Angela Bassett

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Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett by Gage Skidmoe.jpg
Bassett at the 2015 Comic-Con International.
Born Angela Evelyn Bassett
(1958-08-16) August 16, 1958 (age 63)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Yale University (B.A)
Yale School of Drama (MFA)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Courtney B. Vance (m. 1997)
Children 2

Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an African American actress and film director. She is best known for her biographical film roles, most notably her Academy Award-nominated performance as Tina Turner in the biopic What's Love Got to Do with It. In addition, Bassett has portrayed Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X and Panther, Rosa Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, Coretta Scott King in Betty and Coretta, Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream, and Voletta Wallace in Notorious.

Bassett began her film career in the mid-1980s after graduating from Yale University and its drama school. She did not find any stability in the industry until the 1990s, at which point she appeared in films nearly every year. The 2000s saw a succession of films starring Bassett, with her appearing in at least one film every single year. Bassett's success has continued into the 2010s. Bassett earned nominations for her roles in films such as The Score (2001), Akeelah and the Bee (2006), Meet the Browns (2008) and Jumping the Broom (2011) and won awards for her performances in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Music of the Heart (1999) among others.

In 2013, she had a recurring role on the FX horror series American Horror Story: Coven, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her performance as Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. She returned for Freak Show, the anthology series' fourth season, portraying a three-breasted woman named Desiree Dupree for which she received another nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. In 2015, Basset has returned for the 5th season American Horror Story: Hotel portraying Ramona Royale, a famous movie star.

Early life and education

Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York, New York, the daughter of Betty Jane (Gilbert) and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, and was raised in the Harlem neighborhood.[1][2][3] Bassett's middle name was given to her in honor of her aunt Evelyn.[2] The origin of the Bassett surname comes from her ancestor William Henry Bassett, who took the surname of his former master, whose children later founded Bassett, Virginia.[4] Ten months after Bassett was born, her mother became pregnant and had a second child, Bassett's sister D'nette. Bassett said the pregnancy "only made things harder." Bassett's parents "shipped" her to stay with her father's sister Golden. While her aunt did not have any children of her own, she "loved children, and she was good with them."[5]

After her parents' separation, she relocated from Winston-Salem, North Carolina to St. Petersburg, Florida, where she and her sister D'nette were raised by their social worker/civil servant mother.[6][7] Bassett did not see her father again for several years, until the two both attended her grandmother's funeral. There, Bassett met his daughter from his first marriage, Jean, who at twelve years old, was several years older than Bassett.[8] After graduating from Jordan Park Elementary School, she began being bused out of her neighborhood to attend Disston Middle School for seventh grade. The year she began attending was 1970, the first year bussing was implemented to integrate public schools in St. Petersburg. After completing seventh grade, she was bussed to Azalea Middle School for eighth and ninth grade. Bassett's mother became more involved in her daughter's grades and told her and her sister the pair were going to college.[9]

In her younger years, Bassett was "in love" with the Jackson 5 and dreamed of marrying a member of the family group, stating it would probably be "whoever had the cutest, roundest Afro at the time. In my imagination we would have children and live in a real house."[8] As her interest in entertainment developed, Angela and her sister would often put on shows, reading poems or performing popular music for their family.[10]

Boca Ciega High School, where Bassett as a teenager was a member of the debate team and student government among other endeavors.

At Boca Ciega High School, Bassett was a cheerleader and a member of the Upward Bound college prep program, the debate team, student government, drama club and choir. A straight "A" and "B" student for the most part, Bassett got her first "C," in physical education, and tried to get her mother to not feel disappointment in the grade. Bassett called the grade the "average," leading her mother to say that she did not have "average kids." As Bassett described, a "sense of pride" developed in her and she did not get another "C" until college.[11] During high school, Bassett became the first African-American from Boca Ciega to be admitted to the National Honor Society. She participated in Upward Bound, an academic and cultural enrichment program for underprivileged students. Bassett says she and the other participants did not see themselves as underprivileged.[10]

Bassett attended Yale University and received her B.A. degree in African-American studies in 1980. In 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama, despite opposition from her father's sister who warned her to not "waste" her "Yale education on theater." She was the only member of Bassett's family to have gone to both college and graduate school.[11] At Yale, Bassett met her future husband Courtney B. Vance, a 1986 graduate of the drama school. Bassett was also classmates with actor Charles S. Dutton.[12]

