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Beah Richards (1920–2000)


Beah Richards left her native Vicksburg, Mississippi, for New York City in 1950. She would not acquire a significant role on stage until 1955, when she appeared in the off-Broadway show "Take A Giant Step" convincingly portraying an 84-year-old grandmother without using theatrical makeup. In 1962 she appeared in writer James Baldwin's "The Amen ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

(1967)
Drugstore Cowboy Drug Counselor
(1989)
Sanford and Son Aunt Ethel
(1972)
(1967)

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actress (76 credits)
 2000 The Practice (TV Series)
Gertrude Turner
- Till Death Do Us Part (2000) ... Gertrude Turner
 1998 Beloved
Baby Suggs
 1994-1995 ER (TV Series)
Mae Benton
- Motherhood (1995) ... Mae Benton
- House of Cards (1995) ... Mae Benton
- Full Moon, Saturday Night (1995) ... Mae Benton
- Love's Labor Lost (1995) ... Mae Benton
- Sleepless in Chicago (1995) ... Mae Benton
 1994 Out of Darkness (TV Movie)
Mrs. Cooper
 1993 The John Larroquette Show (TV Series)
Emma
- Amends (1993) ... Emma
 1993 South of Sunset (TV Series)
- Satyricon (1993)
 1993 Matlock (TV Series)
Martha Jordan
- The Diner (1993) ... Martha Jordan
 1990-1993 Designing Women (TV Series)
Minnie / Mrs. Bouvier
- Wedding Redux (1993) ... Mrs. Bouvier
 1992-1993 Hearts Afire (TV Series)
Miss Lula
- Trivial Pursuit (1993) ... Miss Lula
- While the Thomasons Slept (1992) ... Miss Lula (credit only)
- Everyday's a Holiday (1992) ... Miss Lula (credit only)
- Smithersgate (1992) ... Miss Lula (credit only)
- The Fundamental Things Apply (1992) ... Miss Lula (credit only)
 1991 One Special Victory (TV Movie)
Cora Simms
 1988-1991 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
Emma Coop / Ola Mae
- Judge Not (1991) ... Emma Coop
- Mourning Among the Wisterias (1988) ... Ola Mae
 1991 Family Matters (TV Series)
Helen
- I Should Have Done Something (1991) ... Helen
 1990 Brewster Place (TV Series)
Bernice Sands
- Bernice Sands Comes Home (1990) ... Bernice Sands
- One Small Step at a Time (1990) ... Bernice Sands
 1986-1990 227 (TV Series)
Carolyn Hurley
- The Class of '90 (1990) ... Carolyn Hurley
- Happy Twentieth (1987) ... Carolyn Hurley
- Fifty Big Ones (1986) ... Carolyn Hurley
 1990 Capital News (TV Series)
- Pilot (1990)
 1990 Equal Justice (TV Series)
Mrs. Davis
- Balancing Act (1990) ... Mrs. Davis
 1989-1990 L.A. Law (TV Series)
Alberta Williams
- Blood, Sweat and Fears (1990) ... Alberta Williams (uncredited)
- Placenta Claus Is Coming to Town (1989) ... Alberta Williams
 1990 American Playhouse (TV Series)
- Zora Is My Name! (1990)
 1989 Drugstore Cowboy
Drug Counselor
 1989 Homer and Eddie
Linda Cervi
 1987-1989 Beauty and the Beast (TV Series)
Narcissa
- Ceremony of Innocence (1989) ... Narcissa
- When the Blue Bird Sings (1989) ... Narcissa
- Dead of Winter (1988) ... Narcissa
- To Reign in Hell (1988) ... Narcissa
- Dark Spirit (1987) ... Narcissa
 1988 The Facts of Life (TV Series)
Grandmother
- Present Imperfect (1988) ... Grandmother
 1987 Time Out for Dad (TV Movie)
Miss Aldrich
 1987 Frank's Place (TV Series)
Olive Varden
- The Bridge (1987) ... Olive Varden
 1986-1987 Hunter (TV Series)
Pockets / Ella Mae Fuller
- Not Just Another John Doe (1987) ... Pockets / Ella Mae Fuller
- Saturday Night Special (1986) ... Pockets / Ella Mae Fuller
 1987 Big Shots
Miss Hanks
 1987 CBS Summer Playhouse (TV Series)
Katherine
- Barrington (1987) ... Katherine
 1986 Inside Out
Verna
 1986 As Summers Die (TV Movie)
Elvira Backus
 1986 Acceptable Risks (TV Movie)
Sally Framm
 1986 The Hitchhiker (TV Series)
Serita
- The Curse (1986) ... Serita
 1986 Hill Street Blues (TV Series)
Aunt Feeney
- Scales of Justice (1986) ... Aunt Feeney
- Das Blues (1986) ... Aunt Feeney
 1985 Generation (TV Movie)
Edna
 1985 Punky Brewster (TV Series)
Mrs. Carney
- I Love You, Brandon (1985) ... Mrs. Carney
 1985 Highway to Heaven (TV Series)
Mrs. Baldwin
- As Difficult as ABC (1985) ... Mrs. Baldwin
 1985 And the Children Shall Lead (TV Movie)
