Oliver Adolphus Samuels, actor and comedian was born November 4, 1948 in Harmony Hall, St. Mary. He grew up on a banana plantation where his father worked as a casual laborer and his mother sold items on the estate. His involvement in drama began in his childhood where, at the age of seven he and the other children on the plantation would sing and recite poetry on Friday nights.
Oliver’s life tells the story of a poor boy who made good. He fetched water from a river, he walked miles to and from school as early as age five. He helped his ailing mother in undertaking several chores around the home. He firmly maintains however, that he did not feel at all downtrodden because he was born in poverty. This was so because his mother would not encourage such feelings. Her mantra was with hard work you could make it.
After graduating high school he worked as a storekeeper at the Orange River Agricultural Station and then moved to Kingston with the encouragement of his friends. He landed a clerical job at the Water Commission and then took a job in proof-reading at the Gleaner Company, where he stayed for only one day. He later attended the Jamaica Theatre School from 1971 to1973.
During his three years at the Jamaica Theatre School, Oliver participated in various productions. His first play was “A Raisin in the Sun”, in which he was a voice off stage. Oliver’s popularity increased when he appeared in his first pantomime “Music Boy”. Role after role followed thereafter and Oliver Samuels soon became a household name. He has appeared in no fewer than 13 pantomimes playing major roles. He has also appeared in more than 30 other productions. Some of his pantomime appearances include “Music Boy”, “Queenie’s Daughter”, “Dickance for Fippance”, “Hail Columbus”, “The Witch”, “Johnny Reggae”, “Ginneral B”, “The Pirate Princess”, “Trash”, “The Hon. All Purpose” and “The Dancing Princess”.
Oliver attained another zenith in his very funny television series, “Oliver”, “Oliver at Large” and “Large and in Charge”. This series established him as one of Jamaica’s actor of comedy. An album with the well-known single “Oliver Yu Large” was also produced and has done well on the local and overseas market.
Oliver Samuels who is known to speak perfect patois has appeared in one Italian and two German films. Presently Oliver works at Mack D’s Auto Sales and Rentals where he is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager. He is also a Director in the company. Mr. Samuels has five children, 3 boys and twin daughters. He recently adopted another daughter who is now in high school.Samuels is widely regarded as one of the funniest talents to emerge from the Caribbean.As well as having a large following in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, Samuels frequently tours Britain and North America, playing to the Caribbean ex-pat community.