After graduation, Bassett worked as a receptionist for a beauty salon and as a photo researcher. Bassett soon looked for acting work in the New York theater. One of her first New York performances came in 1985 when she appeared in J. E. Franklin's Black Girl at Second Stage Theatre. She appeared in two August Wilson plays at the Yale Repertory Theatre under the direction of her long-time instructor Lloyd Richards. The Wilson plays featuring Bassett were Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984) and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1986). In 2006, she had the opportunity to work on the Wilson canon again, starring in Fences alongside longtime collaborator Laurence Fishburne at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.


Early work

In 1985, Bassett made her first television appearance as a prostitute in the TV movie Doubletake. However, she made her official film debut as a news reporter in F/X (1986), for which she was required to join the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).[13] Bassett moved to Los Angeles, California in 1988 for more acting jobs[14] and gained recognition in the films Boyz n the Hood (1991) and Malcolm X (1992). For her portrayal of Betty Shabazz, she earned an Image Award. Despite the award, the movie was not entirely given positive reception, being referred to by critics as failing to "capture" the rage of Malcolm X's autobiography.[15] During production of Malcolm X, Spike Lee showed Bassett a tape of the exact moment when Malcolm X was shot during his assassination, since they would be filming the scene. Bassett called the recording "haunting", but noted that after listening, she was "able to grab hold of the pain and re-create the scene." Bassett felt it was important for her to get the assassination scene correct, and wondered how Betty "found the strength to keep going, to raise her family, to educate, to sustain them."[16] Malcolm X was released on November 18, 1992.


In 1992, Bassett played Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream. Bassett's agents tried to discourage her from playing the role, given the negative reception that Michael Jackson had. She admitted to not caring about the negative view of members of the Jackson family at the time, citing her childhood fondness of the group as an example of her passion for the project and believed her "instinct" about the role had been correct once learning of the positive reviews the miniseries received after airing.[17] Bassett had previously idolized the group growing up and said the Jackson family were positive influences on the African-American community for their successes. Bassett had previously worried that after her role as Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X, she would not find another role "as satisfying". Bassett at the time of the film's release expressed her belief that her career would never receive such high profile roles again. "I think I have been incredibly blessed and it is probably just all downhill from here."[18]

Later that year, Bassett was cast as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). Bassett returned to Los Angeles after Malcolm X filming was completed, and got a call for an audition for a movie based on I, Tina, Tina Turner's memoir.[19] Bassett won a Golden Globe and earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Turner. She was the first African-American to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Bassett obtained the role after beating Halle Berry and Robin Givens, but only had a month to prepare before shooting. She met Tina Turner twice, and was given advice by the woman she would be portraying from wigs and outfits to dancing styles. Turner also did Bassett's make up, leading Bassett to call her "supportive" and her "biggest fan." In regards to Turner as a person, Bassett said "Why? People keep asking me why Tina took it for so long? There are limits for her, for me, for everybody. One week was my mother's limit. It was her second husband. The man was nice and docile for four years of courtship. She got married to him on a Sunday. The following Saturday he raised his hand and fractured her nose. The next day the marriage was annulled. That was it. That's my example. So my limit is nil. For Tina, the limit was much longer."[14] Bassett described to the Orlando Sentinel going to one of Turner's concerts and crying profusely. According to Bassett, upon realizing that she knew some of Turner's dance moves, she was "almost a river of tears."[20] Marc Bernardin of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Bassett "gave the performance of a lifetime" portraying Turner in the biopic.[21]

Bassett starred in three movies in 1995, which were released with varied reactions from critics: Vampire in Brooklyn, Strange Days, and Waiting to Exhale (where she worked with author Terry McMillan). In Strange Days, Bassett played Lornette "Mace" Mason, a chauffeur and bodyguard. In Vampire in Brooklyn, she played Rita Veder, a tortured cop with a dark secret. She was excited to work with Eddie Murphy in Vampire in Brooklyn, as well as director Wes Craven. Bassett had previously worked with Craven on television shows.[22] Bassett's character in Waiting to Exhale, Bernadine Harris, was betrayed by her husband and in revenge she set fire to his entire wardrobe and vehicle, then sold what was left for one dollar. Bassett described the then-recently filmed party scene and her character in Waiting to Exhale to the Orlando Sentinel. Bassett said, "The thing is that my character is thinking about how her husband has left her. I have a cigarette in one hand, and I'm drinking. Basically, the four of us are sitting there talking about men and having some fun."[20]

