Jones, Corley, O'Sullivan

Jones, Corley, O'Sullivan

Robert Earl Jones, who was a fixture in notable Broadway shows and movies and the father of actor James Earl Jones, died Sept. 7 at the Lillian Booth Actors' Fund of America Home in Englewood, N.J. He was 96.

A third-grade dropout from Senotobia, Miss., Jones worked as a sharecropper, then became a boxer before arriving in New York and taking up acting. The poet Langston Hughes cast him in an early role in the Harlem Suitcase Theatre.

Jones had been a sparring partner for boxing champion Joe Louis, with whom he appeared in "Spirit of Youth," among other films. Father and son appeared in several productions together, including "Infidel Caesar" and "Moon On a Rainbow Shawl" and "Of Mice and Men." His numerous other Broadway roles included "Strange Fruit," "The Iceman Cometh" and Zora Neale Hurston and Hughes' "Mule Bone" on Broadway in l991.

His career was interrupted in the 1950s when he was blacklisted for refusing to testify before the House un-American Activities Committee, resuming in the late 1950s. He then played roles in more than 20 films including "Odds Against Tomorrow," "Wild River" and "Witness" in a career that lasted into the 1990s.

Pat Corley, an actor who served sage advice along with drinks as Phil the barkeep on "Murphy Brown," died Sept. 11 of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after undergoing surgery. He was 76.

Pat Corley's five-decade career included roles in the films "Coming Home," "True Confessions" and "Against All Odds."

He appeared on "Murphy Brown," the CBS sitcom starring Candice Bergen as a TV newswoman, from 1988-96. Among his other TV roles was a baseball team owner on "The Bay City Blues" and coroner Wally Nydorf on "Hill Street Blues."

A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday in Northridge, Calif.

Terry O'Sullivan, a former radio announcer and actor who spent 12 years playing Arthur Tate on the daytime drama "Search for Tomorrow," died Sept. 4 of pancreatic cancer at Our Lady of Good Counsel Home hospice in St. Paul, Minn. He was 91.

O'Sullivan, played the leading role of Arthur Tate for 12 years on "Search for Tomorrow" and he received the TV Radio Mirror magazine award for favorite daytime drama actor on television in 1953, '54 and '55.

He received a medal from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for distinguished service.