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Angela Bassett


Angela Bassett Biography

Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an American actress. She has become well known for her biographical film roles portraying real-life women in African-American culture, including Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It, as well as Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X and Panther, Rosa Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream, and Voletta Wallace in Notorious.

Early life

Bassett was born in Harlem, New York on August 16, 1958, the daughter of Betty Jane and Daniel Benjamin Bassett. After her parents' separation, she relocated from Winston Salem, North Carolina to St. Petersburg, Florida, where she and her sister D'nette were raised by their social worker/civil servant mother. As her interest in entertainment developed, Angela and her sister would often put on shows, reading poems or performing popular music for their family. At Boca Ciega High School, Bassett was a cheerleader and a member of the Upward Bound college prep program, the debate team, student government, drama club and choir.

Bassett attended Yale University and received her B.A. degree in African-American studies in 1980. In 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. At Yale, Bassett met her future husband Courtney B. Vance, a 1986 graduate of the drama school. After graduation, Bassett worked as a receptionist for a beauty salon and as a photo researcher.

Bassett soon looked for acting work in the New York theater. One of her first New York performances came in 1985 when she appeared in J. E. Franklin's Black Girl at Second Stage Theatre. She appeared in two August Wilson plays at the Yale Repertory Theatre under the direction of her long-time instructor Lloyd Richards. The Wilson plays featuring Bassett were Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984) and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1986). In 2006, she had the opportunity to work on the Wilson canon again, starring in Fences alongside longtime collaborator Laurence Fishburne at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Career

Television and film career

In 1985, Bassett made her first television appearance as a prostitute in the TV movie Doubletake. However, she made her official film debut as a news reporter in F/X (1986). Bassett moved to Los Angeles and gained recognition in the films Boyz n the Hood (1991) and Malcolm X (1992). For her portrayal of Betty Shabazz, she earned an Image Award.

In 1992, Bassett played Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream. Later that year, Bassett was cast as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). Bassett won a Golden Globe and earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Turner. She was the first African-American to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress " Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Bassett starred in three movies in 1995, which were released with varied reactions from critics: Vampire in Brooklyn, Strange Days, and Waiting to Exhale (where she worked with author Terry McMillan). In Strange Days, Bassett played Lornette "Mace" Mason, a chauffeur and bodyguard. In Vampire in Brooklyn, she played Rita Veder, a tortured cop with a dark secret. Bassett's character in Waiting to Exhale, Bernadine Harris, was betrayed by her husband and in revenge she set fire to his entire wardrobe and vehicle, then sold what was left for one dollar.

In 1998, Bassett starred in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, once again collaborating with McMillan. She played Stella, a 40-year-old American professional woman who falls in love with a 20-year-old Jamaican man. In 1999, Bassett starred in Music of the Heart, once collaborating with the horror icon Wes Craven. In 2000, Bassett turned down the lead role in Monster's Ball because of the script's sexual content; the role earned Halle Berry the Academy Award for Best Actress.

In 2003, she read from the WPA slave narratives in Unchained Memories. In the 1930s, about 100,000 former slaves were still living during the Great Depression, of which 2,300 were interviewed part of the Federal Writers' Project. The transcripts of the Slave Narratives collection of the Library of Congress is a record of slavery, bondage and misery.

Bassett joined the regular cast of ER for the show's final season (2008"2009). She portrayed Dr. Catherine Banfield, an exacting Chief of the ER who was also working to recover from the death of a son and to bring another child into her family. Bassett's husband Courtney Vance played her television husband on ER as Russell Banfield.

In 2010, Bassett lent her voice to portray First Lady Michelle Obama on an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Stealing First Base". Bassett was also cast in the superhero film Green Lantern, released in 2011, as notable DC Comics character Amanda Waller.

In 2010, Deadline.com reported that Bassett would have a role in One Police Plaza.

