Rupert Crosse was one of the best film actors of his time. He was best-known for his role in the 1969 adaptation of William Faulkner’s The Reivers. Crosse was the first African-American to be nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in the film.
Crosse was born in New York City and was raised by his grandparents in Nevis after the death of his father. He later returned to the United States to serve in the Army for two years before attending Bloomfield College. He later worked as a counselor at Brooklyn College.
He studied acting under John Cassavetes, and later appeared in two of Cassavetes’ films: Shadows (for which he won a Venice Film Festival Award) and Too Late Blues. Before landing the role of Ned McCaslin in the 1969 film, The Reivers, Crosse made guest appearances on several television shows. He married singer Chris Calloway, daughter of Cab Calloway in 1970, and they had one son. Calloway died in 2008 just a few years after the death of their son who died from a heart condition. Crosse died in 1973.
The last onscreen role of Crosse was in the sitcom The Partners, alongside Don Adams. Shortly before his death, Crosse was cast as Mulhall in The Last Detail (1973) but declined the role after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.