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Charlie Walker, San Francisco Icon Portrayed by Mike Colter in Biopic, Dies at 89



Charlie Walker, a San Francisco business owner and social justice icon who was portrayed by Mike Colter in the 2022 biopic I’m Charlie Walker, died Thursday in his hometown, it was announced. He was 89.

Colter, perhaps best known for his turns as Marvel hero Luke Cage, starred alongside Safiya Fredericks and Dylan Baker in the June release from FAMM Films and Shout! Studios that was directed by Patrick Gilles.

The son of sharecropper parents, Walker became a successful trucker and in the 1960s led protests to open public construction jobs to Black contractors who were being deliberately snubbed.

He hired trucks that cleaned up San Francisco Bay after a devastating 1971 oil spill, helped good friend and then-Assembly member Willie Brown safely exit City Hall after the 1978 assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk and became one of the first Black employees. at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Last year, the San Francisco board of supervisors passed a resolution to honor Walker by renaming a street in his Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood as Charlie Way.

“Charlie Walker was a true original,” Colter said in a statement. “Cut from the same cloth as men like my own father and uncles. Men from the ’70s era that took opportunity by the horns. Charlie was unapologetic about his ambition and desire to carve out a place in the world.

“He made a way for his family and set an example for generations to come. He was a character that moved through the world with a certainty and swagger that made people take notice. He deserved to have his story told. It was an honor to portray him. He will never be forgotten.”

Added producer Mike Regen: “We could go on and on about Charlie’s accomplishments and the impact he had on so many, but we also know Charlie would tell us to get back to work. And that is exactly what we will do to continue to honor his legacy and amazing life.”

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Annett; daughters Charlotte and Ruedell; son Charles Jr.; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

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