The Life of a Civil Rights Actor

Goldberg: Herschel Walker may be lying about an ex-girlfriend’s abortion. Does it matter? [more inside]

Walker is still one of the great actors of his generation. Though he was only in his early 30s when he died, he possessed a commanding presence that carried over from his acting in ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘The Magnificent Ambersons,’ and ‘In Living Colors,’ to his later career of political activism. While Walker was well-paid and relatively well-received for his part in the Civil Rights era, when his reputation soared, he began to distance himself from politics. Yet this change of heart was not as sudden or sudden-feeling as it appeared. Walker and his wife had been active since shortly after his return from the Vietnam War draft. While his wife was very close to the Walker family, they did not have the same affinity for politics as he did. His wife had a small child from her first marriage, and in his early 30s, Walker became more involved in the community and began to travel more frequently. He made several trips to Europe and became an avid history buff. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Laos.

Walker was particularly close to his mother and aunt, as well as his father. As he began to move away from ‘My Fair Lady,’ he began to have difficulty making acting decisions, as he began to feel he needed to “leave his ego at the door,” according to an obituary. This “harrowing loss of creative control,” as one biographer wrote, led him to be even more outspoken in politics.

Walker was already a well-established activist by the time of his death in 2005, having worked closely with other civil rights leaders such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rosa Parks, the latter of whom had come to his defense on the night of her arrest. As he began to realize how much work he still had to do, he became more vocal in his political activism, and he spoke directly with Rosa Parks shortly after she was arrested in 1955. He later said:

“Every morning about five o’clock I called her up and we talked and I made it clear to her that I knew how hard it was for her and that it

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