DOOLEY WILSON Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Arthur Wilson                                                                       
Born: 3 April 1886 Tyler, Texas, U.S.                                                     
Died: 30 May 1953 Los Angeles, California                                                 
Arthur "Dooley" Wilson (April 3, 1886–May 30, 1953) was an African American             
actor and singer. He was born in Tyler, Texas, and is most famous for playing "Sam"       
in the 1942 film Casablanca.                                                             
Wilson's precise year of birth is unknown: it may have been anywhere between             
1884 and 1887. He worked in black theatre in Chicago and New York for most of             
the period from 1908 to the 1930s, although in the 1920s he played as a drummer           
in a band which toured Europe. From the 1930s to the 1950s he worked in motion           
pictures and Broadway musicals, and played Bill Jackson on the television                 
situation comedy Beulah during its final 1952–1953 season.                             
He received the nickname "Dooley" while working in the Pekin Theatre in Chicago,         
circa 1908, because of his then-signature Irish song "Mr. Dooley," which he               
performed in whiteface.                                                                   
His breakthrough Broadway appearance came in the role of Little Joe, a                   
stereotypic lazy rascal in the musical Cabin in the Sky (1940–1941). This led to       
his signing for the Paramount studio in Hollywood, which lent him to Warner Bros.         
for his role as Sam in Casablanca. He played Pompey, an escaped slave, in the             
musical Bloomer Girl (1946–1948). His performance of the song "The Eagle and Me"       
in this show was selected by Dwight Blocker Bowers for inclusion in a                     
Smithsonian recordings compilation, American Musical Theatre.