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Ben Carter (actor)

Ben Carter
Born(1910-02-10)February 10, 1910
DiedDecember 12, 1946(1946-12-12) (aged 36)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation(s)Actor, casting agent
Years active1934–1946

Ben Carter (February 10, 1910[1]/1907[2] – December 12, 1946[3]) was an American actor and casting agent. He appeared in numerous Hollywood feature films including The Harvey Girls, Dixie Jamboree, and Born to Sing.

Early life

Carter was born in Fairfield, Iowa.[1] His father was a barber and his mother was a housemaid.[1] He graduated from high school in Aurora, Illinois.[1]


Carter headed to Los Angeles to work in movies. As a booking agent he focused on African American performers in New York City and Los Angeles.[1] He was one of the first African American performers to land a seven-year contract at 20th Century-Fox.[2] He opened his agency office in 1935.[1]

Carter appeared in Gone With the Wind (1939) as well as casting all the other African American actors and actresses in it,[1] Maryland (1940) and Tin Pan Alley (1940).[2] Carter often performed in comic roles and in scenes which allowed him to display his singing ability such as in The Harvey Girls (1946) and A Day at the Races (1937). Among his most prominent roles were in the Charlie Chan movies The Scarlet Clue (1945) and Dark Alibi (1946). A notable role of his was in the World War II movie Crash Dive (1943) where his character rises above racial stereotypes and is portrayed as an valuable member of a submarine's crew.

Personal life

Carter was a member of the Hollywood Victory Committee[1] and was a civil rights activist.[2]

He resided at 2133 S. Harvard Blvd. in Sugar Hill (now "West Adams"), Los Angeles, California, in 1942.[1]

Carter suffered from diphtheria.[2] He died of the disease on December 12, 1946, in New York City.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1934 Hollywood Party Elevator Operator Uncredited
1935 Transient Lady Barbershop Patron Uncredited
1935 Kentucky Blue Streak Waiter / Colored Octette Leader
1936 The Green Pastures Gambler Uncredited
1936 Missing Girls Pokey
1937 A Day at the Races Black Singer Uncredited
1937 Adventure's End Stantul, Black Sailor
1938 Having Wonderful Time Minor Role (scenes deleted)
1939 Gone With the Wind Uncredited
1940 Little Old New York Noah
1940 Safari Happy
1940 New Moon Singer - Member of Jericho Choir Uncredited
1940 Maryland Shadrach
1940 Carolina Moon Wheeler's Butler Uncredited
1940 South to Karanga Higgins
1940 Earl of Puddlestone Homer
1940 Tin Pan Alley Boy
1940 Chad Hanna Bell Boy
1941 Sleepers West Leander Jones - Porter
1941 Ride on Vaquero Watchman Bullfinch
1941 Dressed to Kill Sam
1942 Young America Abraham
1942 Born to Sing 'Eight-Ball'
1942 Reap the Wild Wind Chinkapin
1942 Her Cardboard Lover Elevator Operator Uncredited
1942 Daring Young Man Pinky
1943 Happy Go Lucky Joe Brown Uncredited
1943 Crash Dive Oliver Cromwell Jones
1943 Redhead from Manhattan Mark Anthony Brown Uncredited
1943 Mister Big Ben Carter - Choir Leader
1944 This Is the Life Himself
1944 Stars on Parade Ben Carter Choir Leader
1944 Dixie Jamboree Sam the Deckhand
1944 Bowery to Broadway No-More
1945 The Scarlet Clue Ben Carter
1945 The Great John L. Thaddeus Uncredited
1945 Lady on a Train Maxwell
1945 She Went to the Races Groom Uncredited
1946 The Harvey Girls John Henry
1946 Riverboat Rhythm Benjamin
1946 Dark Alibi Benjamin Brown


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bogle, Donald (2009). Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams. Random House.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Carter, Ben (1907-1946)". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Hundreds of Hollywood's Celebs Pay Final Tribute to Ben Carter". The Afro-American. Baltimore. December 28, 1946. p. 7.

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Ben Carter (actor)
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