In 1998, Fatboy Slim sampled Bassett's voice from 1995's Strange Days, specifically the line "this is your life, right here, right now!", for his hit single Right Here, Right Now. Also in 1998, Bassett starred in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, once again collaborating with McMillan. She played Stella, a 40-year-old American professional woman who falls in love with a 20-year-old Jamaican man. Stephen Holden of The New York Times called Bassett's character "the best thing in the movie" and wrote that Bassett "portrays this high-strung superwoman with such intensity that she makes her almost believable."[23] In 1999, Bassett starred in Music of the Heart, once again collaborating with horror icon Wes Craven.


In 2000, Bassett turned down the lead role in Monster's Ball because of the script's sexual content; the role earned Halle Berry the Academy Award for Best Actress. Bassett appeared in three films in 2000; Supernova, Whispers: An Elephant's Tale and Boesman and Lena. Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote that in Boesman and Lena Bassett "abandons her recently cultivated glamorous image to dig to the core of Lena’s fierce, probing, contentious, compassionate character."[24] Kevin Thomas of The Los Angeles Times wrote Bassett captured all of her character's "mercurial mood swings" and both Bassett and her costar Danny Glover "rise to the challenge of these larger-than-life roles, just as you would expect."[25] She appeared in the 2001 film The Score. Her character was in a relationship with Robert De Niro's. She read the film's script and became interested. She was then telephoned by director Frank Oz, who told her Robert De Niro would "like to meet with you". Bassett met with De Niro and later realized the conversation was meant to break the ice before they started filming.[26] In addition to The Score, that year she also had a role in the television film Ruby's Bucket of Blood. The following year, in 2002, Bassett acted in Sunshine State and The Rosa Parks Story. In The Rosa Parks Story, Bassett was cast as Rosa Parks.[27] Laura Fries of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Bassett "takes her physical strength and turns it inward to portray Parks" and expressed her belief that "lesser hands" would allow for misinterpretation or gross underplay of Parks' personality.[28] In addition to positive reception of her role, Bassett was seen as the "star" of the film due to playing the lead and earned a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her performance.[29]

In 2003, she read from the WPA slave narratives in Unchained Memories. In the 1930s, about 100,000 former slaves were still living during the Great Depression, of which 2,300 were interviewed part of the Federal Writers' Project. The transcripts of the Slave Narratives collection of the Library of Congress is a record of slavery, bondage and misery. That year she also appeared in the films Unchained Memories and Masked and Anonymous. In 2004 she had roles in the films The Lazarus Child and Mr. 3000. Mr. 3000 was a comedy in which Bassett costarred with Bernie Mac. When asked if the film was much easier to act in than the more intense roles she had in the past, Bassett responded, "This was much easier. This was a walk in the park. It was pretty easy compared to some of the roles I’ve done that call for so much emotion or physicality." At the time of the film's release, she called both Bernie Mac and Laurence Fishburne, who she had worked with in the past, her "favorites" and said the pair were both "highly professional and extraordinarily talented."[30] The only film she appeared in during 2005 was Mr. and Mrs. Smith in an uncredited voice role.

Bassett at the 2007 The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection.

In the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee, Bassett portrayed Tanya Anderson, the mother of the film's lead, Akeelah, played by Keke Palmer. Bassett said she loved the story and described working with Palmer as being "really wonderful." According to Bassett, the two bonded and that Palmer was as good an actress as any adult she had worked with.[31] Bassett appeared in the television film Time Bomb the same year. Her role was seen as just an "extended cameo" by Brian Lowry of Variety.[32] Bassett provided her voice for the 2007 film Meet the Robinsons.

