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Esther Rolle (I) (1920–1998)

Affectionately known for the role of maid Florida Evans on the 1970s sitcoms "Maude" and "Good Times," African-American actress Esther Rolle proved to be as spirited and iron-willed off-camera as well. The gap-toothed, actress with the gravelly voice was born in Pompano Beach, Florida, the 10th child of 18 born to Caribbean farming immigrants. Her... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Known For


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (43 credits)
 2000 Train Ride
Dean of Students
 1998 Down in the Delta
 1998 Poltergeist: The Legacy (TV Series)
Grandma Rose
- La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1998) ... Grandma Rose
 1997 Promised Land (TV Series)
Mary Harding
- Amazing Grace: Part 2 (1997) ... Mary Harding
 1997 Touched by an Angel (TV Series)
Mary Harding
- Amazing Grace: Part 1 (1997) ... Mary Harding
 1995 How to Make an American Quilt
Aunt Pauline
 1994 Scarlett (TV Mini-Series)
- Episode #1.1 (1994) ... Mammy
 1993 To Dance with the White Dog (TV Movie)
 1993 Message from Nam (TV Movie)
Queenie / Elizabeth McQueen
 1993 House of Cards
 1991 Blackbird Fly (Short)
 1990 The Kid Who Loved Christmas (TV Movie)
Esther Clayton
 1990 Singer & Sons (TV Series)
Sarah Patterson
- Our's Not to Reason Why Shmy (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
- Once Bitten (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
- The Boxer Rebellion (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
- Two Sons for Singer (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
 1989 Age-Old Friends (TV Movie)
Mrs. Baker
 1989 The Mighty Quinn
Ubu Pearl
 1987 P.K. and the Kid
 1985 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
- Reflections of the Mind (1985) ... Margaret
 1983-1985 The Love Boat (TV Series)
Lillian Randolph / Judge Kramer
 1985 The New Mike Hammer (TV Series)
Viola Green
- Deadly Reunion (1985) ... Viola Green
 1984 Finder of Lost Loves (TV Series)
- Goodbye, Sara (1984) ... Nellie
 1983 Fantasy Island (TV Series)
 1982 The New Odd Couple (TV Series)
Mrs. Gibbs
- The Ides of April (1982) ... Mrs. Gibbs
 1982 Flamingo Road (TV Series)
- The Harder They Fall (1982) ... Julia
- The Bad and the Beautiful (1982) ... Julia
- The High and the Mighty (1982) ... Julia
 1981 Darkroom (TV Series)
Grandmother / Old Woman
- Needlepoint (1981) ... Grandmother / Old Woman
 1981 See China and Die (TV Movie)
Momma Sykes
 1979 The Incredible Hulk (TV Series)
Colleen Jensen
- Behind the Wheel (1979) ... Colleen Jensen
 1979 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (TV Movie)
 1978 Summer of My German Soldier (TV Movie)
 1973 Don't Play Us Cheap
Miss Maybell
 1973 Cleopatra Jones
Mrs. Johnson
 1971 The Bold Ones: The Senator (TV Series)
Black Woman
- A Single Blow of a Sword (1971) ... Black Woman
 1968 One Life to Live (TV Series)
Sadie Gray #2 (1971)
 1967 Up the Down Staircase
Teacher (uncredited)
 1964 Nothing But a Man
Church Woman
Show Show Soundtrack (2 credits)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (21 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (8 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared in a production of "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll". See more »

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

Black college-educated people got to where they are on the backs of domestic help, meaning their parents and grandparents. So people should not forget how they got to where they are. See more »


Acting ran in her family. See more »


Gap between her two front teeth. See more »

Star Sign:


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Remembering Esther Rolle junetenbrown
missing her happydayz1976
Esther Rolle was the most excellent actress i have ever seen young_dizzy05
'Damn, Damn, Damn!' jotamawes
Elegance, Grace, and Strength all in one! nowagain
earth-mother jmcdonald-17
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