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 his appearance in the film Mambo shows he was in the country as early as 1953-54. 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 Italian film career began in earnest 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.
- Mambo (uncredited) .... Dancer
- Il corsaro della mezzaluna (credited as Choreographer) .... Bongo player
- Cartagine in fiamme (uncredited) .... African soldier with Calissa
- Baldoria nel Caraibi (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- Gordon, il pirata nero (credited as actor and Choreographer) .... Street dancer
- Il trionfo di Maciste (credited as Choreographer-dancer) .... Dancer
- Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
- Nefertite, regina del Nilo (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
- Tropico di notte (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- 2 samurai per 100 geishe (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
- Peccati d'estate (uncredited) .... Nightclub dancer
- Africa sexy (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- Ercole sfida Sansone (credited as Choreographer) .... Does not appear
- Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem (credited) .... Pataan
- Sexy follie (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- Sexy nel mondo (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- Sexy nudo (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- Sexy proibitissimo (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- Sexy proibito (poster credit) .... Dancer-choreographer
- I pirati della Malesia (uncredited) .... Pataan (role unconfirmed)
- I tre sergenti del Bengala (uncredited) .... Native chief
- Agente 077 dall'oriente con furore (uncredited) .... Brawler
- Giulietta degli spiriti (uncredited) .... Man in Giulietta's fantasies / Circus dancer
- La decima victima (uncredited) .... Man watching Marcello's execution
- La montagna di luce (credited) .... Sitama
- Superseven chiama Cairo (credited) .... Ali
- Tecnica di una spia (credited) .... Steiner
- The Bible: In the Beginning... (uncredited) .... Man in Sodom
- Un milione di dollari per sette assassini (credited) .... Doney
- Colpo maestro al servizio di Sua Maestà britannica (uncredited) .... Actor in western
- La morte viene dal pianeta Aytin (credited) .... Sharu
- Peggio per me... meglio per te (uncredited) .... Dancer at the party
- Troppo per vivere... poco per morire (uncredited) .... Photographer's assistant
- Samoa, regina della giungla (credited) .... Akana
- Fellini Satyricon (uncredited) .... Role?
- Le tigri di Mompracem (uncredited) .... Man of Sandokan (re-used footage)
- Teachers (credited) .... Guard
- Windy City (credited) .... Joe the Janitor
- Code of Silence (credited) .... Spider
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off (credited as Assistant choreographer) .... Does not appear
- Big Shots (credited) .... Social Service man (not found)
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