THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER
This blog has already looked back at such ground-breaking African-American contract players on daytime as The Brighter Day's Rex Ingram (above), and The Guiding Light's Billy Dee Williams and Cecily Tyson.
And from 1965 to 1972 on Another World, there was Micki Grant, who played the role of Peggy Harris. (According to OLTL's Ellen Holly in her book, One Life, the character was originally written to be white and only changed to African-American when the producers were blown away by Grant.)
Peggy was a secretary for Bay City's top legal eagle, John Randolph. Peggy's boyfriend, Dick Nolan (Lon Sutton), was a cop. The two briefly ended up on different sides of the judicial fence when Dick investigated a murder committed by John's daughter, Lee. Dick and Peggy overcame that obstacle to marry in 1967, but Dick was soon killed in the line of duty.
In addition to AW, Ms. Grant briefly brought the character of Peggy to AW's spin-off, Somerset, in 1970. The actress also appeared as Ada on The Edge of Night, Helen on GL and Mrs. Remington on AMC.
But it was on the stage where Micki Grant made her biggest splash.
She wrote the book, music and lyrics for the Broadway play Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope. Working alongside Vinnette Carroll, the first African-American woman to direct on Broadway, they scored a total of five Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Grant received a Grammy Award for the cast show album, the Drama Desk for lyrics and performance, the Outer Critics Circle Award for music, lyrics and performance, as well as the NAACP Image and Mademoiselle Achievement Awards. She also received an Obie for the show's off-Broadway incarnation.
Among many other projects, Grant contributed music and lyrics to Your Arms Too Short to Box With God, Working and It's So Nice to Be Civilized (for which she also wrote the book).
She received a Helen Hayes Award for her performance as Sadie Delaney in a two-year tour of Having Our Say in 1996, which also ran six-weeks in South Africa in 1998. She is the recipient of the National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award in 1999 and the AUDELCO's Outstanding Pioneer Award in 2000. In February 2005, she was honored at the New Federal Theatre's 35th Anniversary Gala.
Another World and PGP are proud to have been a small part of such a phenomenal career.
For an overview of several other extraordinary African-American actors (including Morgan Freeman and Joe Morton) who have passed through Bay City, click here!