Chuck Patterson, Broadway star, dead at 68

Chuck Patterson broke ground for African-American actors on Broadway.

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Chuck Patterson broke ground for African-American actors on Broadway.

Chuck Patterson, who helped pave the way for other talented African-American actors trying to make it on Broadway, died two days before Christmas. He was 68 and lived in Harlem.

Patterson was cast back in 1975 by actor/director George C. Scott in his Tony-nominated production of “Death of a Salesman” as the neighbor’s son Bernard — a role that had been played up till then by white actors.

Diahann Carroll and Chuck Patterson in scenes from the movie

Diahann Carroll and Chuck Patterson in scenes from the movie “The Five Heartbeats.”

He went on to appear in dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions as well as movied like “The Five Heartbeats” and TV shows like “Law and Order.”

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Chuck Patterson, Diahann Carroll, Harold Nicholas and Harry J. Lennix in scenes from the movie

Chuck Patterson, Diahann Carroll, Harold Nicholas and Harry J. Lennix in scenes from the movie “The Five Heartbeats.”

Patterson was a company member of the Negro Ensemble for five season and turned to directing in his later years in and around New York City and at the Cleveland Play House in Ohio.

Born Feb. 11, 1945 in Memphis, Tenn., Patterson is survived by his second wife, playwright Cori Thomas, and stepdaughter Natasha Newman. Funeral plans are still being finalized.

CSIEMASZKO@nydailynews.com

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Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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