In 2011, Bassett co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in the play The Mountaintop a fictionalized depiction of the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King (Jackson portrays MLK) while at the Lorraine Motel. The critically acclaimed play by Katori Hall originally debuted in London's West End in 2009 and went on to win the Lawrence Olivier Award for Best New Play. The production opened on Broadway on October 13, 2011. Bassett recently appeared as Secret Service director Lynne Jacobs in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, released in March 22, 2013.

Personal life

Bassett married actor Courtney B. Vance in 1997. In the summer of 2005, they starred together in a production of His Girl Friday at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The couple's children " son Slater Josiah and daughter Bronwyn Golden - were born on January 27, 2006.

Bassett is an avid supporter of programs for the Arts, especially for youth. She annually attends events for children with diabetes and those in foster homes. She is an active Ambassador of UNICEF for the USA. Bassett is a big supporter of the Royal Theater Boys & Girls Club in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. The Club is one of the first all performing arts Boys & Girls Clubs in the country.

She is represented by the Executive Speakers Bureau of Memphis.

Bassett was initiated as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on July 13, 2013.

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations
Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1994 Academy Award Best Actress What's Love Got to Do with It
1994 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Best Actress What's Love Go to Do with It
1994 Golden Globe Award Best Actress " Motion Picture Musical or Comedy What's Love Got to Do with It
1994 MTV Movie Award Best Female Performance What's Love Got to Do with It
1995 Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Malcolm X
1995 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture What's Love Got to Do with It
1996 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Storytime
1996 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture Waiting to Exhale
1998 Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Contact
1996 Saturn Award Best Actress Strange Days
1999 Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture How Stella Got Her Groove Back
2000 Black Reel Award Best Supporting Actress Music of the Heart
2000 Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Music of the Heart
2001 BET Award Best Actress Boesman and Lena
2001 Black Reel Award Best Actress Boesman and Lena
2001 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture Boesman and Lena
2002 BET Award Best Actress The Rosa Parks Story
2002 BET Award Best Actress The Score
2002 Black Reel Award Best Actress on Television Ruby's Bucket of Blood
2002 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture The Score
2002 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film Ruby's Bucket of Blood
2002 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie The Rosa Parks Story
2002 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Ruby's Bucket of Blood
2003 Black Reel Award Best Actress on Television The Rosa Parks Story
2003 Black Reel Award Best Actress The Sunshine State
2003 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Special Our America
2003 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film The Rosa Parks Story
2003 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture The Sunshine State
2005 BET Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Theatrical Film Mr. 3000
2005 Black Reel Award Best Actress Mr. 3000
2005 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture Mr. 3000
2006 Black Movie Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress Akeelah and the Bee
2007 BET Award Best Actress Akeelah and the Bee
2007 Black Reel Award Best Supporting Actress Akeelah and the Bee
2007 Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Akeelah and the Bee
2008 BET Award Best Actress Meet the Browns
2009 BET Award Best Actress ER
2009 BET Award Best Actress Notorious
2009 Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture Meet the Browns
2009 Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series ER
2012 BET Award Best Actress Jumping the Broom
2012 Black Reel Award Best Supporting Actress Jumping the Broom

