Robert Todd Duncan (February 2, 1903-February 28, 1998) was an American baritone opera singer and actor.
Duncan was born in Danville, Kentucky. He was George Gershwin's personal choice as the first performer of the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess in 1935. Duncan played the role more than 1,800 times. He was also the first performer for the role of Stephen Kumalo in Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars and was a noted concert singer. Duncan taught voice at Howard University in Washington, D.C. for more than fifty years.
He obtained his musical training at Butler University in Indianapolis with a B.A. in music followed by an M.A. from Columbia University Teachers College. In 1933, Duncan debuted in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana at the Mecca Temple in New York with the Aeolian Opera, a black opera company. In 1945, he became the first African American to sing with a major opera company singing the role of Tonio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci with the New York City Opera Company. In the...
Unchained is a 1955 prison film based on the non-fiction book Prisoners are People by Kenyon J. Scudder. The film is the origin of the song "Unchained Melody".
The film was based on the career of Kenyon J. Scudder, former supervisor at Chino, as detailed in Scudder's book. Most of the scenes were actually filmed on location at the prison. Former football player Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch played the lead character, while other inmates were played by Chester Morris and Jerry Paris (later of "The Dick Van Dyke Show"), among others. Others in the cast included Peggy Knudsen and Barbara Hale, who appeared as women visiting the prisoners. Hale went on to star as Della Street in the long running "Perry Mason" television series.
The film was originally released by Warner Bros. Pictures in 1955 and is believed to be in the public domain as the copyright has expired. Though the copyright expired many years earlier, it was renewed in the 1980s by National Telefilm Associates, the rights to the... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048762