James Wigfall


Jimmy Wigfall
James Wigfall (1942 - August 1, 1978) was an African-American actor and director. He was involved with La MaMa in its early years, and was responsible for introducing Ellen Stewart to La MaMa's first resident director, Tom O’Horgan. Wigfall appeared in a long list of off-off Broadway shows at La MaMa and elsewhere, including: "The Maids" (La MaMa, 1971), "Three Drag Queens from Daytona" (La MaMa, 1973) and “Big Me” (date unknown, Frankie’s Tropical Bar on 8th Street). He played the Bishop/Sophie Tucker/Witch Doctor in the Broadway production of O’Horgan’s “Lenny” at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and later the Cowardly Lion in the Broadway production of “The Wiz,” until his untimely death at the age of 36 due to injuries suffered in a car crash.

John Gruen, "Do You Mind Critics Calling You Cheap, Decadent, Sensationalistic, Gimmicky, Vulgar, Overinflated, Megalomaniacal?: 'I Don't Read Reviews Very Much,' Answers Tom O'Horgan," New York Times Magazine, January 2, 1972
1942 – 1978