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Bassett, Angela (1958–)

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BASSETT, ANGELA (1958–). Actress. She was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and as a teenager was inspired to act after seeing a play starring James Earl Jones. After graduating from high school with a high GPA, Bassett received her master’s degree in drama from Yale University. Moving to New York, she worked in television commercials and on the CBS daytime drama The Guiding Light . She made her Broadway debut in August Wilson’s musical play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom . Turning to film, she appeared as Tre’s concerned mother in John Singleton ‘s Boyz N the Hood , 1991, and John Sayles’ City of Hope , 1991. Spike Lee cast Bassett as Betty Shabazz in his 1992 biography film on Malcolm X , and serious recognition followed her portrayal of pop star Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It , 1993, for which she received a Golden Globe and two NAACP Image Awards. Further acclaim followed her performance in the ensemble cast of Waiting to Exhale , 1995, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back , 1998, both made from best-selling novels by Terry McMillan.

Filmography: F/X , 1986; Critters 4 , 1991; City of Hope , 1991; Boyz N the Hood , 1991; Passion Fish , 1992; Malcolm X , 1992; The Jacksons: An American Dream , 1992; Innocent Blood , 1992; What’s Love Got to Do with It? , 1993; Waiting to Exhale , 1995; Vampire in Brooklyn , 1995; Strange Days , 1995; Contact , 1997; How Stella Got Her Groove Back , 1998; Supernova , 1999; Music of the Heart , 1999; Boesman & Lena , 2000; Ruby’s Bucket of Blood , 2001; Sunshine State , 2002, The Rosa Parks Story , 2002.

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