Also a singer
Actually made his film debut in Simba (1955), but was sacked after a dispute with the assistant director.
Inspired by Paul Robeson, he started his professional life as a baritone singer.
Joined Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and lived communally with the company in Edinburgh.
Became the first black character in Coronation Street (1960), appearing in several episodes as a bus conductor.
In the early 60s he co-founded an African-Asian committee of the actors' union Equity.
Born in Georgetown (then British Guiana, now Guyana), one of the many children of a wealthy landowner who rented parts of his estate to tenant farmers.