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Willie Best
Original name: William Best
Birth: May 27, 1916
Sunflower
Sunflower County
Mississippi, USA
Death: Feb. 27, 1962
Hollywood
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Actor. Along with Stepin Fetchit and Mantan Moreland, he typified Hollywood's racist views of African Americans during the 1930s and 1940s. For years he was known only by the name of the character he played, Sleep 'n Eat, a lazy, easily-frightened nitwit. Best was eventually billed under his own name but his roles never rose above the menial. His 120 films include "Little Miss Marker" (1934), "The Littlest Rebel" (1935), "Blondie" (1938), "High Sierra" (1941), "Cabin in the Sky" (1943), and "South of Caliente" (1951). Best was born in Sunflower, Mississippi. Some sources list 1913 as the year of his birth. As a teenager he performed with a Southern California song-and-dance troupe and made his screen debut in "Feet First" (1930). Bob Hope, who worked with him in "The Ghost Breakers" (1940), called Best "one of the finest actors I know", and given the opportunity he could have become a top-rank comedian. A 1950 drug bust killed his movie career, but producer Hal Roach kept him busy as a semi-regular on the TV programs "The Stu Erwin Show", "My Little Margie", and "Waterfront". Always a controversial figure among black critics, Best was vilified by civil rights activists in the late 1950s and he withdrew from show business. He died in obscurity at the Motion Picture Country Home. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 

Cause of death: Cancer
 
Burial:
Valhalla Memorial Park
North Hollywood
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Block L, Section 999, Lot 22, Curb #996, 10 graves from curb
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Mr. Ed
Record added: Sep 06, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 5741525
Willie Best
Added by: katzizkidz
 
Willie Best
Added by: Scott Michaels
 
Willie Best
Cemetery Photo
Added by: B.J. Waters
 
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Willie, you added a great deal to every scene you were in. Rest in Peace.
- Jim Howard
 Added: Feb. 13, 2017
Mr. Best I love your film work and your slow southern drawl. "Thank You" for the smiles. God Bless and Comfort those you have left behind to cherish your memory and mourn your passing. Rest in eternal heavenly peace.
- m.g.
 Added: Feb. 13, 2017
Just saw you as 'Sambo' in "I Take This Woman"(1940) with Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr
- RCS
 Added: Dec. 27, 2016
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