Little graduated from SDSU in 1965. While he was a student, he acted in several plays at San Diego State and The Old Globe theatre, including A Raisin in the Sun (1962), which was the Globe's first African-American production. After graduating, Little studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. He made his Broadway debut in Jimmie Shine. In 1970, he won a Tony Award for best actor in Broadway Musical Comedy for his role in Purlie Victorious. Besides Broadway, Little also acted in movies, such as Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), Vanishing Point (1971), and Greased Lightning (1977). He is perhaps best known for his leading role as Sheriff Bart in Mel Brooks' movie Blazing Saddles (1974). This episode of the radio program "San Diego State Reports," broadcast on December 19, 1965, features the following Christmas-related segments:"How Come Christmas?" -- a dramatic reading in which Cleavon Little acts out the voices of multiple characters. Henry van Dyke's "The Foolish Fir Tree" -- literary reading by Cleavon Little. Frank Horne's "Kid Stuff" -- literary reading by Cleavon Little. Announcer Jan Rotchstein reads the full text of the famous 1897 newspaper editorial, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."