Avon Long

Avon Long (June 18, 1910 – February 15, 1984) was an American Broadway actor and singer. Long was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He performed in a number of Broadway shows, including Black Rhythm (1939), Porgy and Bess (as Sportin' Life in the 1942 revival), and Beggar's Holiday (1946). Long and Lena Horne co-introduced the Harold Arlen-Ted Koehler composition "As Long As I Live" in "Cotton Club Parade" (1934) when Miss Horne was only 16 years old. Decades later, Long received a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Musical) in 1973, for the role of Dave in Don't Play Us Cheap. The all-black play opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York on May 16, 1972 and ran for 164 performances. Thomas Anderson, Joshie Armstead, Robert Dunn, Jay Van Leer, Esther Rolle, Mabel King, George Ooppee McCurn, Frank Carey, Nate Barnett, Rhetta Hughes and Avon Long recreated their stage roles in a film production by Melvin Van Peebles, in 1973. He reprised his role of Sportin' Life in the 1951 3-LP Columbia Masterworks recording of Porgy and Bess, the most complete recording of the opera issued up to that time.


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