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François Clemmons: From Mozart to Mr. Rogers



Mr. Rogers & Neighborhood on Ask Me Another during the Nantucket Film Festival in Nantucket, Massachusetts. "Href =" https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2018/06/28/980898074_wide-4614e0ac3bbd526fd6e0840cb96b55bbb25d4e5e.jpg ">

Francois Clemmons actor and singer about his role as Officer Clemmons about Mr Rogers & Neighborhood on Ask Me Another during the Nantucket Film Festival in Nantucket, Massachusetts

François Clemmons is as tall as a Fred Rogers fan Do not you want to be my neighbor? Clemmons, who portrayed Clemmon's officer for 25 years on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is portrayed as someone who

"I was the first black American to have had a recurring role in all children's television," said Clemmons Ophira Eisenberg, host of the NPR Ask me another at one Taping au f the Nantucket Film Festival. "I can remember how much I wanted to see another black person." It was Rogers who spotted Clemmons during a choral performance and asked him to be on the show. "It sometimes seemed easy to do the right thing," Clemmons said. "Other people have made it so damn hard, but he has not done it."

Clemmons said he was poor, open-gay, and "on the wrong side," but was picked up by Rogers, both professionally and emotionally. "He adopted me, in the purest sense of the word, as a spiritual son," said Clemmons. The two had a close relationship, even though Clemmons was initially worried that he would play a cop on the show. He said when he was a kid, "he had to deal with black men who were killed by white policemen." At first, when Rogers asked him to play a police officer, Clemmons hesitantly commented, but Rogers "convinced me to change the image of the police, so they were helpers instead of villains."

Having a father figure like Rogers meant a lot to Clemmons, as a young gay black man. "He was the first one who said 'I love you' said my dad did not say it, my stepfather did not say it, and there were members of my family who said," You can not be gay. "It made a great impression on me that [Fred] loved me in spite of these things. "

Clemmons sang alongside his tenure Mister Rogers & Neighborhood professional opera. In 1

968 he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and in 1976 received a Grammy for his participation in a recording of Porgy and Bess . For Clemmon's Ask Me Another Eisenberg challenges him to discover famous operas based on nothing but half-baked piano covers by guest musician Julian Velard – but he first sang the crowd with a rousing cappella interpretation of "He has the whole." World in his hands ".


HIGHLIGHTS


19659011] Children's Emotional Capacity:

"Children feel anger, they feel anxiety, they have to deal with death, separation, divorce, and children need someone to talk to these things can talk. "

About Fred Rogers' Peaceful Progressivism:

"Fred had this way of doing these things without causing a big explosion, he just invited me to the program, too singing and being part of his neighborhood … when I was with Fred, I felt that black could be good! f! "

On Francois Clemmons heard: From Mozart to Mr. Rogers

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