Alvin Childress September 15, 1907 – April 19, 1986 was an African-American actor who is best known for playing the cabdriver Amos Jones in the 1950s television comedy series Amos ‘n Andy and his biggest success in Philip Yordan’s all-black production of Anna Lucasta, appeared on the New York stage in 1931. He began his career with productions such as Savage Rhythm and Sweet Land, all while battling diabetes.
Childress graduated from Rust College and found work during the Depression age with the Federal Theatre Project and the American Negro Theatre, where he worked as an instructor. Making his film debut in 1939, Childress battled the controversial claims that Amos ‘n’ Andy was based on negative stereotypes of the African-American culture. The show was eventually cancelled because the NAACP protested. Childress remained with the show through its entire two-year span, shooting 78, 30-minute episodes. He then moved on to a social work position in Los Angeles with his degree.
Childress later returned to the big screen, landing feature roles in a couple of films and TV shows such as The Jefferson’s and Sanford and Son. Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease laid Alvin Childress to rest in 1986 at the age of 78.
Alvin Childress died of Parkinson’s disease and diabetes in 1986 in Inglewood, California.