ERNEST RAYFORD

"Thomas Joshua"

Ernest Rayford (deceased ca. 2017) was an African-American stage and screen actor.

His first roles were in the 1980 short film, Answer, and in the 1982 Cheech and Chong comedy, Things Are Tough All Over, directed by Thomas K. Avildsen in Chicago. In the early 1980s, he also played roles in several Chicago stage productions.


In The Killing Floor, Rayford played Thomas Joshua, who travels north to Chicago together with Frank Custer (Damien Leake), joins the U.S. Army to fight in Europe, and is killed in Chicago during the 1919 Race Riot.


In 1987, Rayford appeared in Nothing but a Lie, a play written and directed by Nancy Rawles and presented by Chicago Theater Company. He played Sam in the 1990 Chicago film Love Your Mama, written and directed by Ruby Oliver, and was Spencer in the 2001 film 30 Years to Life. He was Cecil Jiggs in the 1993 independent film, Let's Get Bizzee, and also appeared in Far from Heaven (2002), Inside Man (2006), and Five Minarets in New York (2010).

Rayford's last role was as Josh the Waiter in the film BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee and released in 2018.


(Sources: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0713133/ and https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1987-09-17-8703100625-story.html and https://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/ernest_rayford)