Melvin Van Peebles

Melvin Van Peebles
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 20, 2009

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Playwright, painter, author, actor and director Melvin is a Chi-town native who attended Ohio Wesleyan University and joined the Air Force 13 days after graduation.

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Van Peebles chats with playwright Ntozake Shange at an after-party following the September 15, 1976, opening of her play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuff,” at New York’s Booth Theater. Miss Shange wrote and costarred in her production.

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Van Peebles and actor Godfrey Cambridge (1933-1976) on the set of his 1970 dramedy “Watermelon Man,” which was about a racist White man who wakes up Black and is alienated from his family, friends and job.

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Actor and director Mario Van Peebles shares a hearty laugh with his dad, Melvin, during a rehearsal for “Waltz of the Stork,” which Melvin wrote, directed and starred in at New York’s Century Theatre in 1981.

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Melvin makes sure everything stays in focus on the set of “Watermelon Man” in June 1969.

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Melvin takes a much needed break as he appears to prepare to pen his next masterpiece.

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Melvin (centered) gets support from his son Mario, right, and late greats and pals—actor Ossie Davis, far left, and photographer Gordon Parks—at a private screening of “Baadasssss,” the 2004 documentary that his son directed about his 1971 indie film, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassssss Song” on March 24, 2004, in New York City.

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Actors Khleo Thomas from left, Mario Van Peebles, Joy Bryant, David Alan Grier and Van Peebles attend the after-party for the Los Angeles premiere of “BAADASSSSS!” at the American Cinemateque at the Egyptian Theatre on May 25, 2004, in Hollywood, California.

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Melvin Van Peebles and Mario Van Peebles attend the 14th Annual IFP Gotham Awards, a benefit dinner and awards honoring New York’s filmmaking community, at Pier Sixty December 1, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Date created: 01 Dec 2004

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Melvin Van Peebles gives his son, actor and director Mario, a lift.

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