“Negro Actor Plays White Role on ‘D.A.'”

Such a turn of events elicited this piece in a July 19, 1944, issue of Variety magazine. Of course, white performers had been portraying African Americans since the birth of broadcasting but this was quite the anomaly. Maurice Ellis, a gifted actor, is profiled in my book on black radio performers. Mr. District Attorney was a very popular radio program from 1939 – 1952. Notice that the “regular” role is de facto for a white person. And here’s a link to an article about the man who may be the actual first black forest ranger.

Black Forest ranger 07-19-1944