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1.
Angela Bassett
Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son...
 
2.
Vanessa Williams
Actress, Eraser
Vanessa Lynn Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and she has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television...
 
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Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex), and younger sister, dancer and actress Debbie Allen, lived in Mexico. She has another brother...
 
4.
Lynn Whitfield
Actress, Stepmom
With roots that lead back to Louisiana southern aristocracy, lovely leading lady Lynn Whitfield was born in 1953, the eldest of four children and a third-generation BFA graduate from Howard University. Her dentist father was instrumental in developing Lynn's initial interest in acting as he was a prime figure in forming community theater in her native Baton Rouge...
 
6.
Jo Marie Payton
JoMarie Payton was born in in Albany, Georgia on August 3, 1950. Her father, Driscoll Payton, was a construction worker and mother, Frankie Bell Payton, was a maid. They moved to the Miami suburb of Opa-Locka, Florida in 1950. JoMarie was the second of nine children. JoMarie's first performance on stage was at the tender age of six years old...
 
7.
Janet Hubert
Janet Louise Hubert was born in Chicago, IL. She is best known for playing the sassy, witty, outgoing, protective mom on the hit TV sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Janet Hubert spent most of her childhood growing up in Momence, IL. That changed when she won a scholarship to Julliard School in New York City...
 
8.
Pam Grier
Actress, Jackie Brown
Pam Grier was born in Winston-Salem, NC, one of four children of Gwendolyn Sylvia (Samuels), a nurse, and Clarence Ransom Grier Jr., an Air Force mechanic. Pam has been a major African-American star from the early 1970s. Her career started in 1971, when Roger Corman of New World Pictures launched her with The Big Doll House...
 
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Anna Maria Horsford
Anna Maria Horsford was born and raised in Harlem, New York. Her parents immigrated to the United States from the island nation Antigua & Barbuda, in the West Indies (then a British colony), during the 1940s. Anna grew up not really feeling American but not West Indian either, just somewhere in between...
 
12.
BernNadette Stanis
Actress, Good Times
BernNadette Stanis is best known as Thelma from Good Times, but there's much more to her than that. In the 1970s she was the personification of black beauty. As sophisticated and graceful as she was, she still became TV's first black sex symbol or "It" girl. Thelma/BernNadette and the Evans family also proved many stereotypes wrong about the ghetto and the young black girl...
 
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Alfre Woodard
Actress, Primal Fear
Alfre Woodard was born on November 8, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the youngest of three children of Constance, a homemaker, and Marion H. Woodard, an interior designer. She was named by her godmother, who claimed she saw a vision of Alfre's name written out in gold letters. A former high school cheerleader and track star...
 
16.
Loretta Devine
Actress, Crash
Loretta Devine was born August 21, 1949 in Houston, Texas, to Eunice O'Neal (née Toliver), a beautician, and James Devine, who worked as a laborer. Loretta grew up in the Acres Home area of Houston and later enrolled at the University of Houston, where she earned a a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama...
 
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Jenifer Lewis
Jenifer Lewis Jenifer Lewis is one of Hollywood's most familiar faces, with more than 300 appearances in film and television. Dubbed a "national treasure" by TV Guide.com, Jenifer currently stars on the hit show Black-ish (ABC), where her hilarious portrayal of "Ruby Johnson" earned her a nomination for the 2016 Critics Choice Award...
 
19.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Actress, Moesha
Sheryl Lee Ralph was born December 30, 1956 in Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. She is known for her roles in Moesha (1996), Its A Living (1980), and Instant Mom (2013). Her Career Began in the late 1970's. She has been Married to Vincent Hughes since July 30, 2005 a Pennsylvania state senator. She was previously married to Eric Maurice.
 
20.
Jackée Harry
Jackée Harry was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and reared from the age of nine in Harlem, New York, by her mother, Flossie. At the tender age of fourteen, Jackée landed the lead role of the King in her school's production of The King and I. Upon graduation from New York City's High School of Music and Art with a distinction in Opera...
 
21.
Debbi Morgan
Debbie Morgan was born September 20, 1956 in Dunn, North Carolina, to Lora and George Morgan, Jr., she moved to New York City when she was three months old. Debbie's earliest film role was in Cry Uncle . She played the role of Olga Winter. Her most memorable role was on the television series All My Children...
 
22.
Tina Turner
Soundtrack, GoldenEye
After almost fifty years in the music business, Tina Turner has become one of the most commercially-successful international female rock stars to date. Her sultry, powerful voice, her incredible legs, her time-tested beauty and her unforgettable story all contribute to her legendary status. Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush...
 
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Ja'net DuBois
Actress, Good Times
Ja'Net is a multi-talented and diverse performer. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY and began her career on Broadway. She has appeared in various plays, including "Golden Boy" with Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr., and "A Raisin in the Sun". Ja'Net moved onto TV roles, receiving a Peabody Award for a 1969 CBS children's movie J.T....
 
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Regina Taylor
Actress, The Unit
While TV audiences best remember Regina Taylor for her empathic portrayal of housekeeper Lilly Harper in the critically lauded series I'll Fly Away, which rewarded her with a Golden Globe for best actress, an NAACP Image Award, and two Emmy nominations, this Dallas-born talent has made even greater strides in recent years as a playwright...
 
28.
Lorraine Toussaint
Actress, Any Day Now
SAG Award and Critics Choice Award winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Lorraine Toussaint shocked audiences on the smash hit Netflix original series "Orange is the New Black" as the viciously seductive inmate Vee. Toussaint's epically thrilling performance has won her glowing reviews from the likes of TV Guide and Vanity Fair...