A quality human being.



Angela Bassett

Born: August 16, 1958; New York, NY
Spouse/Dating: Courtney Vance (aka Courtney B. Vance), married October 12, 1997 (they have known each other since their days at Yale University)
Family: Mother, Betty Bassett, divorced, civil servant for Florida's Health and Human Services Agency; Sister, D'nette Bassett; younger
Education: Yale School of Drama, MFA Yale University
Height: 5' 4"
Sign: Leo


Awards Include:
>2001: Nominated, NAACP Image Award, Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for: Boesman and Lena (2000)
>2000: Winnner, NAACP Image Award, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for: Music of the Heart (1999)
>1999: Winner, NAACP Image Award , Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture for: How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
>1999: Winner, Black Film Award, Acapulco Black Film Festival, Best Actress for: How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
>1998: Nominated, NAACP Image Award, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for: Contact (1997)
>1996: Nominated, Daytime Emmy, Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series for: "Storytime"
>1996: Winner, Saturn Award, Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films; Best Actress for: Strange Days (1995)
>1996: Winner, NAACP Image Award , Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture for: Waiting to Exhale (1995)
1996: Winner, Women in Film Crystal Award
>1994: Nominated, Oscar, Best Actress for: What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
>1994: Winner, Golden Apple, Female Discovery of The Year
>1994: Winner, Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical for: What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
>1994: Winner, NAACP Image Award, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture for: What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
>1994: Winner, NAACP Image Award, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for: Malcolm X (1992)
>1994: Nominated, MTV Movie Award, Best Female Performance for: What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)


Film/Stage Credits Include:
>2001: Cosm
>2001: Ruby's Bucket of Blood (TV)
>2001: Score, The
>2000: Boesman and Lena....Lena
>2000: Whispers: An Elephant's Tale (voice)....Groove
>2000: Supernova....Kaela Evers
>1999: Our Friend, Martin (TV, voice)....Miles' Mom
>1999: Wings Against the Wind....Bessie Coleman
>1999: Music of the Heart....Janet Williams
>1998: Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery (mini TV Series)....Narrator
>1998: How Stella Got Her Groove Back....Stella Payne
>1998: Shakespeare's Macbeth - Lady Macbeth (co-starred Alec Baldwin as Macbeth) Joseph Papp Public Theater, New York City
>1997: Contact ....Rachel Constantine
>1995: Strange Days....Lornette "Mace" Mason
>1995: Panther....Betty Shabazz
>1995: Vampire in Brooklyn....Rita
>1995: Waiting to Exhale....Bernadine Harris
>1995: Reading Rainbow - Herself
>1994: Century of Women, A (mini TV Series)….voice
>1993: What's Love Got to Do with It....Tina Turner

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Angela Bassett (cont.)

>1992: Heroes of Desert Storm, The (TV)....Lieutenant Jeter
>1992: Innocent Blood....U.S. Attorney Sinclair
>1992: Locked Up: A Mother's Rage TV)....Willie
>1992: Malcolm X....Betty Shabazz
>1992: Jacksons: An American Dream, The (TV)....Katherine Jackson
>1992: Passion Fish....Dawn/Rhonda
>1992: Nightmare Café - Evelyn - episode: Sanctuary for a Child
>1991: City of Hope....Reesha
>1991: Critters 4 (TV)....Fran
>1991: One Special Victory (TV)
>1991: Fire! Trapped on the 37th Floor (TV)....Allison
>1991: Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story (TV)....Pat
>1991: Boyz N the Hood....Reva Devereaux
>1991: Flash, The" - Linda Lake - episode: Beat the Clock
>1990: Kindergarten Cop....Stewardess
>1990: In the Best Interest of the Child (TV)....Lori
>1990: Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer (TV)....Carla Peters
>1990: Challenger (TV)....Cheryl McNair
>1990: Family of Spies (TV)....Bev Andress
>1990: Alien Nation - Renee Longstreet - episode: Eyewitness News
>1989: thirtysomething - Kate Harriton - episode: Legacy
>1989: Tour of Duty -Lt. Camilla Patterson - episode: Volunteer, The
>1989: Tour of Duty -Lt. Camilla Patterson - episode: Hard Stripe
>1989: Man Called Hawk, A - Bailey Webster
>1988: Cosby Show, The – Paula - episode: Bookworm
>1986: F/X....Television Reporter...
>1985: Doubletake (TV ....Prostitute at Headquarters
>1985: Spenser: For Hire - Joe's Daughter - episode: Choice, The
>1985: Cosby Show, The - Mrs. Mitchell - episode: Mr. Quiet


Profile:

