Meet Paul Danquah, the openly gay first son of JB Danquah of the Big Six

Stories and facts

Paul Danquah, originally born Joseph Paul Walcott on May 25, 1925, and later known by his stage name, left an indelible mark on British cinema and legal circles alike. Renowned for his memorable performance in the iconic film "A Taste of Honey" (1961), Danquah's legacy extends beyond the silver screen to encompass a distinguished career as a barrister and bank consultant.

Born in London, England, Danquah was the son of Bertha May Walcott, an English woman, and Joseph Boakye "J.B." Danquah, a prominent Ghanaian statesman and traditional aristocrat. Raised in the bustling city of London, Danquah was the eldest among his siblings from his father's two marriages and various relationships, inheriting a rich cultural heritage from both sides of his family.

Danquah pursued a career in law, undertaking studies that culminated in his admission to the bar at the prestigious Inner Temple. He furthered his legal expertise by obtaining qualifications in Ghana and Washington, D.C., marking the beginning of a multifaceted professional journey. Transitioning from the courtroom to the realm of finance, Danquah served as a consultant with the World Bank until his retirement in 1986, contributing his expertise to global financial initiatives.

While Danquah's legal career flourished, he also made significant strides in the realm of arts and culture. Making his acting debut in "A Taste of Honey" (1961), he captivated audiences with his portrayal of Jimmy, earning acclaim for his nuanced performance. Notably, his on-screen kiss with co-star Rita Tushingham is regarded as one of the first interracial kisses depicted in cinema, marking a milestone in cinematic history.

Beyond his acting endeavors, Danquah broke barriers as a presenter on the BBC Two television series "Play School" in 1965, becoming one of the first black presenters of a children's program in the UK. His artistic sensibilities extended beyond the screen, as evidenced by his close associations with renowned painter Francis Bacon, with whom he shared a residence in Battersea, London, during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

In his later years, Danquah relocated to Tangier, Morocco, alongside his partner, Peter Pollock, forging new connections and fostering his passion for art and culture. His enduring legacy was further solidified by the discovery of a suitcase containing drawings by Francis Bacon, shedding light on their intimate relationship and artistic collaboration.

Paul Danquah's remarkable journey came to a peaceful close on August 13, 2015, in Tangier, at the age of 90. His burial beside Peter Pollock in Boubana Cemetery, as per his wishes, serves as a fitting tribute to a man who defied conventions championed diversity, and left an indelible mark on British cinema and beyond.

Explore the life of Paul Danquah below.



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