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Angela Bassett Biography (1958–)

Angela Bassett is an Academy Award- and Emmy Award-nominated actress known for roles in What’s Love Got to Do With It, Waiting to Exhale, Malcolm X and The Rosa Parks Story.

Who Is Angela Bassett?

Born on August 16, 1958, in New York City, Angela Bassett attended the Yale School of Drama and went on to star in the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, for which the actress received an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Other films have included Waiting to ExhaleHow Stella Got Her Groove BackStrange DaysSupernova and Mr. 3000. She wed fellow actor Courtney B. Vance in 1997.

Angela Bassett Photo

Angela Bassett

Movies and TV Shows

‘Malcolm X,’ ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’

Despite her early success on stage, Bassett had to work hard to break through the stereotypical roles usually assigned to African-American women on screen. Her first role was a bit part in the cult favorite, F/X (1986). In 1991, she had a key role in John Singleton‘s seminal anti-gang film, Boyz ‘N the Hood. A year later, she landed the role of Katherine Jackson, mother of the Jackson Five singing group, in The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992). Bassett continued taking on strong female roles by portraying Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X, in Spike Lee‘s Malcolm X (1992), starring Denzel Washington in the title role. She turned in an outstanding performance in her breakthrough role as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It? (1993), earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

‘Waiting to Exhale,’ ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back’

Bassett costarred with Whitney Houston in the adaptation of Terry McMillan’s Waiting To Exhale in 1995. In 1998 she headlined another McMillan adaptation, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. In Jodie Foster‘s extraterrestrial-encounter film, Contact (1997), Bassett portrayed a top-level presidential advisor. Back on stage, Bassett played Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare‘s Hamlet, costarring Alec Baldwin, at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York City in 1998.

‘ER,’ ‘Akeelah and the Bee’

A versatile performer, Bassett has continued to tackle a diverse mix of projects. She shared the stage with her husband Courtney B. Vance in a regional production of His Girl Friday in 2005. The pair also appeared together in the final season of the hit television drama ER from 2008 to 2009.

On the big screen, Bassett starred in 2006’s Akeelah and the Bee with Keke Palmer and Laurence Fishburne. She played the mother of an inner city spelling whiz who tries for a national championship. Bassett went on to play the mother of slain rapper Christopher “Biggie” Wallace in 2009’s biopic Notorious. In 2011, she appeared in several films, including the wedding comedy Jump the Broom and the comic book adaptation of Green Lantern.

Wedding Favors Gift Bag Ideas

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