||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
Bassett at the 2007 Red Dress Collection for The Heart Truth campaign
|Born||Angela Evelyn Bassett
August 16, 1958
Harlem, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University, Yale School of Drama|
|Spouse(s)||Courtney B. Vance (m. 1997)|
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, 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. She is currently starring on the FX horror series American Horror Story: Coven, as Marie Laveau.
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.
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. As well, Angela appeared in a heart breaking,and inspiring family movie called "of Boys and Men" in 2008(Wikipedia;Bounce tv). She co-starred along side Robert Townsend, who played her husband in this movie.
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 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.
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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.
Angela and her husband and their children live in Los Angles
Awards and nominations
|1986||Liberty||Linda Thornton||Television movie|
|1988||Doubletake||Prostitute at Headquarters||Television movie|
|1990||Family of Spies||Bev Andress||Television movie|
|1990||Challenger||Cheryl McNair||Television movie|
|1990||In the Best Interest of the Child||Lori||Television movie|
|1990||Perry Mason: In the Case of the Silenced Singer||Carla Peters||Television movie|
|1991||Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story||Pat||Television movie|
|1991||Boyz n the Hood||Reva Devereaux|
|1991||Heroes of Desert Storm, TheThe Heroes of Desert Storm||Lt. Phoebe Jeter||Television movie|
|1991||Locked Up: A Mother's Rage||Willie||Television movie|
|1991||One Special Victory||Lois||Television movie|
|1991||City of Hope||Reesha|
|1991||Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor||Allison||Television movie|
|1992||Innocent Blood||U.S. Attorney Sinclair|
|1992||Jacksons: An American Dream, TheThe Jacksons: An American Dream||Katherine Jackson||Television movie|
|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||Strange Days||Lornette 'Mace' Mason|
|1995||Waiting to Exhale||Bernadine 'Bernie' Harris|
|1998||How Stella Got Her Groove Back||Stella|
|1999||Our Friend, Martin||Miles' Mom||Voice role|
|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||Score, TheThe Score||Diane|
|2001||Ruby's Bucket of Blood||Ruby Delacroix||Television movie|
|2002||Sunshine State||Desiree Stokes Perry|
|2002||The Rosa Parks Story||Rosa Parks||Television movie|
|2003||Masked and Anonymous||Mistress|
|2004||Lazarus Child, TheThe Lazarus Child||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|
|2006||Time Bomb||Jill Greco||Television movie|
|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|
|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||Betty & Coretta||Coretta Scott King||Television movie|
|2013||Olympus Has Fallen||Lynne Jacobs|
|2013||Black Nativity||Angela Cobbs||Post-production|
|1985||Spenser: For Hire||Joe's Daughter||Episode: "The Choice"|
|1985||Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show||Mrs. Mitchell||Episode: "Mr. Quiet"|
|1987||Ryan's Hope||Leonie Peach||Unknown episodes|
|1988||Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show||Paula||Episode: "Bookworm"|
|1989||Man Called Hawk, AA Man Called Hawk||Bailey Webster||3 episodes|
|1989||Tour of Duty||Lt. Camilla Patterson||2 episodes|
|1989||227||Amy Burnett||Episode: "A Pampered Tale"|
|1989||Thirtysomething||Kate Harriton||Episode: "Legacy"|
|1990||Alien Nation||Renee Longstreet||Episode: "Eyewitness News"|
|1990||Equal Justice||Janet Fields||Episode: "Goodbye, Judge Green"|
|1991||Flash, TheThe Flash||Linda Lake||Episode: "Beat the Clock"|
|1991||Stat||Dr. Willie Burns||Episode: "Ladyfinger"|
|1992||Nightmare Cafe||Evelyn||Episode: "Sanctuary for a Child"|
|1995||Get Smart||Uncredited role as Runway Model||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2003||Freedom: A History of Us||Sheyann Webb||Episode: "Marching to Freedom Land"|
|2003||Freedom: A History of Us||Melba Pattillo||Episode: "Let Freedom Ring"|
|2003||The Bernie Mac Show||Herself||Episode: Laughing Matters|
|2005||Alias||CIA Director Hayden Chase||4 episodes|
|2008–2009||ER||Dr. Cate Banfield||21 episodes|
|2010||Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons||First Lady Michelle Obama||Episode: "Stealing First Base"|
|2013||American Horror Story: Coven||Marie Laveau||9 episodes|
- Excerpt from "FRIENDS: A Love Story" Faithful Reader.com
- "Angela Bassett Biography (1958–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- Weinraub, Bernard (1993-06-23). "As Tina Turner, Wig to High Heels –". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "FoxFlash". FoxFlash. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- By (2010-03-24). "Angela Bassett joins 'Green Lantern' Cast @ Variety". Variety.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "Angela Bassett Cast in ABC's One Police Plaza". TVGuide.com. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Introducing Slater and Bronwyn ANGELA, COURTNEY, SLATER & BRONWYN at People Magazine Photo Special
- "ANGELA BASSETT IS A BUSY WORKING MOM" September 19, 2008, Black Celeb Kids
- "Bssett and Vance On Oprah" Oprahcom
- "Executive Speakers Bureau, Angela Bassett". Executivespeakers.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "[Photos] Actress Angela Bassett & Susan L Taylor Become Members of Delta Sigma Theta". theJasmineBRAND. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Angela Bassett.|
- Angela Bassett at the Internet Movie Database
- Angela Bassett at the Internet Broadway Database
- Angela Bassett at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Angela Bassett at AllRovi