Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJuly 9, 1948, Los Angeles, California, United States
SpouseMargaret Baskett
FactSecond cousin of Bill Cobbs.

James Baskett was an American actor known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus in the Disney film Song of the South.

Baskett was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on February 16, 1904. His parents were William Baskett and Laura Jackson. He had two brothers and two sisters. Baskett’s father died when he was young, and his mother remarried. Baskett’s early education took place in Indianapolis public schools.

Baskett’s acting career began in the early 1930s. He appeared in several films, including The Green Pastures and Cabin in the Sky. In 1946, he was cast as Uncle Remus in Song of the South. The film was a box office success, and Baskett won an Academy Award for his performance.

Baskett continued to appear in films and television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to his work as an actor, he also worked as a voice artist. He provided the voice of Brer Bear in Song of the South and other Disney projects.

Baskett died of heart failure on April 15, 1948, at the age of 44. His ashes were scattered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

At the time of his death, Baskett was survived by his wife, Hattie McDaniel, and their two children. Baskett’s net worth was estimated to be $500,000.

General Info

Full NameJames Baskett
DiedJuly 9, 1948, Los Angeles, California, United States


SpouseMargaret Baskett


AwardsAcademy Honorary Award
MoviesSong of the South

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1Second cousin of Bill Cobbs.
2Is one of two Disney stars buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bill Shirley, who played Prince Charming in Sleeping Beauty is the other. However, James Baskett is buried in a grave, and Bill Shirley is buried in the main mausoleum. There is a special plaque marking James Baskett's grave that talks about his role in Song of the South.
3The first actor to win an Academy Award (although an honorary one) for his performance in a Walt Disney film.
4Buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.
5His father John Baskett owned a barber shop in Indianapolis.
6He did not attend the premiere of "Song of the South" in Atlanta because as an African American he would not have been allowed to participate in any of the festivities in that racially segregated city.
7His portrayal of Uncle Remus in "Song of the South" was the crowning achievement of his career, for which he won an honorary Academy Award. Ironically, his performance cannot be seen in its entirety in the United States, as the Walt Disney Co. will not release the entire film on the home video market because of the controversial nature of the film, which was denounced as racist by the NAACP when it was premiered in 1946. A further irony is that the NAACP now has no public stance on the film.
8Well-known old-time radio performer, especially for the role of "Gabby Gibson" on the Amos 'n' Andy Show.
9First African-American male actor to be awarded an Academy Award.



The Heavenly Body1944Porter (uncredited)
Revenge of the Zombies1943Lazarus
Dumbo1941Crow (voice, unconfirmed, uncredited)
Comes Midnight1940as James Baskette
Straight to Heaven1939First Detective
Policy Man1938as Jimmie Baskette
Gone Harlem1938as Jimmie Baskette
20,000 Cheers for the Chain Gang1933ShortVocalist (uncredited)
Harlem Is Heaven1932Money Johnson (as Jimmy Baskette)


Welcome to the Basement2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song1992Video documentary performer: "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da", "Everybody's Got a Laughing Place"
One Hour in Wonderland1950TV Special performer: "Zip-a-dee Doo-Dah" - uncredited
Song of the South1946performer: "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah", "Everybody's Got a Laughing Place", "How Do You Do?" uncredited, "Who Wants To Live Like That?" uncredited, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Reprise"

Archive Footage

Welcome to the Basement2012TV SeriesUncle Remus / Br'er Rabbit / Br'er Fox
Saturday Night Live2006TV SeriesUncle Remus
Disney Sing-Along-Songs: Friend Like Me1993Video shortUncle Remus
Disney Sing-Along-Songs: You Can Fly1988Video shortCrow (unconfirmed)
Disney Sing-Along-Songs: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah1986Video shortUncle Remus
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1956TV SeriesBr'er Fox


Won Awards

1948Honorary AwardAcademy Awards, USASong of the South (1946)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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