One of the first African-American theatrical performers to appear regularly on Broadway. He most famously appeared in Deep River and Show Boat.
He graduated from Bishop College in Texas and went on to attend Columbia University and Virginia Union College.
He portrayed the character of Joe in the 1927 original Broadway production of Show Boat; actor Paul Robeson eventually gained greater recognition for the role.
He was born in Waco, Texas. He died in his mid-forties in Los Angeles, California.
He appeared with Helen Morgan in the Broadway musical Show Boat.