Why Didn’t Mainstream Media Cover This? How “The Color Purple” Actor Suddenly Died Years Ago

Actor, Adolph Caesar, was known for many scene-stealing roles throughout the years. He was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actor” in the film, A Soldier’s Story; and he was also a very successful voice-over artist. But it was his The Color Purple role, as “Old Mister” –the judgmental father of “Mister,” (played by Danny Glover)– that he is most remembered for.


Sure, the way “Old Mister” despised and ridiculed “Celie’s” (Whoopi Goldberg) appearance made us wanna hurl a fast flying object at the screen, but it was a necessary evil for the greater good of the film’s overall messages of oppression, colorism, and triumph. Mr. Caesar’s delivery in The Color Purple was unmatched, and he made us believe that his character was real. Simply put, he was one of those actors who didn’t just act out his lines, he became his character.

The thing that never ceases to amaze us, is that Adolph Caesar is another legendary actor, who starred in one of the most iconic films in history. However, when he passed away –over three decades ago– there wasn’t as much mainstream media coverage of his death, like many fans probably would have expected for a man who contributed so much to the film industry. That is what propelled us to shine some light and love on this brotha…

Adolph Caesar Sadly Passed Away While Filming…
Though he oftentimes played much older characters, Adolph Caesar just 52 years young when he died. He passed away on March 6, 1986, after suffering a major heart attack while he was on a Los Angeles movie set, filming scenes for the movie, Tough Guys. The paramedics were called and by the time he’d arrived to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, it was reported that he was in full cardiac arrest, ultimately dying just a few minutes after arriving to the hospital.

Caesar was survived by his two daughters, who were teenagers at the time, his then one year old son, and his wife, Diane Caesar (pictured below).

We’ve heard all too often about celebrities who have died in the midst of doing what they love most. For instance, the legendary Redd Foxx died in 1991 after suffering a heart attack on the set of his TV show, The Royal Family, and the list goes on and on.

The pressures that many celebs face while working on a project and having to constantly be ‘on,’ can lead to a very high level of anxiety and excitement, causing their bodies to just go into overload mode. The reality is that this can happen to any of us ILOSM family. We’re Old Schoolers and we’re not getting any younger in this game of life –wiser, yes…but not younger– so if we’re not already doing so, let’s remember to do everything we can to stay on top of our health and manage our stress as well.

Here at ILOSM, we’re grateful that we can still learn from the iconic Old School entertainers we admire, even after they are long gone from this earth. There are valuable lessons they’ve taught us through their lives and legacies, and there are also very valuable lessons they’re sometimes teaching us in their unfortunate deaths. We salute Adolph Caesar for being one of the most seasoned actors to have ever done it! May his legacy continue to live on.

Devashish Sharma

About Devashish Sharma

Journalist/Environment Lover/Introvert. Devashish, editor at DNA/Emotionified has 5 years of experience in active journalism and is crazy about movies in his free time.

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