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Alexander, William (1916–1991)

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ALEXANDER, WILLIAM (1916–1991). Producer. He was born in Denver , Colorado , and educated at Colorado State University and the University of Chicago . During World War II, Alexander became the official state filmmaker for Ethiopia under Emperor Haile Selassie, and also did film work for Liberia under President William S. B. Tubman. He was an organizer of the Associated Producers of Negro Motion Pictures in New York City in 1945, shot two military documentaries in 1946, and became producer-director of All-American Newsreel . His early films include Flicker Up , 1946, with Billy Eckstine and Marylou Harris; Love in Syncopation , 1946, with Ruby Dee and June Eckstine; and the musical short Jivin’ in Be-Bop , 1946, featuring Dizzy Gillespie. Alexander’s first feature film was The Fight Never Ends , 1948, starring ex-boxing champion Joe Lewis. His other features include Souls of Sin , 1949, and The Klansman , 1974, for Paramount Pictures starring O. J. Simpson in his film acting debut. Alexander was a 1995 inductee into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

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