for Today: Pal (1971), Michael Abbensetts' Empire Road (1978-9), Barrie Keeffe's Play for Today: King (1984), Drums Along Balmoral Drive (1986), Winners and Losers (1989), EastEnders (1990), and Love Hurts (1992).

Seb Whyte

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Ipcress File, The (1965)Ipcress File, The (1965)

Michael Caine's first outing as Len Deighton's secret agent Harry Palmer

Thumbnail image of Jemima + Johnny (1966)Jemima + Johnny (1966)

Touching short about the friendship between a white boy and black girl

Thumbnail image of Empire Road (1978-79)Empire Road (1978-79)

Drama series set within Birmingham's West Indian community

Thumbnail image of Fable (1965)Fable (1965)

Controversial TV drama imagining Britain under black rule

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