From the ghetto to super stars.
Tony King as Satin from the movie Sparkle (Sam O’Steen, 1976)
That’s the quote on the original “Sparkle” DVD in which Tony King plays Satin, the gangster. Tony King is young and handsome when he faces racism in the NFL, so he decides to move to New York and start over as a model and then actor. He starts off doing commercials, then moves on to acting during the period of Blaxploitation movies, when the first African-American directors started producing their own movies. Tony King starred in over 40 films in USA and abroad. Most notably: Report to the Commissioner, Hell Up in Harlem, The Last Hunter, Shaft, Gordon’s War, Bronk, The Raiders of Atlantis. He lived in Rome for 3 years and worked with Italian director Antonio Margheriti. He was also the only black actor in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.
At the apex of his career in 1973, Tony comes into contact with the Nation of Islam while on the set of Gordon’s War. Security was provided by members of Nation of Islam and Tony was fascinated by the way these brothers managed the turbulent area of Harlem without any problem. After several encounters with this brothers, he began flying to Chicago to listen to Minister Louis Farrakhan speak the truth.