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Tony Nominee Anthony Chisholm, Whose Acting Career Took Him Across the World, Dies at 77

Chisholm is best known for starring in August Wilson's plays Jitney and Radio Golf.

Anthony Chisholm
(© David Gordon)

Tony-nominated Broadway vet Anthony Chisholm has died at the age of 77.

Known throughout the industry by the affectionate nickname "Chiz," Chisholm was born in Cleveland and began his acting career after serving as a platoon leader for the 4th Armored Calvary, 1st Infantry Division, in the Vietnam War. His experiences overseas helped inspire the HBO series Vietnam War Story and, in addition to working with the Vietnam Veterans Ensemble Theater, he appeared in the Vietnam-era play Tracers at the Public Theater and across the world in the 1980s.

Onstage, Chisholm is best known for his longstanding collaborations with late playwright August Wilson, whom he met in 1990 while Wilson was putting together Two Trains Running. Chisholm was cast as Wolf, appearing in productions at regional theaters across the country and on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Chisholm played Solly Two Kings in Gem of the Ocean on Broadway (2004) and Elder Joseph Barlow in Radio Golf (2007), which earned him a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Chisholm's association with Wilson's Jitney is perhaps his longest-running stage work. He was cast as Fielding in the 1996 Pittsburgh Public Theater production, and he once again went on to play the role across the country, as well as in New York off-Broadway (where it ran for 10 months between 2000-01), London's National Theatre (2002), and New Jersey's Two River Theater (2012). The drama's Broadway premiere in 2017 marked Chisholm's final Broadway appearance, though he was still touring with that production through the theater shutdown earlier this year.

He made his film debut in Uptight in 1968, and appeared onscreen as Burr Redding in HBO's Oz, as well as in Spike Lee's Chi-Raq, along with many other credits.

Chisholm is survived by his two children and two grandchildren.


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