Ben Carter (February 10, 1910/1907 – December 12, 1946) was an American actor and casting agent. He appeared in numerous Hollywood feature films including The Harvey Girls, Dixie Jamboree, and Born to Sing.
Carter was born in Fairfield, Iowa. His father was a barber and his mother was a housemaid. He graduated from high school in Aurora, Illinois.
Carter headed to Los Angeles to work in movies. As a booking agent he focused on African American performers in New York City and Los Angeles. He was one of the first African American performers to land a seven-year contract at 20th Century-Fox. He opened his agency office in 1935.
Carter appeared in Gone With the Wind (1939) as well as casting all the other African American actors and actresses in it, Maryland (1940) and Tin Pan Alley (1940). Carter often performed in comic roles and in scenes which allowed him to display his singing ability such as in The Harvey Girls (1946) and A Day at the Races (1937). Among his most prominent roles were in the Charlie Chan movies The Scarlet Clue (1945) and Dark Alibi (1946). A notable role of his was in the World War II movie Crash Dive (1943) where his character rises above racial stereotypes and is portrayed as an valuable member of a submarine’s crew.
Carter was a member of the Hollywood Victory Committee and was a civil rights activist.
He resided at 2133 S. Harvard Blvd. in Sugar Hill (now “West Adams”), Los Angeles, California, in 1942.
Carter suffered from diphtheria. He died of the disease on December 12, 1946, in New York City.
|1934||Hollywood Party||Elevator Operator||Uncredited|
|1935||Transient Lady||Barbershop Patron||Uncredited|
|1935||Kentucky Blue Streak||Waiter / Colored Octette Leader|
|1936||The Green Pastures||Gambler||Uncredited|
|1937||A Day at the Races||Black Singer||Uncredited|
|1937||Adventure’s End||Stantul, Black Sailor|
|1938||Having Wonderful Time||Minor Role||(scenes deleted)|
|1939||Gone With the Wind||Uncredited|
|1940||Little Old New York||Noah|
|1940||New Moon||Singer – Member of Jericho Choir||Uncredited|
|1940||Carolina Moon||Wheeler’s Butler||Uncredited|
|1940||South to Karanga||Higgins|
|1940||Earl of Puddlestone||Homer|
|1940||Tin Pan Alley||Boy|
|1940||Chad Hanna||Bell Boy|
|1941||Sleepers West||Leander Jones – Porter|
|1941||Ride on Vaquero||Watchman Bullfinch|
|1941||Dressed to Kill||Sam|
|1942||Born to Sing||‘Eight-Ball’|
|1942||Reap the Wild Wind||Chinkapin|
|1942||Her Cardboard Lover||Elevator Operator||Uncredited|
|1942||Daring Young Man||Pinky|
|1943||Happy Go Lucky||Joe Brown||Uncredited|
|1943||Crash Dive||Oliver Cromwell Jones|
|1943||Redhead from Manhattan||Mark Anthony Brown||Uncredited|
|1943||Mister Big||Ben Carter – Choir Leader|
|1944||This Is the Life||Himself|
|1944||Stars on Parade||Ben Carter Choir Leader|
|1944||Dixie Jamboree||Sam the Deckhand|
|1944||Bowery to Broadway||No-More|
|1945||The Scarlet Clue||Ben Carter|
|1945||The Great John L.||Thaddeus||Uncredited|
|1945||Lady on a Train||Maxwell|
|1945||She Went to the Races||Groom||Uncredited|
|1946||The Harvey Girls||John Henry|
|1946||Dark Alibi||Benjamin Brown|