|Height:||183 cm (6' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||May 27, 1916|
|Death Date:||February 27, 1962|
As per our current Database, Willie Best died on February 27, 1962.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|183 cm (6' 1'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Best was first loved as a great clown, then later in the 20th century reviled and pitied, before being forgotten in the history of film. Hal Roach called him one of the greatest talents he had ever met. Comedian Bob Hope similarly acclaimed him as "the best actor I know", while the two were working together in 1940 on The Ghost Breakers.
He also played the character of "Hipp" in three of RKO’s six Scattergood Baines films with Guy Kibbee: Scattergood Baines (1941), Scattergood Survives a Murder (1942), and Cinderella Swings It in 1943. Actor Paul White, who played a young version of Best’s "Hipp" in the first film, went on to play "Hipp" in the next three films; Best returned to the role in the last two.
Mantan Moreland, one of Willie Best's contemporaries, played "Birmingham Brown" the chauffeur in the Charlie Chan films. When Moreland took temporary leave of the series to tour in vaudeville, Willie Best took over Moreland's role (as "Chattanooga Brown") in The Red Dragon in 1945 and Dangerous Money in 1946.
Best died on February 27, 1962, at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California, of cancer at age 45. He was buried (by the Motion Picture Fund) on March 5, 1962, at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.
Best's "Sleep n' Eat" moniker surfaced again in the 2000 motion picture satire Bamboozled, directed by Spike Lee. In the film a "twenty-first-century minstrel show" is televised starring two African American performers, one of whom (portrayed by Tommy Davidson) plays a character named "Sleep n' Eat". In a nod to one of Best's most respected contemporaries, his on-stage counterpart is named "Mantan".
Currently, Willie Best is 107 years, 0 months and 12 days old. Willie Best will celebrate 108th birthday on a Monday 27th of May 2024.
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