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Roger E. Mosley
Mosley, 1980.
Born
Roger Earl Mosley

(1938-12-18)December 18, 1938
DiedAugust 7, 2022(2022-08-07) (aged 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationJordan High School
Occupations
  • Actor
  • director
  • writer
Years active
  • 1971–2021
Known forPlaying Theodore "T.C." Calvin in Magnum, P.I.
SpouseAntoinette Laudermilk
Children3

Roger Earl Mosley (/ˈmzli/;[1] December 18, 1938 – August 7, 2022) was an American actor, director, and writer best known for his role as the helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin in the CBS television series Magnum, P.I., which originally aired from 1980 until 1988.

Biography

Early life and education

Born on December 18, 1938, in Los Angeles, California, and raised by his mother, Eloise, Mosley grew up in the Imperial Courts public housing in the Watts neighborhood.[2] For high school, Mosley attended Jordan High School.[3]

Career

Mosley appeared as Monk in Terminal Island (1973). Other actors in the feature were Phyllis Davis, Don Marshall, Ena Hartman, and Tom Selleck,[4] who would later star in the television series Magnum, P.I. which would also feature Mosley.[5] In 1974, Mosley founded the Watts Repertory Company.[6]

Mosley's most prominent film role was his 1976 starring turn as the title character in Leadbelly, a biography of the musician directed by Gordon Parks.[7] In an article in the November 1982 issue of Ebony magazine, Mosley said that this was his favorite role.[8]

Mosley appeared in Magnum, P.I. from 1980 to 1988. He had a role as Tom Selleck's friend, helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin, who operates his own tourist charter, Island Hoppers.[9] He appeared in season five of Las Vegas as the billionaire friend of Montecito owner A.J. Cooper (Tom Selleck).[10]

Mosley came out of retirement to appear on the Magnum, P.I. reboot episode "A Kiss Before Dying" as Booky, T.C.'s barber, on March 11, 2019.[11][12] Stephen Hill, who played T.C. in the new series, said, "It is truly an honor for us to welcome an original cast member of Magnum, P.I.; one who embodied the role of T.C. with such thoughtful and dignified talent."[11]

Mosley also guest-starred on such shows as Night Court,[13] Kung Fu, Starsky & Hutch, Kojak, The Rockford Files, Baretta, and Sanford and Son. He also played a role in Roots: The Next Generations. Mosley made a memorable appearance in the 1973 film The Mack[14] as the militant brother of the main character Goldie.[15] He appeared in other blaxploitation films of the period, including Hit Man (1972); Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (1973); Darktown Strutters (1975); and The River Niger (1976).

Mosley's other film credits include McQ (1974) with John Wayne,[16] The Greatest (1977, as Sonny Liston), Semi-Tough (1977), Heart Condition (1990), and Pentathlon (1994).[17] He also starred in the television series Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (1992–1993) as Coach Ricketts in a recurring role with comedian/actor Mark Curry, and in the film A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996) with Martin Lawrence, Lynn Whitfield, and Bobby Brown.[18]

He also appeared as a celebrity guest on The $25,000 Pyramid for a week's worth of shows in July 1983, July 1984, and June 1985.[19]

Personal life

Mosley was married to Antoinette Laudermilk; they were together for nearly sixty years.[2]

Mosley became a certified private helicopter pilot. When making Magnum, P.I., he was not allowed to do his own stunts. A pilot wearing a body stocking with false muscles was used instead.[20] Mosley did not smoke, use drugs or drink alcohol, and insisted that his Magnum, P.I. character also did not.[21]

At the 2013 HAI Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, a ceremony for the restored MD 500D helicopter was held. Both Mosley and fellow Magnum, P.I. co-star Larry Manetti autographed the nose of the helicopter.[22]

Car crash and death

On August 4, 2022, Mosley was involved in a major car crash in Lynwood, California, leaving him in critical condition, paralyzed from the shoulders down. He later died from his injuries on August 7, 2022, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at the age of 83.[2][3][23][24]

Filmography

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Film

Year Title Role(s)
1972 The New Centurions Truck Driver
Hickey & Boggs
Hit Man Huey
1973 The Mack Olinga Mickens
Sweet Jesus, Preacherman Holmes / Lee
Terminal Island Monk
1974 McQ Rosey
1975 Darktown Strutters Mellow
1976 The River Niger Big Moe Hayes
Stay Hungry Newton
Leadbelly Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter
Drum Slave
1977 The Greatest Sonny Liston
Big Time J.J.
Semi-Tough Puddin Patterson Sr.
1978 Cruise Into Terror Nathan
1979 The Jericho Mile Cotton Crown
Steel Lionel
1980 Attica Frank Green
Pray TV Willie Washington/Leroy Washington
1981 The White Lions John Kani
1990 Heart Condition Captain Wendt
1992 Unlawful Entry Officer Roy Cole
1994 Pentathlon John Creese
1996 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate Smitty
1998 Letters from a Killer Horton
2000 Walker, Texas Ranger Carter
Hammerlock Sgt. James Hammer

