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Snippet of Reel Talk with the Hollywood Kid Podcast: Yaphet Kotto On Acting in Othello at 19

From Audio: RARE Interview with Actor YAPHET KOTTO

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Duration: 04:14
During his 40 plus years in showbiz, actor Yaphet Kotto has starred in films like: Across 110th Street, Live and Let Die, Brubaker, The Star Chamber, The Running Man, Blue Collar, Alien, Othello, and the hit comedy, Midnight Run to name a few.
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During his 40 plus years in showbiz, actor Yaphet Kotto has starred in films like: Across 110th Street, Live and Let Die, Brubaker, The Star Chamber, The Running Man, Blue Collar, Alien, Othello, and the hit comedy, Midnight Run to name a few.
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my guest has broken down barriers during his career and represented the first person of color to appear in a James Bond film and redefined how African Americans were portrayed in film. It is my honor to have him as a guest on my show this week, all the way from the Philippines. Legendary actor Mr Yaphet Kotto joins us. Yeah, Thank you. So so much for joining us today. Thank you very much as you're listening. Uh, my my career. Not bad for a Jewish kid from the Bronx. Not at all, sir. Not at all. Yeah, um, you're one of my all time favorites and David, my sidekick as well, And, uh, we're so honored to have you on the show, believe me, And this is a big deal for us. So thank you so much for taking the time today. Thank you. Um, yeah. Thank you. Let's start off early in your career. Um, you know, you started off taking acting classes at 16. And you made your professional stage debut at 19. As a fellow. Um, talk about you. Also understudy for James Earl Jones in the 1964 production. The blood knot. Talk about that, if you can. Yes, I I I, um my career really started on oh, bluffs and give God, uh, with a black with a black, uh, summer theater company, repertory company, uh, created by Elizabeth White on Oak Bluffs. And, uh, that's where that's where our fellow started as a play. And Elizabeth White was her name. She worked for Julie Holiday. We did that play for we did that player over cape Judy came to see it, and she was very impressed. And she wanted to, uh, producing as a film which will be dead. So it really started there. It caught his man. The whole this whole thing started, but it's pretty. It's like an hour is right for us right now. Judy Holland, Is that right? Yeah. You were in Boston. Judy Holliday's, um, they're currently believe they're making a movie about her life When I understand. Well, she discovered me. They should make a movie. He discovered good David. He discovered me with a fellow. Uh, were you at all inspired because, uh, a long while before you weren't at Paul Robinson? I believe he was one of the first African Americans to play in a major theater version. Was there any discussion of that while you were putting on the play? Or now he's always really strange because when we were doing to play rehearsing it some someone from the Manchester Guardian walked up to me and said, Uh, but there were vacationing on the cape and and they said to me Why? You must have you must have, uh you must have seen Mr Robinson's performance. He said, because you you've got his voice and you you've got to sing. I said, Sir, I'm only 19 years old. I don't I don't think I was a doctor. What part? Robinson was working. So I've never seen this performance. No, but that was the first time I heard that name. But that was the first time you ever heard of Mr Robinson's work. Yeah, I was. When I did. Also, I was 19 years old. Man. I didn't know what the hell I was I was doing. Maybe maybe, uh, Elizabeth might have directed being that way, but I I didn't really didn't know who he was. You know, my family, my mother and father, not from the United States. My mother's for Panamanian woman who went into the service and became a tech sergeant and my father is from the Cameroons. And so I didn't hear much about American heroes are most of the people I heard about was African heroes and England and the Queen family and all that kind of stuff. I thought it was more African and doctrine. He was. I was born in New York City, but parents who, uh, my father was a rabbi. Uh, we didn't have the same religious background and we didn't have the same language. I spoke Spanish up until the age of 11 because my mother and the whole family from Panama so asking me
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