She appeared in the 2008 film Gospel Hill. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote Bassett's "fiery self-possession brings a spark of passion to her stick-figure character".[33] She next appeared in Of Boys and Men, portraying Rieta Cole, the matriarch of a Chicago family who is killed in an accident in the beginning of the film and is seen through flashbacks for the remainder of the film. She and her costars Robert Townsend and Victoria Rowell were seen by Robert Gillard of LA Sentinel as doing wonderful jobs of "capturing the emotions of a family stricken by grief."[34] Bassett joined the regular cast of ER for the show's final season (2008–2009). She portrayed Dr. Catherine Banfield, an exacting Chief of the ER who was also working to recover from the death of a son and to bring another child into her family. Bassett's husband Courtney Vance played her television husband on ER as Russell Banfield. Bassett appeared in "Of Boys and Men", a family film, in 2008. She co-starred alongside Robert Townsend, who played her husband in this movie. She had a role in Nothing but the Truth. Bassett was reported to have joined the cast of Nothing but the Truth in October 2007.[35]

In the film Notorious, Bassett portrayed Voletta Wallace, the mother of The Notorious B.I.G.. To portray Wallace's Jamaican accent, Bassett conversed with her on and off the film set, and she practiced her accent using tapes that Wallace made.[36] She was announced to portray Wallace in the film in April 2008, less than a month after Bassett was honored with the 2,358th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Bassett said she jumped at the chance to be part of the film after reading the script. She felt it did a "wonderful job of bringing" The Notorious B.I.G.'s "life to the page."[37] Bassett earned good reviews for her performance in the film, noted as being one of the more experienced actors involved[38] and in January 2009, she attended the red carpet premiere of Notorious right after she expressed her admiration for Voletta Wallace over the phone to The Los Angeles Times.[39]


In 2010, Bassett lent her voice to portray First Lady Michelle Obama[40] on an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Stealing First Base". Bassett was seen as a "terrific" fill in for Obama.[41] Bassett was also cast in the superhero film Green Lantern, released in 2011, as notable DC Comics character Amanda Waller.[42] Bassett said working on the film was "a lot of fun" and that she enjoyed being a part of it.[43] Despite this, Bassett was taken "out of her element" with the arrangements made that accommodated the computer-generated effects. She called it her first time doing "this kind of movie" but expressed interest in seeing what her scenes looked like.[44] In 2010, reported that Bassett would have a role in One Police Plaza.[45] In 2011, Bassett co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in the play The Mountaintop a fictionalized depiction of the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King (Jackson portrays MLK) while at the Lorraine Motel. The critically acclaimed play by Katori Hall originally debuted in London's West End in 2009 and went on to win the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. The production opened on Broadway on October 13, 2011. In March 2011, it was reported that Bassett had signed up for a lead role in the ABC pilot Identity.[46]

She also appeared in the 2011 film Jumping the Broom and her and Loretta Devine's performances in the film were called "in some ways too fierce for the room, offering nuances of hostility and hurt that the movie cannot really handle" and contributing to the "unevenness of the performances" in the film.[47] Bassett and Devine were noted as "superb, distinguished actresses" by Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter, but were seen as having been "asked to overdo every moment with permanent scowls and body language more suitable to Mortal Kombat."[48] Despite this, her performance was given some positive attention, with Elizabeth Weitzman of New York Daily News saying Bassett "makes the movie hers".[49] The film was Bassett's second time working with Loretta Devine, as the pair had worked together previously in Waiting to Exhale.[50] Bassett had a good feeling about the film from "the start."[44] Bassett believed her character had a "real presence" in the film and felt she was active in the plot.[43] Director Salim Akil said Bassett's presence quietly makes a big difference.[44] She was featured in the film This Means War. While it was released in 2012, Bassett was known to have been attached to the film as early as 2010.[51] Bassett also appeared as herself in I Ain't Scared Of You.

Bassett portrayed Coretta Scott King in the television film Betty and Coretta, which aired on February 2, 2013, continuing her trend of portraying real women. Bassett had previously played Shabazz in both Malcolm X and Panther, but instead played Coretta Scott King opposite to Mary J. Blige, who played Shabazz. Bassett was surprised to learn after researching that Coretta initially refused Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "advances" and called Mrs. King a "modern day iconic heroine." While being asked about what drew her to play real-life women, Bassett answered "The respect that I have for their lives—their stories, vulnerabilities, strength, and resolve."[52] Bassett's involvement in the film was reported as early as August 2012. Production began in September of that year.[53] Mary J. Blige, when asked about what kind of experience it was to work with Bassett, said that she was "one of Angela's biggest fans" while calling her an "amazing woman."[54] The film received mix reviews, including negative reactions from Ilyasah Shabazz and Bernice King, the daughters of Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King.

