Alice at the 45th Emmy Awards Governor's Ball, 1993.
|Born||Mary Alice Smith
December 3, 1941 
Indianola, Mississippi, U.S.
|Education||Chicago Teacher's College|
|Known for||Effie Williams – Sparkle
Leticia "Lettie" Bostic – A Different World
Mary Alice Smith (born December 3, 1941), known professionally as Mary Alice, is an American film, television and stage actress. Alice has appeared in over 50 television shows and feature films over the course of her career which spanned over four decades. Alice is best known for her most notable roles; Leticia "Lettie" Bostic on NBC's A Different World (1987–1989), Effie Williams in the 1976 musical drama Sparkle. In addition to her career on television and film, Alice also performed on the theater stage; appearing in the 1987–88 stage production of August Wilson's Fences for which she received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her work in 1987.
Life and career
Born Mary Alice Smith in Indianola, Mississippi, Alice is the daughter of Ozelar (née Jurnakin) and Sam Smith. Alice had an ability to act and began her career on stage in her hometown. Alice family moved from Mississippi to Chicago, Illinois when she was two years old. Alice graduated from Chicago Teacher's Union (now known as Chicago State University) and later taught at elementary school level. Alice started acting in community theater productions in the mid–1960s, appearing in three of playwright Douglass Turner Ward's plays; "Days of Absence" and "Happy Endings". In addition to acting in the plays, Alice also washed the cast's laundry for a salary of $200 a week.
Alice made her screen debut in 1974 film The Education of Sonny Carson, and later guest-starred in Police Woman and Sanford and Son. Alice played Ellie Grant Hubbard on soap opera All My Children in the mid–1980s, and co–starred in A Different World as Leticia 'Lettie' Bostic from the series start in 1987 until the end of the second season in 1989. Alice won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1993 for I'll Fly Away (1991–1993). Alice's other film credits include Malcolm X (1992), The Inkwell (1994) and Down in the Delta with Alfre Woodard. In 2000, Alice was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Alice replaced Gloria Foster in the film The Matrix Revolutions and video game Enter The Matrix as the Oracle, after Foster died in 2001.
|1974||The Education of Sonny Carson||Moms|
|1974||The Sty of the Blind Pig||Alberta Warren||Television movie|
|1976||Just an Old Sweet Song||Helen Mayfield||Television movie|
|1979||Lawman Without a Gun||Minnie Hayward||Television movie|
|1981||The Color of Friendship||Mrs. Garth|
|1983||The Brass Ring||Mrs. Hauser||Television movie|
|1984||Beat Street||Cora Kirkland|
|1984||Concealed Enemies||Edith Murray|
|1985||Charlotte Forten's Mission: Experiment in Freedom||Blind Lily|
|1990||To Sleep with Anger||Suzie||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead|
|1990||The Bonfire of the Vanities||Annie Lamb|
|1992||Malcolm X||School teacher|
|1993||A Perfect World||Lottie|
|1993||Laurel Avenue||Maggie Arnett||Television movie
Nominated—CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
|1993||Life with Mikey||Mrs. Gordon|
|1994||The Vernon Johns Story||Altona||Television movie|
|1995||Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder||Adele Thompson||Television movie|
|1996||Bed of Roses||Alice|
|1998||Down in the Delta||Rosa Lynn Sinclair|
|1999||Catfish in Black Bean Sauce||Dolores Williams|
|1999||The Wishing Tree||Mattie|
|2001||The Last Brickmaker in America||Dorothy Cobb||Television movie|
|2002||Sunshine State||Mrs. Eunice Stokes|
|2002||The Life||Emiline Crane||Short film|
|2003||The Matrix Revolutions||The Oracle||Nominated—Black Reel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress|
|1975||Police Woman||Marnie||Episode: "Target Black"|
|1975||Sanford and Son||Frances Victor||2 episodes|
|1975||Good Times||Loretta||Episode: "The Baby"|
|1975||The Family Holvak||Samantha Wilson||Episode: "The Tribute"|
|1976||Insight||Karen Fuller||Episode: "Juvie"|
|1976||Serpico||Angel||Episode: "The Traitor in Our Midst"|
|1976||Visions||Evelyn Burrell||Episode: "Scenes from the Middle Class"|
|1980||All My Children||Ellie Grant Hubbard||Unknown episodes|
|1987–1989||A Different World||Leticia "Lettie" Bostic||25 episodes|
|1989||The Women of Brewster Place||Fannie Michael||2 episodes|
|1990||L.A. Law||Maxine Manley||Episode: "Watts a Matter?"|
|1992||I'll Fly Away||Marguerite Peck||7 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
|1993||Law & Order||Virginia Bryan||Episode: "Mother Love"|
|1994||Great Performances||N/A||Episode: "Paddy Chayefsky's 'The Mother'"|
|1997||Orleans||Ella Clark||Episode: "Baby-Sitting"|
|2000||Touched by an Angel||Georgia Bishop||Episode: "God Bless the Child"|
|2000||Providence||Abby Franklin||Episode: "The Gift"|
|2001||Soul Food||Mrs. Pettaway||Episode: "Sex and Money"|
|2002||Oz||Eugenia Hill||Episode: "Visitation"|
|2004||Line of Fire||Jackie Simon||Episode: "The Senator"|
|2004||The Jury||Elaine Nebatoff||Episode: "Memories"|
|2005||Kojak||Joyce||Episode: "All That Glitters"|
|1969–1971||No Place to Be Somebody||Cora Beasley|
|1987–1988||Fences||Rose||Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
|1994–1995||The Shadow Box||Maggie|
|1995||Having Our Say||Dr. Bessie Delaney||Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
Nominated—Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play
- TV.COM - Mary Alice
- Playbill - Mary Alice
- Hollywood - Mary Alice
- August Wilson's Fences - Ladrica Menson-Furr
- "Mary Alice". The Broadway League. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- JET Magazine – Entertainment: 'Fences', Jones, Grabs Top Tonys For Drama – June 22, 1987
- Mary Alice Biography (1941-)
- "Mary Alice- Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Encyclopedia - Alice, Mary (1941-)
- McCann, Bob (2007). "Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television". Google Books. McFarland. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- "Theater family comes together to celebrate Hall of Fame honorees". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- Scott, A. O. (November 5, 2003). "The Matrix Revolutions (2003) FILM REVIEW; The Game Concludes With Light And Noise". The New York Times.