Writer-producer-director Cliff Roquemore, a theatre student in Detroit who would direct plays at the early resident theatres in Motown before working Off-Broadway, regionally and in film, died of cancer Feb. 5, Variety reported.
Mr. Roquemore was 53 and was born and raised in Detroit. He studied theatre at Wayne State University there and wrote and directed works at Detroit Repertory Theatre, Concept East and the Vest Pocket Theatre.
According to Variety, he worked on more than 200 regional and Off-Broadway productions, including Selma, Invasion of Addis Ababa, Shaka Zulu and Eubie. He would later become a film director and producer ("The Human Tornado," "Petey Whitestraw" and "Disco Godfather") who had a hand in blaxploitation films, including "Penitentiary II" and "Body and Soul."
With Motown songwriter Mickey Stevenson, Mr. Roquemore created the musicals Color Me Dorothy — The Dorothy Dandridge Story and Showgirls, which ran in Los Angeles and Off Broadway, and Swann.
He also penned the musical, The Gospel Truth, which toured nationally, winning NAACP Image Awards. He also directed Eartha Kitt's one-woman show at Nick Stewart's Ebony Showcase Theater in Los Angeles in 1990. — By Kenneth Jones