Director-Actor Edmund J. Cambridge, Original Negro Ensemble Member, Dead at 80

News   Director-Actor Edmund J. Cambridge, Original Negro Ensemble Member, Dead at 80 Edmund J. Cambridge, an actor and director who staged Lonne Elder II's Ceremonies in Dark Old Men Off-Broadway in 1969 and helped found the Negro Ensemble Company, died in New York City Aug. 18.

Edmund J. Cambridge, an actor and director who staged Lonne Elder II's Ceremonies in Dark Old Men Off-Broadway in 1969 and helped found the Negro Ensemble Company, died in New York City Aug. 18.

Mr. Cambridge, a Los Angeles resident, was 80 and died of complications after a fall he suffered while visiting relatives in Harlem, according to The Los Angeles Times.

As a director, Mr. Cambridge was nominated for an Obie Award for the NEC staging of Elder's play, at St. Mark's Playhouse. He would later staged the work regionally, and in 1988 play the lead role in the Canon Theatre revival in Beverly Hills, CA. The director also staged Christine Houston's play, 227, which would later be developed into a popular sitcom. He directed several episodes of the series, and acted in many TV programs and films.

The Harlem native was a stage manager Off-Broadway before directing. With Douglas Turner Ward and others he helped found the Negro Ensemble Company in 1967-68. He later co founded the Kilpatrick-Cambridge Theater Arts School in Los Angeles. He was artistic director of Cambridge Players, presenting plays for several years at Los Angeles Mesa Presbyterian Church.

— By Kenneth Jones