Partial television credits

Year Title Role Notes
1971 Cannon Porter Episode: "Death Is a Double-Cross"
1972 Sanford and Son Norman Blood Episode: "Blood is Thicker than Junk"
1974 Kojak Stutz Episode: "You Can't Tell a Hurt Man How to Holler"
Kung Fu Seth Episode: "In Uncertain Bondage"
1975 McCloud Dolan Episode: "Return to The Alamo"
Switch Walter Episode: "Las Vegas Roundabout"
The Rookies Rawlins Episode: "Dead Heat"
Baretta Det. Rudy Davis Episode: "Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth"
1977 Rockford Files Electric Larry Episode: "Dirty Money, Black Light”
1977 Starsky & Hutch The Baron Episode: "The Set-Up: Part 2"
1979 Starsky & Hutch Big Red McGee Episode: "Huggy Can't Go Home"
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Bailey Sr. TV movie
1980–1988 Magnum, P.I. Theodore 'TC' Calvin 158 episodes
1986 Danger Bay Hari Mubaru Episode: "The Leopard's Spots"
1987 The Love Boat Jeffrey T. Gilbert Episode: "Who Killed Maxwell Thorn?"
1992–1993 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Coach Ricketts 10 episodes
1994 The Sinbad Show Sgt. Al Beckley Episode: "Adoption: Part 2"
RoboCop Frank Uno Episode: "Ghosts of War"
1996 Women: Stories of Passion Freddy Episode: "The Boxer"
In the House Buff Episode: "To Die For"
1999–2000 Rude Awakening Milton 'Milt' Johnson 20 episodes
2001 Arliss Mudcat Burrell Episode: "Like No Business I Know"
2003 What Should You Do? Kidnapper
The District Temple's Father Episode: "Bloodlines"
2007 Las Vegas Roger Episode: "When Life Gives You Lemon Bars"
2019; 2021 Magnum P.I. John Booky 2 episodes

References

  1. ^ "Magnum P.I. Chopper comes homes to the North Shore at Turtle Bay Resort". Turtle Bay Resort. June 7, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2018.[dead YouTube link]
  2. ^ a b c Barnes, Mike (August 7, 2022). "Roger E. Mosley, Actor on 'Magnum, P.I.,' Dies at 83". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Haring, Bruce (August 7, 2022). "Roger E. Mosley Dies: 'Magnum P.I.' Actor And Film/TV Veteran Was 83". Deadline. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  4. ^ New York Times Movies Terminal Island (1973)
  5. ^ New York Times Movies & TV Tom Selleck
  6. ^ Loki Radoslav Pon Press, April 1, 2012 – Performing Arts Roger E. Mosley Pon Press, 2012 ISBN 9786137817421
  7. ^ Bastrop Visitor Center Leadbelly 1976, starring Roger E. Mosley and Paul Benjamin, directed by Gordon Parks. Archived August 8, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Ebony Magazine November 1982 Page 85 Roger Mosley Continued
  9. ^ Huffington Post TV 'Magnum P.I.' Cast: Where Are They Now? by Kim Potts
  10. ^ "'Las Vegas' will seem like a 'Magnum, P.I.' reunion". Las Vegas Sun. August 10, 2007. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Mitovich, Matt Webb (February 21, 2019). "Magnum P.I. Welcomes Vet of Original Series: 'The Torch Has Been Passed'". TVLine. Archived from the original on February 22, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Watch Magnum P.I. Season 1 Episode 18: A Kiss Before Dying". CBS. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  13. ^ TV Guide Episode Detail: Puppy Love – Night Court Archived August 29, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "tomselleck.de". www.tomselleck.de. Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  15. ^ cinephilia The Mack USA 1973
  16. ^ John Wayne: Actor, Artist, Hero By Richard D. McGhee Filmography Page 365
  17. ^ Jet Magazine Page 62 Movies to see
  18. ^ Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema by Torriano S. Berry, Venise T. Berry Page 335 Thin Line Between Love And Hate
  19. ^ ""Roger E. Mosley." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television". Gale in Context: Biography. 102. 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  20. ^ "Helicopters Keep His Life in a Whirl : 'It's Like Flying a Plane, Except You . . . Go Sideways'". Los Angeles Times. June 7, 1985. Archived from the original on July 25, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  21. ^ "Roger e. Mosley: Magnum P.I. Actor dies aged 83 after car crash". BBC News. August 8, 2022. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  22. ^ "Magnum PI Helicopter Flies Again In Hawaii". Police Helicopter Journal. March 16, 2013. Archived from the original on October 30, 2014.
  23. ^ Caruso, Nick (August 7, 2022). "Roger E. Mosley, Magnum, P.I.'s Theodore 'T.C.' Calvin, Dead at 83 — Reboot's Stephen Hill Reacts". TVLine. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  24. ^ Rice, Nicholas (August 7, 2022). "Roger E. Mosley, TV and Film Actor Known for His Role on Magnum P.I., Dead at 83: 'Rest Easy'". People. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.