Bassett recently appeared as Secret Service director Lynne Jacobs in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, released in March 22, 2013. Bassett was reported to have a role in the film in June 2012, the month before filming began.[55][56] In an interview with The Huffington Post, Bassett noted that there had "never been a female head of the Secret Service, much less a woman of color". She called the decision to have a female African-American Secret Service director "a bold casting choice". Overall, Bassett viewed the film as authentic.[57] Bassett described working with Morgan Freeman as wonderful, but she admitted to being intimidated by him. She was impressed with the preparation of director Antoine Fuqua, who she said "was just preparation to the hilt" and expressed her interest in working with him again.[58] She appeared in the 2013 film Black Nativity. She sung and it was seen as contributing to the film's "blissful unreality".[59] She was asked by the film's director, Kasi Lemmons, if she could sing and Bassett admitted to lying to get the role. She joked to reporter Jennifer H. Cunningham, "Yes, I can sing — you didn’t ask how well!" Singing in a film was a new experience for Bassett, who had never had to sing before and had always lip-synced.[60]

In 2013, Bassett appeared on FX TV show American Horror Story: Coven [45] as Marie Laveau, a voodoo witch. Bassett praised the writers, calling them "amazing".[61] Her agent approached Ryan Murphy about her having a role in the series and he told the agent that she was the person he had in mind for Marie Laveau. Bassett watched the previous seasons of the series before meeting with Murphy and found the writing "wonderful" and the characters "so realized".[62] She returned to the show for its fourth season American Horror Story: Freak Show, playing a hermaphrodite.

It was announced in May 2014 that Bassett would make her directorial debut with a film based on the life of Whitney Houston, who Bassett had worked with previously.[63] Bassett had previously expressed interest in directing the year before.[58] It was announced in early June 2014 that Yaya DaCosta would play Houston in the film. Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, insulted Bassett on Twitter for not casting her as her mother in the film, to which Bassett admitted in an interview that she had never thought about casting Brown.[64] On June 11, 2014, Ruby Dee died from natural causes. Bassett had previously worked with her on Betty and Coretta and was reported to attend the Riverside Church memorial for Dee on September 20, 2014.[65]


Bassett has been noted for portraying real life African-American women, as well as "strong women". Bassett said in 2001 that she liked those roles and added: "That's the image that I like to put out there, and those are the parts I'm attracted to. But not iron-fist kind of strong, just self-assured. I'm nice too."[26] She has turned down roles which she viewed as demeaning to her image. "This is a career about images. It's celluloid; they last for ever. I'm a black woman from America. My people were slaves in America, and even though we're free on paper and in law, I'm not going to allow you to enslave me on film, in celluloid, for all to see. And to cross the water, to countries where people will never meet people who look like me. So it becomes a bigger thing than me just becoming a movie star, and me just being on TV. So if you're going to show every black woman as 400lb or every black woman as the prostitute on the street ... But I have always maintained that [the roles] I cannot do because of the way I'm made up, or because of the way I think, I don't begrudge that there is someone else who has no issues with that."[66]

Personal life

Bassett with her husband, Courtney B. Vance, March 1, 2007

Bassett married actor Courtney B. Vance in 1997. In the summer of 2005, they starred together in a production of His Girl Friday at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The couple's twins – son Slater Josiah and daughter Bronwyn Golden - were born on January 27, 2006.[67][68][69]

Bassett is an avid supporter of programs for the Arts, especially for youth. She annually attends events for children with diabetes and those in foster homes. She is an active Ambassador of UNICEF for the USA. Bassett is a big supporter of the Royal Theater Boys & Girls Club in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. The Club is one of the first all performing arts Boys & Girls Clubs in the country.

