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Angela Bassett Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (24) | Personal Quotes (15) | Salary (4)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 16 August 1958New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameAngela Evelyn Bassett
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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. Bassett and her sister D'nette grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida with their mother. As a single mother, Betty stressed the importance of education for her children. With the assistance of an academic scholarship, Bassett matriculated into Yale University. In 1980, she received her B.A. in African-American studies from Yale University. In 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Yale School of Drama. It was at Yale that Bassett met her husband, Courtney B. Vance, a 1986 graduate of the Drama School.

Bassett first appeared in small roles on The Cosby Show (1984) and Spenser: For Hire (1985), but it was not until 1990 that a spate of television roles brought her notice. Her breakthrough role, though, was playing Tina Turner, whom she had never seen perform before taking the role, in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). Bassett's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination and a Golded Globe Award for Best Actress.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com> and Mykwain A. Gainey <mgainey1@hotmail.com>

Spouse (1)

Courtney B. Vance (12 October 1997 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (24)

Engaged to Courtney B. Vance. [1997]
Bassett has built her career around playing some of the most celebrated real-life, pioneering black women of the twentieth century. She was Oscar-nominated and won both the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture for her star-making performance as Tina Turner/Anna Mae Bullock in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). She won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her work as the late-Dr. Betty Shabazz (widow of the slain civil rights pioneer Malcolm X) in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992). She would later play Dr. Shabazz in a cameo appearance in Mario Van Peebles' Panther (1995). She delivered the only three-dimensional performance in the 1992 ABC miniseries about The Jackson Five and their family, The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992). In 1999, she played Janet Williams--the principal of the school where Roberta Guaspari taught in Music of the Heart (1999). She was also in the running to play Dorothy Dandridge, until Halle Berry beat her to the punch with HBO's Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999). Her first and only Emmy nomination to date was for her lead role in The Rosa Parks Story (2002).
She was once employed as a photo researcher at U.S. News & World Report magazine.
In 1974, she began to consider acting as a career choice after an 11th-grade class trip to Washington, D.C. during which she saw actor James Earl Jones perform in a Kennedy Center production of the play "Of Mice and Men".
Was offered the role of Leticia Musgrove in Monster's Ball (2001), but she turned it down as she did not want to perform nude. As a result Halle Berry, who went on to become the first African-American actress to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance, was cast instead.
Won the 2002 Lena Horne Award for Outstanding Career Achievements in the Field of Entertainment.
Has played Muslim activist Betty Shabazz in two different movies: Malcolm X (1992) and Panther (1995).
Attended and graduated from Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, Florida in 1976.
As of 2005, she is the first and only African-American recipient of the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993).
Received her Bachelor's degree in African-American studies from Yale University (1980).
Received her Master's degree in Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama (1983).
Angela and her husband, Courtney B. Vance, became the parents of twins, Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah, on January 27, 2006 in California through a surrogate.
Her performance as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) (1993) was ranked at #95 on Premiere Magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Film Performances of all time.
In 1993, she and Jenifer Lewis played daughter and mother in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), which earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Nearly fifteen years later, they both teamed up with Oscar nominee Margaret Avery in Meet the Browns (2008), in which Bassett and Lewis played sisters.
Bassett's line "Right here! Right now!" from Strange Days (1995) was sampled as the only 'lyrics' used repeatedly in the song "Right Here, Right Now" by Fatboy Slim, his best known song.
Was considered for the role of Oda Mae Brown in Ghost (1990) but Whoopi Goldberg, who went on to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance, was cast instead.
Is one of 10 African-American actresses to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. The others in chronological order are: Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe, Viola Davis and Quvenzhané Wallis.
Received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California in March 20, 2008.
She was mentioned in the comedy drama film A Christmas Tale (2008).
Is a vegetarian.
Was initiated as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on July 13, 2013.
Lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband Courtney B. Vance and their children.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Is a member of the international jury at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema. [April 2010]
Born on the exact same day as Madonna.

Personal Quotes (15)

I would have to say honestly I was very pleased to be in a film whether it was good or bad with De Niro, Norton and Brando even if I don't have any scenes with them, I thought it was pretty good company to keep.
This is a career about images. It's celluloid; they last for ever. I'm a black woman from America. My people were slaves in America, and even though we're free on paper and in law, I'm not going to allow you to enslave me on film, in celluloid, for all to see.
I really believe that what I do as an actress is my God-given talent. This is my calling, not my career.
God made a way out of no way.
When I was in school, my mother stressed education. I am so glad she did. I graduated from Yale College and Yale University with my master's and I didn't do it by missing school.
Drink a bunch of water and get facials regularly. I take care of my skin.
The first time I acted was in high school in Florida, and when I heard that applause I felt so alive and felt that electricity go up my spine.
Film is forever.
The three things I said when I came out of school were I want to work consistently, I want to do good work and I want to be paid fairly, and that's happened. But I didn't become an actress for the money. I do it for other reasons.
I can give you the King's English and then I can take it to the street, but do both or do one and don't do one knowing only the street. That's going to hold you back because what comes out is going to impress people, and it will impress them negatively.
My mom was always pretty supportive. She saw me do plays and she'd always act out the parts I did. My aunt, who played a big part in my life, was a little bit more reserved, because if they don't see you on TV every week they think you must be starving.
I'm thinking about directing, but I know it's a lot of work and I appreciate what directors do and I would like to be good at it. The opportunity has presented itself four to five times, and I usually said no because of the script.
I like the nice guys. I like when they show the stories, the human element behind it all.
I guess I'm breaking out a little of what's comfortable and easy.
I am content that the work that I've done is wonderful.

Salary (4)

What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) $250,000 .00
Waiting to Exhale (1995) $2,500,000
Supernova (2000) $3,500,000
The Score (2001) $3,500,000

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