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Actor and 7UP pitchman Geoffrey Holder dies

"I'm no snob. The commercial is an art form unto itself. After all, you are seducing people," Holder said about his role in 7UP commercials.

By Aileen Graef
Actor and 7UP pitchman Geoffrey Holder dies
Geoffrey Holder and his son, Leo Holder, arrive for the 2010 Kennedy Center honorees Artist's Dinner at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, December 4, 2010. UPI/Ron Sachs/Pool | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Geoffrey Holder, actor and 7UP pitchman, died at the age of 84 in Manhattan Sunday.

Holder grew up in the Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago where he struggled with a stammer in secondary school.

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From there he moved to the Broadway and then the opera and ballet.

Noted for his rich voice in his Caribbean accent, he did a series of 7UP commercials, promoting the "un-cola." He didn't consider that role below him.

"I'm no snob. The commercial is an art form unto itself. After all, you are seducing people," he told People magazine.

He won a Tony for his role in the 1975 The Wiz, an all-black retelling of The Wizard of Oz as well as had notable roles in Annie, Live and Let Die, and Doctor Dolittle.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Carmen De Lavallade, and their son Leo.

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