Miss Annie
 1981-1984 Benson (TV Series)
Mrs. DuBois / Lois
- Home for Christmas (1984) ... Mrs. DuBois
- No Sad Songs (1981) ... Lois
 1984 St. Elsewhere (TV Series)
Regina
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1984) ... Regina
 1984 The New Mike Hammer (TV Series)
Maddy Higgins
- Dead Card Down (1984) ... Maddy Higgins
 1983 Bay City Blues (TV Series)
 1982 Capitol (TV Series)
Therese (1986)
 1981 The Sophisticated Gents (TV Series)
Mae Porter
- Episode #1.3 (1981) ... Mae Porter
- Episode #1.2 (1981) ... Mae Porter
- Episode #1.1 (1981) ... Mae Porter
 1980 A Christmas Without Snow (TV Movie)
Wendell's Grandma
 1980 Palmerstown, U.S.A. (TV Series)
Grandma Jenny
- The Old Sister (1980) ... Grandma Jenny
 1980 Vega$ (TV Series)
Mom
- The Hunter Hunted (1980) ... Mom
 1979 Banjo the Woodpile Cat (TV Short)
Zazu (voice)
 1979 Roots: The Next Generations (TV Mini-Series)
Cynthia Palmer
- Part VI (1939-1950) (1979) ... Cynthia Palmer
- Part V (1932-1933) (1979) ... Cynthia Palmer
 1978 Ring of Passion (TV Movie)
Lilly Brooks
 1976 Petrocelli (TV Series)
Bessie Jones
- Jubilee Jones (1976) ... Bessie Jones
 1976 Just an Old Sweet Song (TV Movie)
Grandma
 1975 Mahogany
Florence
 1974 Apple's Way (TV Series)
Mrs. Thaxter
- The Witness (1974) ... Mrs. Thaxter
 1973 Pomroy's People (TV Movie)
 1973 A Dream for Christmas (TV Movie)
Grandma Bessie
 1973 Outrage (TV Movie)
Thelma
 1973 The Magician (TV Series)
Mrs. Thatcher
- Lightning on a Dry Day (1973) ... Mrs. Thatcher
 1972 Sanford and Son (TV Series)
Aunt Ethel
- The Light Housekeeper (1972) ... Aunt Ethel
- By the Numbers (1972) ... Aunt Ethel
 1972 Footsteps (TV Movie)
Jessie Blake
 1972 The Biscuit Eater
Charity Tomlin
 1970-1971 The Bill Cosby Show (TV Series)
Rose Kincaid
- The Generation Gap (1971) ... Rose Kincaid
- The Lincoln Letter (1970) ... Rose Kincaid
- There Must Be a Party (1970) ... Rose Kincaid
 1970 The Great White Hope
Mama Tiny
 1970 To Confuse the Angel (TV Movie)
 1970 It Takes a Thief (TV Series)
Sister Martha Gowen
- To Sing a Song of Murder (1970) ... Sister Martha Gowen
 1969 Room 222 (TV Series)
Mrs. Moore
- Arizona State Loves You (1969) ... Mrs. Moore
 1969 Ironside (TV Series)
Aunt Ruby
- Alias Mr. Braithwaite (1969) ... Aunt Ruby
 1969 Hawaii Five-O (TV Series)
Mama Grant
- Once Upon a Time: Part 2 (1969) ... Mama Grant
 1967 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Mrs. Prentice
 1967 In the Heat of the Night
Mama Caleba
 1967 I Spy (TV Series)
Mother
- Cops and Robbers (1967) ... Mother (as Bea Richards)
 1967 Hurry Sundown
Rose Scott
 1965-1966 The Big Valley (TV Series)
Hannah
- The Lost Treasure (1966) ... Hannah
- Boots with My Father's Name (1965) ... Hannah
 1966 Dr. Kildare (TV Series)
Alice Willey / Alice
- Adrift in a Sea of Confusion (1966) ... Alice Willey
- Gratitude Won't Pay the Bills (1966) ... Alice
 1963 Gone Are the Days!
Idella Landy
 1962 The Miracle Worker
Viney - Keller Maid (uncredited)
 1959 Take a Giant Step
May Scott
 1958 The Mugger
Grecco Maid
Show Show Self (3 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)
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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared in "The Amen Corner" on Broadway. NOTE: (1) She was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actress. (2) She received a Theater World Award See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Biographical Movie | 2 Articles | See more »

Alternate Names:

Bea Richards
Edit

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

in "I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America"] There are a lot of movies out there that I would hate to be paid to do, some real demeaning, real woman-denigrating stuff. It is up to women to change their roles. They are going to have to write the stuff and do it. And they will.

Trivia:

Died just days after receiving Emmy award for The Practice (1997), which was accepted for her by LisaGay Hamilton and delivered to Vicksburg. See more »

Star Sign:

Cancer

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