The 2018 Gordon Parks Celebration is scheduled for Friday, October 5th & Saturday, October 6th, 2018.
Roger E. Mosley, lead actor in “Leadbelly” film by Gordon Parks and Magnum P.I. star, to receive “Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award” at the 2018 Gordon Parks Celebration
Reggie Collier, WENN
Roger E. Mosley, who played the title role in the Gordon Parks –directed film, “Leadbelly,” will be the recipient of the “Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award” at the annual Gordon Parks Celebration this October 5th & 6th, 2018 in Fort Scott, Kan. The Gordon Parks Celebration, a component of the Gordon Parks Museum, was created in 2004 by Fort Scott Community College to honor Fort Scott native Gordon Parks, noted photographer, writer, musician, and filmmaker.
At the culmination of the first year’s events, the Choice of Weapons Award was established in Parks’ honor to be given annually at the Celebration. Named after his autobiography of the same name, the award seeks to honor a recipient. Previous recipients include actor and musician Avery Brooks, photographer Howard L. Bingham, Elizabeth Eckford and Ernest Green, two of the “Little Rock Nine,” Richard Roundtree, star of the Parks-directed film, “Shaft,” Nichelle Nichols of “Star Trek” fame, acclaimed actress Ruby Dee, photographer John Shearer, LIFE magazine photo editor Bobbi Burrows, Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum, musicians Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., editor Genevieve Young, filmmaker Kevin Willmott, and educator Bernadette Gray-Little.
Roger Earl Mosley (born December 18, 1938) is a retired American actor, director and writer best known for his role as the helicopter pilot Theodore “T.C.” Calvin in the television series, Magnum, P.I. from 1980-1988. Mosley was born in Los Angeles, California in the Watts neighborhood. In 1974, he founded the Watts Repertory Company.
Mosley played the title role in the 1976 film Leadbelly, chronicling the life of folk singer Huddie William Ledbetter (better known as “Lead Belly”). The film, directed by Gordon Parks, focuses on the troubles of Lead Belly’s youth in the segregated South including his time in prison, and his efforts to use his music to gain release.
In a review of the film by film critic Roger Ebert, “Leadbelly is known to everyone who knows American folk music. He wrote “The Midnight Special,” “Rock Island Line,” “Take this Hammer” and hundreds of other songs, and had an enduring, influence on our music. Near the end of his life, he was cheered in Carnegie Hall.”
“Huddie Ledbetter is less well known. He killed at least two men, he spent long stretches of time on Texas chain gangs, he rode the rails and one of his first jobs was playing the guitar in a whorehouse. The remarkable achievement of Gordon Parks’ “Leadbelly” is to give us both these men and to show us how one became the other.”
Mosley has appeared in many movies and television shows. He shared star billing with Nell Carter in the 1990 sitcom “You Take the Kids” then spent two seasons as Coach Ricketts on the ABC comedy weekly “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.”
He has guest-starred on such shows as “Night Court,” “Starsky and Hutch” “Kojak,” “The Rockford Files,” “Baretta,” and “Sanford and Son” among many others. His film credits include McQ (1974) with John Wayne, The Greatest (1977, as Sonny Liston), Semi-Tough (1977), Heart Condition (1990) and Pentathlon (1994).
He is the father of three children and lives in Los Angeles.
Mosley will be honored at a dinner at the Liberty Theatre in Fort Scott on Saturday, October 6th. Ticket information and the full schedule will be posted on the website gordonparkscenter.org. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone call 223-2700, ext. 5850.