Earl Cameron

Earl Cameron (1917-2020) Location: Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, Covent Garden, London

Born in Bermuda in 1917, Earlston Jewitt Cameron arrived in London, in 1939, as a member of the British Merchant Navy. He struggled to find employment but soon stumbled into acting during the Second World War. He joined five other black actors who had small parts in a West End musical, and from there, he went on to perform for overseas British armed forces personnel, appearing in Deep Are the Roots at the Wyndham Theatre in 1946.

In 1951 Cameron’s big film break came with Pool of London. He then appeared in Simba (1955), The Heart Within (1957), Sapphire (1959) and Flame in the Streets (1961). James Bond fans knew him as Pinder opposite Sean Connery in Thunderball (1965). In 1972, he worked with Sidney Poitier and Esther Anderson in Poitier’s A Warm December.

He appeared in several action films - Tarzan the Magnificent, Tarzan’s Three Challenges (1963), Guns at Batasi (1964), and Battle Beneath the Earth (1967). Later films included The Interpreter (2005) and The Queen (2006).

In 2017, at 100 years old, Cameron performed in Neil Gaiman’s novel Anansi Boys on Radio 4. He engaged with the experiences of the Windrush generation. Cameron built up a vast body of television work from early realist docudramas such as A Man From The Sun (1956), The Dark Man (1960), and A Fear of Strangers (1964).

Cameron joined the Baha’i faith in 1963, taking him to the Solomon Islands in 1979. He returned to Kenilworth Warwickshire, England, where he lived happily with his second wife, Barbara Bower. He was the recipient of many honours -in 2009, he was awarded a CBE on the Queen’s honour list. In 2013 the University of Warwick awarded him an honorary doctorate. He was the recipient of the Screen Nation Hall of Fame award in 2016, and in 2019 the Bermuda Arts Council established the Earl Cameron Award.

Location: Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, Covent Garden, London