Obscure Black C-Listers: Lee Weaver
Lee Weaver may be the quintessential Obscure Black C-Lister; you’ve seen him dozens of times but could you ever even try to guess his name? His fifty years in television and film (125 credits!) is practically unparalleled, and he continues to appear on-screen from time to time. If you’re having a hard time placing him that’s because Weaver tends to play a random homeless man, bartender, junkyard owner, blues man, waiter, handyman, or other fly-by-night character. With multiple credits as “Wino,” “Leroy,” and “Bus Boy,” he has been the super-black folksy dude with a touch of a ‘tude on sitcom television for the last thirty years in every show you can think of; in the past twenty years he’s had 45 single-episode appearances on television! When I say any show I really mean that every show from Quantum Leap to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has had its Lee Weaver moment. Further cementing his niche as a character actor, he has only had four permanent roles on television (if you don’t count his voice-acting on G.I. Joe the cartoon). Since his career has spanned over six decades, Lee Weaver has been more prominent during certain times than others; he’s had recurring roles on each of Bill Cosby’s outings over the years, working steadily in the ’70s when he married then-rising star Ta-Taniesha (they are still married, too!). He appeared most recently in How Stella Got Her Groove Back and 40 Year Old Virgin, but I remember him best as Ray Nay who ran Ray-Nay’s Ribs on A Different World. Can you place him?