   Born in New York City, Angela was raised along with her sister by their single mother in the housing projects of Saint Petersburg, Florida. In the 11th grade, Angela went with a group of students on a field trip to Washington D.C. as part of the Upward Bound program. While there, they attended a production of "Of Mice and Men" starring James Earl Jones at the Kennedy Center. Angela was so moved by Jones' performance that she made up her mind right then and there to be an actress. She immediately took on roles in school plays and church productions.
   A bright student with a passion for education, Angela was encouraged by a high school teacher to apply for a scholarship to Yale. She did and was accepted.
   At Yale, Angela first earned a B.A. in Afro-American Studies. She remained at the prestigious university for seven years and after her graduate studies she stayed on for another three years to earn a Masters degree in Drama under the tutelage of well known Broadway director Lloyd Richards. Richards was so impressed with Angela's passionate stagecraft that he later cast her in the Broadway productions, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone." She received critical acclaim for her performances in both plays.
   After graduation, Angela moved to New York and it wasn't long before she was landing roles in off-Broadway productions and daytime soaps filmed in New York. She also starred in the off-Broadway productions of "Colored People's Time," "Black Girl," and in Joseph Papp's production of "Henry IV, Part I."
   Entering television and film was emotionally difficult for her since most of the roles she was offered were stereotypical. One of her first higher-profile roles in a mini-series called "Doubletake" was as a hooker.
   Despite the early constraints of black stereotyping, Angela's talent always showed through, and she gave great performances despite the trite material she often had to deal with.
   While working Broadway and the soaps, Angela also entered the movie audition process along with hundreds of other actors. She outperformed the competition and in 1986, Bassett made her screen debut in a small role in the cult favorite "F/X." Soon to follow were small roles in "Kindergarten Cop," and in John Sayles' movies "City of Hope" and "Passion Fish."

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Angela Bassett (cont.)

   
Her first significant screen role was in John Singleton's 1991 acclaimed "Boyz 'N the Hood," where she played a struggling single mother. She next landed a role in "What's Love Got to Do With It" with costar Laurence Fishburne. Then came the role of the wife of civil rights leader Malcolm X opposite Denzel Washington in the Spike Lee biopic.
   
Angela next shined in her portrayal of the Jackson Family matriarch, Katherine, in the made-for-TV movie "The Jacksons: An American Dream." But her big screen breakthrough was yet to come.
   As Tina Turner in "What's Love Got to Do with It?," Angela truely achieved Hollywood star status. Her performance earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination and won her a Golden Globe.
   The oddity of her stardom role was that she had never seen Tina Turner perform before accepting the part. She actually had to spend an enormous amount of time reviewing and studying videos, tapes and live performances of Tina's work to get the passion and characterization for the role.
   Praise for her performance in "What's Love Got to Do with It?" came from many sources. Laurence Fishburne, her co-star in the movie, was very outspoken in his praise saying, "She's a bad motherf•••••. Angie B. is all that and the Sunday papers, too." The man was thoroughly impressed.
   Angela is a fearless and insatiable actor, tackling roles usually reserved for what the Hollywood elite consider "Serious" actors. These days she is often compared to Meryl Streep, who many consider the most "Serious" actor in the business. Angela's beguiling skill as an actor has even added sorely needed class to films like the sci-fi flick "Strange Days" and "Vampire in Brooklyn."
   Since her Golden Globe winning performance, Angela has gone on to star in a series of diverse films.
   She tackled the futuristic action of "Strange Days" and Forest Whitaker's 1995 adaptation of the best-selling Terry McMillan novel "Waiting To Exhale," which allowed Angela to challenge Hollywood's black stereotyping. Her pivital performance, supported by music legend Whitney Houston and Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine, absolutely destroyed the ghetto-myth surrounding "black" actors and "black" movies.
   In 1998, she starred in another McMillan project, "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," as an older divorcee in a heated relationship with a young twenty-year-old (Taye Diggs). She also grabbed a supporting role in "Music of the Heart" as an East Harlem school principal. She co-starred in the film with the "Serious" Meryl Streep.
   Her performance as a presidential advisor in the extraterrestrial-encounter film "Contact"with Oscar winner Jodie Foster was brilliant and pricked the bloated Hollywood stereotype balloon by being commendably colorless.
   Her latest film "Boesman and Lena," about a South African couple living during the days of apartheid is another brilliant performance, worthy of Oscar consideration. The film was shot in South Africa under extremely difficult conditions. In an interview with TV Guide, Angela described some of the harsh working conditions surrounding the making of the movie.
   "There was only one way to cope," she said. "On weekends you just go and get pampered physically and have them suck the dirt out of you," she explained. "I'd go for a nice massage or a facial, but I'd know that the next day I was going to have go back to the set and do it all over again."
   Sadly, local people actually saw the shanty town that the filmmakers built for the movie as a better place to live than where they were at.
   "We had to have security keeping them out because they were ready to move right in," Angela said. "Then, as part of the film, we had to bulldoze and burn everything down. For those people, we were destroying a potential shelter which they would have made good use of. That does sadden you."
   Angela recently returned to her Broadway roots, appearing at the New York Shakespeare Festival as Lady Macbeth opposite Alec Baldwin.
   A testament to the respect she now commands in Hollywood, Angela was recently cast by CBS for the lead role in the first authorized project about civil rights trailblazer Rosa Parks. Ms. Parks, herself, will be involved in the production.
   Angela Bassett is one of the few African American women to shatter Hollywood's color barrier – a testimony to the excellence of her acting abilities and the quality human being that she is.