Stepin Fetchit Biography
Birthday: May 30, 1902 (Gemini)
Born In: Key West, Florida, United States
Stepin Fetchit was an American film actor who became the very first African-American film actor to earn a million dollars in Hollywood. He made his name in an era when the black people were dominated by the whites in the industry. He was also the first ever black actor to receive featured screen credit in a film, which reflects the harsh reality of the industry that time. He was initially signed by the Fox Pictures, then dropped by them, and then re-signed. He acted in over 40 films between 1927 and 1939, a time when contracts for black actors were unheard of. He was famous for his humor and his unique style of acting; often special plots used to be written to make his character more prominent in the films. He always exploited the whites' sense of superiority by pretending to be slow-witted and lazy, like a ‘trickster’. Despite all the success he earned as an actor, over a period of time he became frustrated with the inequality within the industry and was also unhappy with not being paid as well as his white counterparts. Due to his frustration, he almost stopped working in the 1940s, making only sporadic film appearances in order to earn his livelihood.