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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

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actress (27 credits)
 1972 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (TV Series)
Aunt Harriet
- Run, Carol, Run (1972) ... Aunt Harriet
 1970 Daniel Boone (TV Series)
Rachael
- Mamma Cooper (1970) ... Rachael
 1967 Vacation Playhouse (TV Series)
Carrie
- You're Only Young Twice (1967) ... Carrie
 1963 The Great Adventure (TV Series)
Rit
- Go Down, Moses (1963) ... Rit
 1961 Route 66 (TV Series)
Jenny Henderson
- Goodnight Sweet Blues (1961) ... Jenny Henderson
 1959 Whirlybirds (TV Series)
Sarah
- The Big Lie (1959) ... Sarah
 1958 The Heart Is a Rebel
Gladys
 1957 Carib Gold
Mom
 1957 Matinee Theatre (TV Series)
- Sing for Me (1957)
 1956 Saturday Spectacular: Manhattan Tower (TV Movie)
Sunday School Teacher
 1955 Playwrights '56 (TV Series)
Dilsey
 1955 General Electric Theater (TV Series)
Mother
- Winner by Decision (1955) ... Mother
 1955 Climax! (TV Series)
Aunt Kate
- The Dance (1955) ... Aunt Kate
 1955 Your Play Time (TV Series)
Hannah
- Speaking to Hannah (1955) ... Hannah
 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, Marcia's Maid
 1942 Tales of Manhattan
Esther
 1934 Bubbling Over (Short)
Ethel Peabody
 1933 Change Your Luck (Short)
Ethel
 1933 Rufus Jones for President (Short)
Mother of Rufus
 1929 On with the Show!
Ethel
Show Show Soundtrack (37 credits)
Show Show Self (35 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (22 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared (as "Hagar") in "Mamba's Daughters" on Broadway. Written by Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward (based on his novel). Featuring songs by Jerome Kern. Directed / produced by Guthrie McClintic. Empire Theatre: 3 Jan 1939-May 1939 (closing date unknown/162 performances). Cast: Oliver Barbour (as "The Prosecuting Attorney; ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

7 Print Biographies | See more »
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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 »

Trivia:

She got religion in the late 1950s and performed and toured with evangelist Billy Graham until her death in 1977. See more »

Nickname:

Sweet Mama Stringbean

Star Sign:

Scorpio

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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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