Walter Long

Walter Huntley Long (March 5, 1879 – July 4, 1952) was an American character actor in films from the 1910s. He was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. He appeared in many D. W. Griffith films, notably The Birth of a Nation (1915), where he appeared as Gus, an African American, in blackface make-up, and Intolerance (1916). In 1915, Long wrote a black-face minstrel play, "Dat Famous Chicken Debate," in which representatives of the "University of Africa" and "Bookertea College" carry on a mangled language debate over whether it should be considered a crime for a black person to steal a chicken. The debate, a thinly disguised parody of one going on between Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, ends up with a warning that blacks who don't respect the white man's laws risk being lynched. Long also supported Rudolph Valentino in three of his films of the early 1920s but is now best remembered for his roles in several Laurel and Hardy films in the 1930s as a comic villain. Long died of a heart attack on July 4, 1952 in Los Angeles, California. Early in his film career, Long married Luray Huntley, one of the actresses working in D.W. Griffith's stock company.


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