On this day in comedy on July 6, 1951 Comedian, Actor, Writer, Charles Allan ‘Charlie’ Hill was born in Detroit, Michigan.
Hill left school to become a comedian. He was attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying speech and drama. He’d gotten into the Broome Street Theatre Group and then he just packed up and moved to Los Angeles. He became a regular at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. From there it didn’t take him long to get work.
Charlie Hills’ first television appearance was on The Richard Pryor Show. He was the first Native-American comedian to perform on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Hill made numerous appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and Hill grew old enough to do The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was a writer for Roseanne on ABC and guest starred on The Bionic Woman, The Golden Girls and Moesha.
Hill toured all over the world and was often interviewed for documentaries dealing with being an Oneida-Mohawk. He appeared in almost a half dozen documentaries including the 1999 Sandra Osawa directed PBS documentary, On and Off the Res’ with Charlie Hill. He was an award show host (First Americans in the Arts Awards) and an awards show winner (Hill won the 2009 Ivy Bethune Tri-Union Diversity Award).
On December 30, 2013 after an extended fight with lymphoma, Charlie Hill passed away in Oneida, Wisconsin. He was 62 years old.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: