Harrison County

Rick Amos: Attorney by day, actor by night, leaves a legacy of the heart

Rick O. Amos
Rick O. Amos Courtesy David Delk

Gulfport attorney Rick O. Amos, a beloved performer at Mississippi Coast playhouses, has died.

Amos had temporarily moved to Houston after he was diagnosed in 2016 with angiosarcoma. It’s a cancer of the inner lining of blood vessels and developed in his heart, said niece Tanisha Amos of Irving, Texas.

Rick Amos, 53, died Saturday in Gulfport. He was one of 13 children, including his twin sister, Vicky. His family knew him as Ricky.

Amos was an attorney by day and an actor by night, and was known for showing his heart by helping others and brightening their day.

He had a law firm, Amos and Associates, in downtown Gulfport and had been an attorney since 1984. He also had performed in numerous leading roles at community theaters in Biloxi, Gulfport and Bay St. Louis.

“He had a powerful stage presence, not only with acting and his looks but also with his voice,” Coast businessman and actor David Delk said. The two had met in high school in 1980, when both played the clarinet in band.

“He was a very quiet, scrawny kid back then, but he became an outgoing, big, muscular guy and the only thing bigger was his laugh,” Delk said.

A seat at the Biloxi Little Theatre was reserved in Amos’ memory over the weekend during its production of “Gleeful 2017.”

Funeral services will start at 11 a.m. Friday at Morning Star Baptist Church in Gulfport. Visitation begins at 9 a.m.

Rick was so inspirational and so involved in helping to cultivate an environment within each of us so we could see the importance of unconditional love, respect, decency, hope, grace, family, a sense of belonging, not to mention the importance of working hard, education, and striving to do and be the best.

Tanisha Amos, niece of Rick Amos

In recent years, Amos portrayed Boy Willie in the Center Stage Theatre’s production of “The Piano Lesson” in Biloxi. His other lead roles included productions of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” at Bay St Louis Little Theatre, “Inherit The Wind” at Center Stage and “Fences” at Gulfport Little Theatre.

He also portrayed Dr. Frank-N-Furter in a performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and sang in “Cats The Musical.”

“You should have seen that big guy in a little cat outfit,” Delk said.

Amos also appeared in “Because He Likes Me,” a film on domestic violence and bullying. The movie was directed and produced by John Lestrade of Take Two Video Production.

Vicky Amos said her brother had a heart of gold and always tried to help people in need, especially children. He would pay young school children in need to do odd jobs around his office.

“Rick was so inspirational and so involved in helping to cultivate an environment within each of us so we could see the importance of unconditional love, respect, decency, hope, grace, family, a sense of belonging, not to mention the importance of working hard, education, and striving to do and be the best,” she said. He treated everyone he met “as if he had known them all his life.”

She said his family and closest friends will especially miss his jokes and laughter, his cookies, pound cakes and cornbread, and “the great re-told family stories that he ‘embellished’ a tad bit.”

He was a very genuine person who showed compassion for his fellow man and gave service to his community. He really enjoyed life and he liked to help others enjoy life.

George Schloegel, former Gulfport mayor

Former Mayor George Schloegel said he had pushed to appoint Amos to serve on the Board of Trustees for Memorial Hospital at Gulfport in 2010 because of his legal background and his compassionate side. Amos served until he became too ill to work.

“He was a very genuine person who showed compassion for his fellow man and gave service to his community,” Schloegel said. “He really enjoyed life and he liked to help others enjoy life. He brought a lot of enjoyment to those who watched his shows and those he performed with. He was a really fine man and I will miss him.”

Tanisha Amos said a spiritual hymn, “May the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me,” sums up her uncle’s life.

“The way Rick lived his life spoke volumes. The way he touched other lives spoke more volumes. He fought a good fight and he never complained.”

Three fundraisers were set up to help cover his medical bills before his death. Those efforts will continue.

Ways to help

A benefit bank account in his name is set up for donations at any branch of Coast Community Bank.

Rick’s SpeakEasy, a night of juke-joint music by local entertainers, is set for June 24 at Center Stage Theatre. The fundraiser is presented by Thomas and Robin Midcalf Brosig. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Find details at centerstagebiloxi.com.

A GoFundMe.com account, “Give from the heart to help a heart,” seeks to raise $50,000. Tanisha Amos set up the fundraiser for her uncle in November. Donations total nearly $9,000.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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