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Reese, Della (1931–)

gospel mama flora’s actress

REESE, DELLA (1931–). Actress, singer, comedian. She began singing when she was six years old and left her hometown of Detroit, Michigan, as a teenager and toured with famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. Reese later sang with the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra and began recording her own records. She was the first to take gospel into the casinos of Las Vegas and was nominated for a Grammy award as Best Female Soloist in Gospel Music in 1987. Reese performed regularly on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson , and as an actress, she guest starred in over two dozen television series, including McCloud, Police Woman, The Rookies, Crazy Like a Fox , and Promised Land . She is perhaps best known as Tess in the series Touched by an Angel . Her film work includes roles in Harlem Nights , 1989; Mama Flora’s Family , 1998; and Beauty Shop , 2005.

Filmography: Psychic Killer , 1975; Harlem Nights , 1989; You Must Remember This , 1992; The Distinguished Gentleman , 1996; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate , 1996; Mama Flora’s Family , 1998; Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years , 1999; Dinosaur , 2000; Beauty Shop , 2005.

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