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Ethel Waters (1896–1977)

The child of a teenage rape victim, Ethel Waters grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time. "No one raised me, " she recollected, "I just ran wild." She excelled not only at looking after herself, but also at singing and dancing; she began performing at church functions, ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Known For


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (28 credits)
 1972 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (TV Series)
Aunt Harriet
- Run, Carol, Run (1972) ... Aunt Harriet
 1970 Daniel Boone (TV Series)
- Mamma Cooper (1970) ... Rachael
 1967 Vacation Playhouse (TV Series)
- You're Only Young Twice (1967) ... Carrie
 1963 The Great Adventure (TV Series)
- Go Down, Moses (1963) ... Rit
 1961 Route 66 (TV Series)
Jennie Henderson
- Goodnight Sweet Blues (1961) ... Jennie Henderson
 1959 Whirlybirds (TV Series)
- The Big Lie (1959) ... Sarah
 1958 The Heart Is a Rebel
 1957 Carib Gold
 1957 Matinee Theatre (TV Series)
- Sing for Me (1957)
 1956 Saturday Spectacular: Manhattan Tower (TV Movie)
Sunday School Teacher
 1955 Playwrights '56 (TV Series)
 1955 General Electric Theater (TV Series)
- Winner by Decision (1955) ... Mother
 1955 Climax! (TV Series)
Aunt Kate
- The Dance (1955) ... Aunt Kate
 1955 Your Play Time (TV Series)
- Speaking to Hannah (1955) ... Hannah
 1954 Encounter (TV Series)
- The Grass Harp (1954)
 1952 The Jackie Gleason Show (TV Series)
Guest Jazz Vocalist
- Pickles (1952) ... Guest Jazz Vocalist
- The Cold (1952) ... Guest Jazz Vocalist
 1943 Stage Door Canteen
Ethel Waters
 1942 Cairo
Cleona Jones
 1942 Tales of Manhattan
 1934 Bubbling Over (Short)
Ethel Peabody
 1933 Change Your Luck (Short)
 1933 Rufus Jones for President (Short)
Mother of Rufus Jones
 1929 On with the Show!
Show Show Soundtrack (38 credits)
Show Show Self (35 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (23 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared in "Rhapsody in Black", produced on Broadway. Musical (all Black cast). Book / Directed by Lew Leslie. Sam H. Harris Theatre: 4 May 1931-Jul 1931 (closing date unknown/80 performances). Cast: Ernest Allen, Avis Andrews, Berry Brothers, Pike Davis' Orchestra, Dennis Dean, Samuel Gray, Cecil Mack's Choir, Blue McAllister... See more »

Publicity Listings:

7 Print Biographies | See more »

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I guess singing is the traditional outlet for the colored people. The very thing that is paramount in my mind I can find expression for in just humming a song. But, of course, there is solid prayer for other things in my mind. Oh, I can get angry and curse a little (of course, the Lord look the other way). I don't take the Lord's name in vain, don't get that idea. But I have a vocabulary without ... See more »


Husband Edward Mallory was an orchestra leader whom Ethel performed with. See more »


Sweet Mama Stringbean

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New biography of Ethel Waters ignored Welch57
Deserved Oscar nomination shoresus2001
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Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law a610guy
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