Willie Best Overview:

Character actor, Willie Best, was born on May 27, 1913 in Sunflower, MS. Best died at the age of 48 on Feb 27, 1962 in Hollywood, CA .

MINI BIO:

American performer who became the epitome of the black servant who panicked at the slightest provocation. The image was much castigated in later years but Best, who was initially billed as "Sleep 'n' Eat," after a character he played, milked it to great effect, especially in comic chillers. Busy in television after his film career until he became terminally ill with the cancer that killed him at 48.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Character Actors: an Illustrated Directory).

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Willie Best Quotes:

Chattanooga Brown: I'm tellin' yuh, he's as guilty as a weasel in a hen house.
Jimmy Chan: Well, Pop'll grab him if he is.
Chattanooga Brown: Well, he's gotta bankroll that would choke a water buffalo.
Jimmy Chan: [Chuckles] Why not a mule?
Chattanooga Brown: Ain't no mules where he come from.
Jimmy Chan: He come from...?
Chattanooga Brown: He one of them shoemaker men.
Jimmy Chan: A what?
Chattanooga Brown: On the islans, you know!
Chattanooga Brown: Oh, you mean Jamaica.


Archibald Featherstone: I'll stay here and reconnoiter.
Driver: Don't get hurt doin' it.
Archibald Featherstone: You go and fetch the bobbies.
Driver: Yeah, I'll get the police too!


Alex: Hey, boss, you ain't goin' upstairs, are ya? Where those ghosts is?
Larry Lawrence: Listen, you stay there, and if a couple a fellas come runnin' down the stairs in a few minutes, let the first one go. That'll be me.
Alex: If somebody passes you, that'll be me.


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Willie Best Facts
Bob Hope referred to Best, as his comedic co-star in The Ghost Breakers (1940), as one of the finest talents he had ever worked with.

In his earliest film appearances, in the early 1930s, if he was given screen credit he was billed as "Sleep 'n' Eat".

He came to Hollywood serving as a chauffeur for a Mississippi white couple on vacation, and decided to stay and seek a career in show business.

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