Pigmeat Markham Biography

Born Dewey Markham on April 18, 1904 in Durham, North Carolina, Pigmeat Markham got his nickname from a song in his act called “Sweet Papa Pigmeat”. He started entertaining in 1917 at the age of thirteen when he danced on the southern “race” circuit with Bessie Smith and later appeared on burlesque bills with such comedy legends as Milton Berle, Red Buttons, and Eddie Cantor.

In the 50’s while playing such night clubs and theatres as the Regal in Chicago, The Howard in Washington, and of course the Apollo, Markham became one of Black America’s most popular entertainers. By 1968 he had signed with the famous Chicago blues record label Chess, and recorded what would later become a top 20 hit “Here Comes The Judge.”

Pigmeat Markham has made several appearances on television including a number of hilarious and memorable spots on The Ed Sullivan Show. Pigmeat Markham died December 13, 1981.

Markham starred in several films in the 1940’s

including “House-Rent Party” in 1946.

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