Alluring audiences with emotionally tinged performances has been the signature of Angela Bassett who personifies a sense of dignity and pride whenever she appears on screen. Her talent and abilities as an actress and executive producer in both television and film have time and again earned the respect and acclaim from her peers and her fans to prove herself to be one of the industry’s premier leading ladies.
Bassett most recently starred opposite Laurence Fishburne in the critically-acclaimed Akeelah and the Bee for Lions Gate Films. Currently, Bassett is receiving rave reviews again for her work with Fishburne in August Wilson’s classic play Fences at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse.
Next up is the release of a book she co-wrote with her husband, actor Courtney B. Vance, entitled FRIENDS: A Love Story. The inspirational book is the real-life love story of Bassett and Vance, who were friends for many years before marrying. Then in March 2007, Bassett voices the character Mildred in the animated Disney film “Meet the Robinsons,” based on the successful children’s book of the same name by William Joyce.
Perhaps best known for her intense portrayal of Tina Turner in the biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It opposite Laurence Fishburne, Bassett earned the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama as well as an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture and earned an Academy Award nomination for her powerful performance.
Bassett has also received NAACP Image Awards for her performance in How Stella Got Her Groove Back opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Taye Diggs as well as her supporting roles in The Score opposite Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando, Music of the Heart with Meryl Streep, and Malcolm X opposite Denzel Washington. She was also recognized for her leading role in the television movie “Ruby’s Bucket of Blood,” bringing her total number of Image Awards to nine. In addition, she received NAACP Image Award nominations for her work in the sci-fi blockbuster Contact opposite Jodie Foster and Boesman and Lena with Danny Glover. Bassett also received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her performance in “Ruby’s Bucket of Blood.” She received an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a television movie for her work in “The Rosa Parks Story.”
Other memorable roles include a recurring role in the hit drama series “Alias,” the comedy Mr. 3000 with Bernie Mac, John Sayles’ Sunshine State with Edie Falco, Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale co-starring Whitney Houston, James Cameron’s futuristic Strange Days with Ralph Fiennes, Vampire in Brooklyn opposite Eddie Murphy, and Supernova with James Spader.
Beginning her career on stage, this Yale School of Drama graduate completed several productions on and off Broadway, which include “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Colored People’s Time,” “Henry IV, Part I” and “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “Antigone,” Pericles,” and Black Girl.” She returned to the stage in 1998 to star opposite Alec Baldwin in “Macbeth” at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York.
Bassett first made the successful crossover to the silver screen when she appeared in a small but rich role as the ambitious single mother who sends her son to live with his father in John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood. She also appeared in the ABC mini-series “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” receiving critical raves for her touching performance as Katherine Jackson as well as receiving an Emmy nomination for the “Uncle Jed’s Barbershop” episode of PBS’ Storytime; and critical nods for narrating miniseries, “Africans in America,” also for PBS.
Bassett currently splits her residency in Los Angeles and New York with her husband, fellow actor Courtney B. Vance.
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