Before They Were Stars: Morgan Freeman in “The Electric Company”

Yes, even an actor as dignified and prestigious as Morgan Freeman had to do some silly things early on in his career in order to pay the bills. Most of you reading this are probably too young to remember it, but The Electric Company was a very popular educational kids show during the 1970s, which was produced by the Children’s Television Workshop and intended for more mature kids who had graduated from Sesame Street. The performers on the show were often a mixture of established celebrities, like Bill Cosby and Rita Moreno, and complete unknowns, one of whom was Morgan Freeman. One of his recurring characters on the show was a hipster character named “Easy Reader”, whom you can see performing a duet with Rita Moreno in the preceding clip. Of course, when Morgan eventually receives his lifetime achievement Oscar, I would choose to feature his portrayal of Vincent the Vegetable Vampire on his career highlight reel and include this clip of him singing a song about taking a bath in his casket.

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