Chuck Patterson, who helped pave the way for other talented African-American actors trying to make it on Broadway, died two days before Christmas. He was 68 and lived in Harlem. Patterson was cast back in 1975 by actor/director George C. Scott in his Tony-nominated production of “Death of a Salesman” as the neighbor’s son Bernard — a role that had been played up till then by White actors. 

He went on to appear in dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions as well as movies like “The Five Heartbeats” and TV shows like “Law and Order.”