Raymond St. Jacques
Date of Birth
Mar 01, 1930
Birth Place:
Hartford, CT


One of the most dynamic of the '60s "new wave" of African-American actors, Raymond St. Jacques had originally intended to become a social worker. Thankfully, he did not allow his richly theatrical voice and imposing physique to go to waste, and decided upon an acting career, specializing in Shakespeare. Whenever "at liberty", which was often in the mid '50s, St. Jacques was obliged to take the menial jobs then open to black males; his theatrical career picked up momentum after he underwent training at New York's Actors Studios. His big break was in the ongoing off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's The Blacks, a play that boosted the careers of virtually all the major African-American actors of the early '60s. While roles were still comparatively scarce for non-white performers, St. Jacques did quite well for himself in feature films (Black Like Me [1964], The Pawnbroker [1965], The Green Berets [1967], Cotton Comes to Harlem [1970]) and as a TV guest star. In 1973, St. Jacques produced, directed and starred in The Book of Numbers, a minor but lively film about a pair of black confidence men in the South of the '30s. One of his last assignments was as Frederick Douglass in the 1989 historical drama Glory; his agent was unable to negotiate proper billing, so St. Jacques willingly played the role sans screen credit. Raymond St. Jacques died at age 60 of cancer of the lymph glands. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Provided by Rovi