Obscure Black C-Listers: Clifton Powell
I had to wait more than a year and a half to finally post about Clifton Powell because my blog cousin Invisible Woman beat me to it, calling him “the hardest working black man in show business” in a July 2007 post. She ain’t neva’ lied! Clifton Powell is and will forever be “that dude.” He’s Pinky from Next Friday, that ol’ hatin’ Chauncey from Menace II Society who snitched on O-Dog, the sneering neighborhood gangster Andre on Roc, and Sharane’s brother from House Party. But those were just his early gigs – I could go on and on. I don’t just mean an episode of Cold Case here and a quick job on CSI there. Clifton Powell has also been on every black nineties sitcom you can think of and in a slew of low budget movies. I’m not just talking about run-of-the-mill nonsense like Who Made The Potatoe Salad?, I also mean straight to DVD joints that you don’t even wanna know about like White Men Can’t Rap and R&B Chick. I don’t even recognize half of names on the cast lists, for real. He also directs and stars in a gospel play here and there, and will be starring in the upcoming pilot of the 1970’s cop drama “Last of The Ninth” on HBO. Clifton Powell’s imdb.com page shows that he’s had 123 appearances on TV and film and 85 of them are from the past ten years. That’s eight or nine jobs per year! Who works that much in Hollywood? Especially a black actor? No one!