Thomas Baptiste

This article is about the actor. For the USAF general, see Thomas L. Baptiste.

Thomas Baptiste (born 1936) is a Guyanese-born British actor and opera singer.[1]


Baptiste moved to Britain in the late 1940s, where he joined Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop. He has performed in several films, as well as having stage and television credits. In 1960 he played Riley in the first professional production of Harold Pinter's The Room[2] and in a production directed by Pinter himself who had wanted to cast Baptiste in the role.[3] It was an episode of ITV's Television Playhouse in October 1961. In 1963 Baptiste was the first Black actor to appear in Coronation Street.[4]

In the 1960s, he co-founded an advisory committee of the British Actors' Equity Association, to represent black actors in Britain.[1] In an interview which appeared in 1992, Baptiste said that he thought black actors were having even more difficulty beginning their careers than he had done forty years earlier.[5]

Selected credits





  1. 1 2 Whyte, Seb. "Baptiste, Thomas (1936-)". Screenonline. BFI. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  2. Mark Taylor-Batty The Theatre of Harold Pinter, London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2014, p.274, n.1:5
  3. Nosheen Iqbal "Old times: actors remember Harold Pinter",, 8 January 2009
  4. Sarita Malik Representing Black Britain: Black and Asian Images on Television, London: Sage, 2002, p.141
  5. Claire Cochrane Twentieth-Century British Theatre: Industry, Art and Empire, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, p.225

External links

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