Leon Bibb


Also known as: Charles Leon Aurthello Bibb


Born: February 7, 1922
Louisville, Kentucky

Died: October 23, 2015
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Obituary: Leon Bibb, an actor and folksinger who performed on Broadway and was a prominent performer during the Civil Rights era, died Oct. 23 in Vancouver, Canada. He was 93.

Mr. Bibb was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in A Hand Is On the Gate, a 1966 play featuring an all-black cast and composed of black folk music and poetry.

After leaving his native Kentucky, he made his Broadway debut playing a porter in the original 1946 production of Annie Get Your Gun, starring Ethel Merman. As such, he got to sing the song "Moonshine Lullaby" with Merman. He stayed with the show its entire run and then took roles in Lost in the Stars, and, during the '50s, Flight Into Egypt, Sandhog (which began Off-Broadway) and Livin' the Life.

During the '60s, he was active in the Civil Rights movement and often performed as a folksinger alongside the likes of Paul Robeson, Joan Baez and Harry Belafonte. He sang at the landmark Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March in 1965. In 1959 he made his first solo album, "Leon Bibb Sings Folk Songs." For a time in the 1960s, he was a frequent guest on talk shows, performing his music.

While touring with Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, he fell in love with Vancouver and settled there in 1971.

He became a local legend in Vancouver. He also created "A Step Ahead," an award-winning educational program for Canadian schools that taught diversity and anti-bullying through theater and song.

In film, he acted in two movies starring Sidney Portier, "For Love of Ivy" and "The Lost Man."

Charles Leon Aurthello Bibb was born Feb. 7, 1922 in Louisville, Kentucky. He is survived by his daughters Dorie and Amy and his son, Eric, also a singer and musician, and his partner, Christine Anton.



Playbill Cover - A Hand Is on the Gate A Hand Is on the Gate
Sep. 21, 1966 - Oct. 8, 1966
Playbill Cover - Sandhog Sandhog
Nov. 23, 1954 - Jan. 2, 1955
Sam on the Stick Performer
Playbill Cover - Flight Into Egypt Flight Into Egypt
Mar. 18, 1952 - Apr. 19, 1952
Policeman Performer
Lost in the Stars
Oct. 30, 1949 - Jul. 1, 1950
Singer Performer
Playbill Cover - Annie Get Your Gun Annie Get Your Gun
May 16, 1946 - Feb. 12, 1949
2nd Waiter Performer
    Waiter Performer
    Major Domo Understudy
    Trainman Understudy


Tony Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1967 Featured Actor in a Musical A Hand Is on the Gate Nominee
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