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Robinson, Bill (“Bojangles”)

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

(1878-1949)

    Stylish African-American dancer on the stage and in movies, notably with Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel, The Littlest Rebel, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. His specialty was tap dancing, particularly the “stair tap” routine in which he would go up and down a flight of stairs. It is this routine that is caricatured in Have You Got Any Castles? (Tashlin, 1938), in which Robinson is pictured dancing up and down The 39 Steps. Alas, this sequence is cut from most prints shown on television today. Bill Robinson is also mentioned in the song Daffy sings as he demonstrates his talents to Leon Schlesinger in You Ought to Be in Pictures (Freleng, 1940).

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