November 19, 1985 Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry (Stepin Fetchit) died.
Perry was born May 30, 1902 in Key West, Florida. He began entertaining in his teens as a comic character. Stepin Fetchit was his stage name and Perry parlayed his persona as “the laziest man in the world” into a successful film career, appearing in 54 films between 1925 and 1976, including “The Mysterious Stranger” (1925), “The Prodigal” (1931), and “Amazing Grace” (1974).
As the result of his success, Perry was the first black actor to become a millionaire. In his personal life, Perry was highly literate and had a concurrent career writing for the Chicago Defender. Perry was often criticized by civil rights leaders for his roles, but in 1976 the Hollywood Chapter of the NAACP awarded him a special NAACP Image Award and in 1978 he was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
Perry also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Biographies of Perry include “Stepin Fletchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry” (2005) and “Shuffling to Ignominy: The Tragedy of Stepin Flechit” (2005).