Suffolk actor had Hollywood hopes

ERIC Black was poised to make his name in Hollywood but today his Suffolk relatives are preparing for his funeral after he was killed in a US road accident. The 36-year-old scriptwriter, actor and comedian died after being struck by a car in Detroit.

By Tracey Sparling

ERIC Black was poised to make his name in Hollywood but today his Suffolk relatives are preparing for his funeral after he was killed in a US road accident.

The 36-year-old twice-married scriptwriter, actor and comedian was walking along the central reservation of a motorway in Detroit at about 2.30am last Sunday when he was hit by a car.

Today his family, who live in Spring Road, Ipswich, are united in remembering him for the good times – and his dedication to making people laugh.

They recalled how, at the tender age of 19, Mr Black packed his bags and left his home on the Whitton estate in Ipswich intent on making his name in the land of stars.

Having been born in New York, he returned there to stay with relatives – just as his mum Janet Turner had also done at the age of 19.

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After attending Whitton infant and junior schools, the popular pupil enjoyed performing in school plays at Thurleston High School in Ipswich.

When he went to America, he studied theatre at the University of Michigan. His dramatic talent and flair for improvisation shone when he auditioned to win a place to train and perform at Second City in Detroit, which had also played host to the late John Candy and John Belushi.

Mr Black's face became known worldwide when he appeared in an advert for Ericsson mobile phones two years ago. He was due to meet executives at kids' cable channel Nickelodeon on Tuesday to discuss turning one of his plays – Daft Buggers – into an animated series.

He was in Ipswich earlier this month when his holiday included a break in Cornwall. He flew back to Los Angeles on September 11 to be in Detroit last Saturday for Second City's tenth anniversary, in which he performed.

Mrs Turner said today: "I am pleased we spent that time with him. He was just such a happy, funny person and that's how we remember him – for his sense of humour."

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