O'Reese Corporal
born: 21 April 1897
Reno, Kansas,
United States of America
died: 14 March 1974
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(age 76)
Afro-American actor and singer, son of Larkin and Mary Corporal and nephew of Al(fred) Corporal. He served in the US Army from Jul 1918-Aug 1919 (buried in a veterans' grave) and arrived in CA about 1927, working as a truck driver, chauffeur, and school custodian. Became a member of the very popular chorale group, Etude Ethiopian Chorus, securing small parts in films through Central Casting.
After his 1943 marriage to Venye Luke (her son was Sherill Luke), he became prominent in Los Angeles Afro-American social circles through the 1960's. In 1949 he started recording with the Capitol Records quartet, The Nuggets.

*With regards to his year of birth, CA Death Index and 1900 Census say 1897. WWI & WWII Draft Registrations say 1896.

Some sources incorrectly refer to him as "Al" Corporal.
Height: 5'11¾" Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Little Daddy

Pardon Us
Negro singer

Pack Up Your Troubles
Wrong Mr. Smith

Birthday Blues
Junk collector

The Midnight Patrol

General Spanky
Negro on boat

1931 Sep 4 "California Eagle" page 4: O'REESE named as Etude singer.
1954 Nov.11 :"CA Eagle" p.8: O'REESE named as appearing in L&H films.
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMTN-JWB (1900 Census)
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF68-DBW (1920 Census)
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCVJ-HXM (1930 Census)
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9ZM-N58 (1940 Census-OREESE
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9Z9-KZB (1940 Census-VENYE)
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8FL-824 (1943 Marriage)
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K66D-J5S (WWI Draft Reg.)
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16368-63548-28?cc=1861144 (WWII Draft)
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16368-63784-18?cc=1861144 (WWII Draft)
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPDP-6FY (CA Death Index)
http://popculturefanboy.blogspot.com/2011/10/october-26-2011-happy-birthday-75-years.html (1954)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complete_Capitol_Singles_Collection (with Sinatra)
Jim Jarvis (information and research)
Joe Davis (identification in Birthday Blues)

This page was last updated on: 09 May 2017