Norma Donaldson

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Norma Donaldson
Donaldson in 1972
Norma Mae Donaldson

(1928-07-08)July 8, 1928
DiedNovember 22, 1994(1994-11-22) (aged 66)
Resting placeForest Lawn Cemetery (Buffalo)
OccupationActress, Singer
Years active1950–94

Norma Mae Donaldson (July 8, 1928 – November 22, 1994) was an American actress and singer. Perhaps she is best known for her roles, as Miss Adelaide in the 1976 revival of Guys and Dolls; Lillie Belle Barber on the CBS television soap opera The Young and the Restless, in which she played from 1990 until her death in 1994.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Harlem, Donaldson launched her career as a nightclub singer and then toured with Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne. She appeared in an episode of Callback! on March 8, 1969. Barry Manilow was music director of this show. In 1971, Donaldson began appearing in some Blaxploitation films such as 1972's Across 110th Street and 1974's Willie Dynamite. In 1975, she began acting on Broadway and was most famous for portraying the loveless chorine Miss Adelaide, opposite Robert Guillaume, in an all-black revival of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls in 1976. She and Guillaume were again paired in Purlie and No Place to be Somebody. Prior to her lengthy recurring role on "The Young and the Restless", she had played Dr. Paulina Ravelle on General Hospital on a recurring basis from 1987 to 1989, who strove to prevent her daughter, Simone, from marrying the white Dr. Tom Hardy. Donaldson died of cancer at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on November 22, 1994 at 66 years old. She was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York.


Year Title Role Notes
1956 The Happiest Girl in the World Martha Broadway play
The Baby and the Battleship Dr. Bryce Broadway play, Uncredited
1970 Hallelujah, Baby! Ruby Jean Broadway play
1972 Across 110th Street Gloria Roberts
1974 Willie Dynamite Honey
1975 Good Times Mrs. Baker Episode: Michael's Big Fall
The Jeffersons Dale Parker Episode: George and the Manager
1976 Guys and Dolls Miss Adelaide Broadway musical
1977 All in the Family Ms. Watson Episode: Archie Gets the Business: Part 1
Archie Gets the Business: Part 2
1978 Watch Your Mouth Mrs. Littlejohn Episode: Handsomest Boy
What's Happening!! Mrs. Miller Episode: No Clothes Make the Man
1979 Archie Bunker's Place Ms. Watson Episode: The Cook
Archie's New Partner: Part 1
Archie's New Partner: Part 2
1980 9 to 5 Betty
Willow B: Women in Prison Mrs. McCallister (TV movie)
1981 Inmates: A Love Story Lila (TV movie)
1982 CHiPS Mrs. Schoonover Episode: Overload
Farrell for the People Mrs. Grey (TV movie)
1983 Intimate Agony Dr. Bynn TV movie
Staying Alive Fatima
1988 The Unholy Abby
1989 thirtysomething Bernice Episode: No Promises
Matlock Shirley Taylor Episode: The Good Boy
1990 House Party Mildred
The Young and the Restless Lillie Bell Barber Regular (1990–94), (final appearance)
1991 The Five Heartbeats Mrs. Sawyer
1993 Poetic Justice Aunt May


External links[edit]