Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lee Dobson

I have only just learned of the passing of actor Lee Dobson (he died on September 26). I got to know Mr. Dobson's work mostly at Metropolitan Playhouse, where I saw him in Secret Service, The Octoroon, and other plays. His was an elegant, impressive, understated presence.

My most vivid recollection of him was at a talkback after a performance of The Octoroon. I remember posing the question, to him and four other African American actors in the cast, of how it felt to play slaves -- and to portray them in a play whose entire context suggests that slavery is "normal." His reflections on how a black man in the 21st century tries to get into the head of a black man of two centuries ago -- and the value of doing that -- were wise and valuable.

Mr. Dobson will be missed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lee Dobson is my uncle. Words cannot explain the passing of not only our favorite, but one of the most charming, passionate and noble family members on this earth. He will be missed. Our family would like to thank friends in the NYC theatre community for your support and passion for Lee "Brotha" Dobson.
As Lee would say . . One Love!!

Mike Talbot said...

I first met Lee during the National Assoc. of Dramatic& Speech Arts conference at Ky. State University in 1968. During the summer of 1969 Lee and I were roommates at Lincoln University in Jefferson City MO. We were intoxicated with the fact that wewere stars, performing lead rolls in two new shows. After that summer we drifted apart later meeting quite by accident in 1975Nothing had changed. We were still close and I still thought that Lee was one of the funniest people I had ever met. I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing and although we got together infrequently, I will miss him greatly. "The tumult and the shouting dies, the captains and the kings depart, still stands our ancient sacrifice".