This talented black singer-actor replaced Ben Vereen in the plum role of Judas Iscariot in the Broadway version of Jesus Christ Superstarin 1971. His powerful portrayal won him the role in the 1973 film version. Forever identifying him with a role which he grew to despise while trying to restablish himself as a serious entertainer throughout the 1970s & 1980s. Carl’s persistence eventually paid off with a memorable(if not unrecognizeable) role as the Reverend Samuel in 1985s The Color Purple and his 1986 duet with Gloria Loring Friends and Lovers
Carl gradually came to appreciate his staus as a cultural icon and enjoyed reprising his “Judas” role in many revival tours of “Jesus Christ Superstar” throughout the 1990s and into 2003. Sadly,Carl died in 2004 following a battle with leukemia. He has been quoted to having lived to see “Jesus Christ Superstar” recognized as a masterpiece!
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