Wilbert Bradley

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PeplumParadise
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Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 9:27

Wilbert Bradley in La morte viene dal pianeta Aytin (1967)
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Wilbert Bradley was a black American dancer, choreographer and actor, active in Italian films throughout the 60's and re-emerging in American films in the 80's.

He was born on April 28th 1926 in Jackson, Mississippi, USA and died on December 18th 1992, aged 66, in Chicago. Matt Blake's Wild Eye blog says that this information was confirmed by an obituary in the Chicago Tribune, but I was unable to find this to confirm the confirmation. He also reports that the obituary mentions the location of his death as Michael Reese hospital and that Wilbert also worked as a model and costume designer.

Wilbert's career as a dancer began as a teenager, when he replaced the recently-departed Archie Savage in Katherine Dunham's prestigious dance troupe (along with fellow dancer Van Aikens, who would join him in Italy). There are confirmed reports of Wilbert appearing in a number of shows with the troupe throughout the late 40's and into the 50's, both in the US and Europe. These include "Bal negre" (New York, 1946), "Tropical Blue" (Cleveland, 1948), "A Caribbean Rhapsody" (New York, Holland and London, 1949-50), the ballet "Katherine Dunham" (London and British tour, 1952) and "Errand into the maze" (London, 1954).

It is not known exactly when Wilbert moved to Italy, but he arrived around the same time as many other black American dancers and singers (he is unrelated to fellow American ex-pat Harold Bradley) - all competing for jobs in nightclubs and films. His first known Italian film credit comes from 1957. For the next 5 years he looks to have worked in films mostly as a choreographer and dancer, with very occasional acting bit parts. It would appear that he also had his own dance troupe, "The Bradley Girls", with whom he appeared in a number of mondo movies. Following his substantial role alongside Steve Reeves in Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem in 1963, he worked more steadily in acting roles, from uncredited bit parts to larger supporting roles, for the rest of the decade.

His last known appearance in an Italian film was Fellini Satyricon (1969), and by 1970 he was back in the US, where he appeared on stage in Chicago in a production of "The Threepenny Opera". His trail goes quiet throughout the 70's, then he re-appears as a small-part actor in American films, appearing in 5 or 6 productions between 1979-1987.

The majority of Wilbert's uncredited roles in Italian films are ones found by myself, so I'm sure there will be a few more to be discovered.


FILMOGRAPHY
1957
  1. Il corsaro della mezzaluna (credited as Choreographer) .... Bongo player (uncertain identification)

    1960
  2. Cartagine in fiamme (uncredited) .... African soldier with Calissa

    1961
  3. Baldoria nel Caraibi (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
  4. Gordon, il pirata nero (credited as actor and Choreographer) .... Street dancer
  5. Il trionfo di Maciste (credited as Choreographer-dancer) .... Dancer
  6. Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
  7. Nefertite, regina del Nilo (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
  8. Tropico di notte (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer

    1962
  9. 2 samurai per 100 geishe (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
  10. Peccati d'estate (uncredited) .... Nightclub dancer

    1963
  11. Africa sexy (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
  12. Ercole sfida Sansone (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
  13. Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem (credited) .... Pataan
  14. Sexy follie (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
  15. Sexy nel mondo (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
  16. Sexy nudo (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
  17. Sexy proibitissimo (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
  18. Sexy proibito (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer

    1964
  19. I pirati della Malesia (uncredited) .... Pataan (role unconfirmed)
  20. I tre sergenti del Bengala (uncredited) .... Native chief

    1965
  21. Agente 077 dall'oriente con furore (uncredited) .... Brawler
  22. Giulietta degli spiriti (uncredited) .... Man in Giulietta's fantasies / Circus dancer
  23. La decima victima (uncredited) .... Man watching Marcello's execution
  24. La montagna di luce (credited) .... Sitama
  25. Superseven chiama Cairo (credited) .... Ali

    1966
  26. Tecnica di una spia (poster credit) .... Steiner (role unconfirmed)
  27. The Bible: In the Beginning... (uncredited) .... Man in Sodom
  28. Un milione di dollari per sette assassini (credited) .... Doney

    1967
  29. Colpo maestro al servizio di Sua Maestà britannica (uncredited) .... Actor in western
  30. La morte viene dal pianeta Aytin (credited) .... Sharu
  31. Peggio per me... meglio per te (uncredited) .... Dancer at the party
  32. Troppo per vivere... poco per morire (uncredited) .... Photographer's assistant

    1968
  33. Samoa, regina della giungla (credited) .... Akana

    1969
  34. Fellini Satyricon (uncredited) .... Role?

    1970
  35. Le tigri di Mompracem (uncredited) .... Man of Sandokan (re-used footage)

    1984
  36. Teachers (credited) .... Guard
  37. Windy City (credited) .... Joe the Janitor

    1985
  38. Code of Silence (credited) .... Spider

    1986
  39. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (credited as Assistant choreographer) .... Does not appear

    1987
  40. Big Shots (credited) .... Social Service man (not found)

More Wilbert!
There are still a few movies where Wilbert is credited by various online sources that I have been unable to find, so if anybody has images of him in the films below you know what to do.
  • Mondo caldo di notte (1962) ANICA. Not credited on the poster
  • Sexy al neon (1962) ANICA
  • Cleopatra (1963) He is rumoured to appear as one of the African dancers when Cleopatra arrives in Rome, but I was unable to make a definite identification or get any usable images to confirm this
  • Un marito in condominio (1963) ANICA
  • Dummy (1979) TV movie, IMDb as Bartender
  • The Big Score (1983) IMDb as Old Man No.1

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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 9:33

The only image of Wilbert I was able to find dating from before his time in Italy was this one where he's not too easily identifiable. It dates from 1947, from a London stage production of "A Caribbean Rhapsody".
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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 10:30

Wilbert's earliest known film credit comes in Il corsaro della mezzaluna (1959), where he is credited as Choreographer.

I am fairly sure, but not 100% certain, that Wilbert appears as the Standing bongo player. This solo dance routine is the only dance in the film, so must presumably be what he choreographed.
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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 10:33

Cartagine in fiamme (1960) as African soldier with Calissa (he's on the right)
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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 10:38

Baldoria nel Caraibi (1961) credited on the poster. The Spanish poster credits him as "Wilbert Bradley y su ballet".

Between 1961-1963 Wilbert either appeared as a dancer or choreographed dance routines in a LOT of mondo movies, this being one of the few without "sexy" in the title!
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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 11:10

Gordon, il pirata nero (1961) credited as actor and as Choreographer, as Street dancer
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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 11:31

Il trionfo di Maciste (1961) credited among the actors as Bradley Wilbert as "Choreographer dancer", as Dancer
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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 11:34

Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan (1961) credited as Choreographer.

Wilbert does not appear in this one.
screenshot.jpg

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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 11:37

Nefertite, regina del Nilo (1961) credited as Choreographer.

The only dance routine here is a gypsy dance by Liana Orfei, so that is presumably Wilbert's work. He would choreograph Liana again in Ercole sfida Sansone.
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Re: Wilbert Bradley

Post by PeplumParadise » 21/11/2020, 11:40

Tropico di notte (1961) credited on the poster, which also has a credit for "The Bradley girls".
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