Roy Glenn, born June 3, 1914, was an African-American pioneer in radio, movies and television. In radio, Roy appeared in classics shows such as Amos 'n Andy and The Jack Benny Show. After struggling with bit roles and a long period film inactivity, he returned to movie work with a small part in The Jackie Robinson Story (1950). But it was the regrettably brief television run of Amos 'n Andy which opened the door to steady television work for Roy.
Mr. Glenn carried himself with strength, humor and dignity. These qualities, like those of Jackie Robinson, were essential to paving the way towards greater opportunity for persons of color in film and television. It is fitting that perhaps his two highest film achievements were coupled with a man who would change the entertainment world forever, Sidney Poitier. After a small part in A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Glenn played the pivotal role of Poitier's father in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). As Mr. Prentice, Roy embodied the black men of his generation handing off a better world to their children's generation. Seldom has the match between role and actor been better made, or better handled.
It was widely reported that he was the original voice of "Tony the Tiger" in Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes commercials in the early-1950's, although the company has always denied it. Roy's last role was as the crafty headwaiter who collected all the tips in James Garner's Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971). He passed away March 12, 1971, a few months before the release of his final two films.