Filmography

Film

Year Film Role Notes
1986 F/X TV Reporter
1990 Kindergarten Cop Stewardess
1991 Critters 4 Fran Released Straight-to-Video
1991 Boyz n the Hood Reva Devereaux
1991 City of Hope Reesha
1992 Passion Fish Dawn/Rhonda
1992 Innocent Blood U.S. Attorney Sinclair
1992 Malcolm X Betty Shabazz
1993 What's Love Got to Do with It Anna Mae Bullock/Tina Turner
1995 Vampire in Brooklyn Det. Rita Veder
1995 Panther Betty Shabazz
1995 Strange Days Lornette 'Mace' Mason
1995 Waiting to Exhale Bernadine 'Bernie' Harris
1997 Contact Rachel Constantine
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Stella
1999 Our Friend, Martin Miles' Mom Voice role, released Straight-to-Video
1999 Music of the Heart Principal Janet Williams
2000 Supernova Dr. Kaela Evers
2000 Whispers: An Elephant's Tale Groove Voice Role
2000 Boesman and Lena Lena
2001 ' Diane
2002 Sunshine State Desiree Stokes Perry
2002 The Rosa Parks Story Rosa Parks Broadcast by CBS on February 24, 2002
2003 Unchained Memories Reader
2003 Masked and Anonymous Mistress
2004 ' Dr. Elizabeth Chase
2004 Mr. 3000 Maureen 'Mo' Simmons
2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Mr. Smith's Boss Uncredited voice role
2006 Akeelah and the Bee Tanya Anderson
2007 Meet the Robinsons Mildred Voice role
2008 Gospel Hill Sarah Malcolm
2008 Of Boys and Men Rieta Cole
2008 Meet the Browns Brenda Brown
2008 Nothing But the Truth Bonnie Benjamin
2009 Notorious Voletta Wallace
2011 Jumping the Broom Mrs. Watson
2011 Green Lantern Amanda Waller
2012 This Means War Collins
2012 I Ain't Scared Of You Herself
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Lynne Jacobs
2013 Black Nativity Post-production

Television

Year Film Role Notes
1988 Doubletake Prostitute at Headquarters CBS TV-Movie
1985 Spenser: For Hire Joe's Daughter Episode: "The Choice"
1985, 1988 ' Mrs. Mitchell
Paula
Episode: "Mr. Quiet"
Episode: "Bookworm"
1986 Liberty Linda Thornton NBC TV-Movie
1987 Ryan's Hope Leonie Peach
1989 ' Bailey Webster Episodes: "The Master's Mirror" and "Never My Love"
1989 Tour of Duty Lt. Camilla Patterson Episodes: "Hard Stripe" and "The Volunteer"
1989 227 Amy Burnett Episode: "A Pampered Tale"
1989 Thirtysomething Kate Harriton Episode: "Legacy"
1990 Family of Spies Bev Andress CBS TV-Movie
1990 Alien Nation Renee Longstreet Episode: "Eyewitness News"
1990 Challenger Cheryl McNair ABC TV-Movie
1990 Equal Justice Janet Fields Episode: "Goodbye, Judge Green"
1990 In the Best Interest of the Child Lori CBS TV-Movie
1990 Perry Mason: In the Case of the Silenced Singer Carla Peters NBC TV-Movie
1991 Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story Pat NBC TV-Movie
1991 ' Linda Lake Episode: "Beat the Clock"
1991 Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor Allison ABC TV-Movie
1991 Stat Dr. Willie Burns Episode: "Ladyfinger"
1991 ' Lt. Phoebe Jeter ABC TV-Movie
1991 Locked Up: A Mother's Rage Willie TV-Movie
1991 One Special Victory Lois NBC TV-Movie
1992 Nightmare Cafe Evelyn Episode: "Sanctuary for a Child"
1992 ' Katherine Jackson ABC Miniseries
1995 Get Smart Uncredited role as Runway Model Episode: "Pilot"
2001 Ruby's Bucket of Blood Ruby Delacroix Showtime TV-Movie
2002 ' Rosa Parks CBS TV-Movie
2003 Freedom: A History of Us Sheyann Webb
Melba Pattillo
PBS Miniseries
Episodes: "Marching to Freedom Land" and "Let Freedom Ring"
2003 The Bernie Mac Show Herself Episode: Laughing Matters
2005 Alias CIA Director Hayden Chase Episodes: "Authorized Personnel Only", "The Index", "The Descent" and "Search And Rescue"
2006 Time Bomb Jill Greco CBS TV-Movie
2008"
2009
ER Dr. Cate Banfield
2010 ' First Lady Michelle Obama Episode: Stealing First Base (voice)
2013 Betty & Coretta Coretta Scott King
2013 American Horror Story: Coven Marie Laveau



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Angela_Bassett" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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