She is represented by the Executive Speakers Bureau of Memphis.[70]

Bassett supported Barack Obama in his reelection campaign. In June 2012, Bassett made an appearance at the St. Petersburg office of his campaign and said the election was not one "where we can sit on the sidelines".[71] Bassett attended the second inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2013.[72]

Bassett was initiated as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority on July 13, 2013.[73]



Year Film Role Notes
1986 F/X TV Reporter
1986 Liberty Linda Thornton Television movie
1988 Doubletake Prostitute at Headquarters Television movie
1990 Kindergarten Cop Stewardess
1990 Family of Spies Bev Andress Television movie
1990 Challenger Cheryl McNair Television movie
1990 In the Best Interest of the Child Lori Television movie
1990 Perry Mason: In the Case of the Silenced Singer Carla Peters Television movie
1991 Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story Pat Television movie
1991 Critters 4 Fran
1991 Boyz n the Hood Reva Devereaux
1991 Heroes of Desert Storm, TheThe Heroes of Desert Storm Lt. Phoebe Jeter Television movie
1991 Locked Up: A Mother's Rage Willie Television movie
1991 One Special Victory Lois Television movie
1991 City of Hope Reesha
1991 Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor Allison Television movie
1992 Passion Fish Dawn/Rhonda
1992 Innocent Blood U.S. Attorney Sinclair
1992 Jacksons: An American Dream, TheThe Jacksons: An American Dream Katherine Jackson Television movie
1992 Malcolm X Betty Shabazz
1993 What's Love Got to Do with It Anna Mae Bullock/Tina Turner
1995 Panther Betty Shabazz
1995 Strange Days Lornette 'Mace' Mason
1995 Vampire in Brooklyn Det. Rita Veder
1995 Waiting to Exhale Bernadine 'Bernie' Harris
1997 Contact Rachel Constantine
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Stella
1999 Our Friend, Martin Miles' Mom Voice role
1999 Music of the Heart Principal Janet Williams
2000 Supernova Dr. Kaela Evers
2000 Whispers: An Elephant's Tale Groove Voice role
2000 Boesman and Lena Lena
2001 Score, TheThe Score Diane
2001 Ruby's Bucket of Blood Ruby Delacroix Television movie
2002 Sunshine State Desiree Stokes Perry
2002 The Rosa Parks Story Rosa Parks Television movie
2003 Unchained Memories Reader
2003 Masked and Anonymous Mistress
2004 Lazarus Child, TheThe Lazarus Child Dr. Elizabeth Chase
2004 Mr. 3000 Maureen 'Mo' Simmons
2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Mr. Smith's Boss Uncredited voice role
2006 Akeelah and the Bee Tanya Anderson
2006 Time Bomb Jill Greco Television movie
2007 Meet the Robinsons Mildred Voice role
2008 Gospel Hill Sarah Malcolm
2008 Of Boys and Men Rieta Cole
2008 Meet the Browns Brenda Brown
2008 Nothing But the Truth Bonnie Benjamin
2009 Notorious Voletta Wallace
2011 Jumping the Broom Claudine Watson
2011 Green Lantern Amanda Waller
2012 This Means War Collins
2012 I Ain't Scared Of You Herself
2013 Betty & Coretta Coretta Scott King Television movie
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Lynne Jacobs
2013 Black Nativity Aretha Cobbs
2014 White Bird in a Blizzard Dr. Thaler
2015 Whitney Television movie; director
2015 Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle Dr. Kulinda Direct-to-video
2015 Survivor Ambassador Maureen Crane
2015 Chi-Raq Miss Helen
2016 London Has Fallen Lynne Jacobs Filming


Year Film Role Notes
1985 Spenser: For Hire Joe's Daughter Episode: "The Choice"
1985 Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show Mrs. Mitchell Episode: "Mr. Quiet"
1987 Ryan's Hope Leonie Peach Unknown episodes
1988 Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show Sari Episode: "Bookworm"
1989 Man Called Hawk, AA Man Called Hawk Bailey Webster 3 episodes
1989 Tour of Duty Lt. Camilla Patterson 2 episodes
1989 227 Amy Burnett Episode: "A Pampered Tale"
1989 Thirtysomething Kate Harriton Episode: "Legacy"
1990 Alien Nation Renee Longstreet Episode: "Eyewitness News"
1990 Equal Justice Janet Fields Episode: "Goodbye, Judge Green"
1991 Flash, TheThe Flash Linda Lake Episode: "Beat the Clock"
1991 Stat Dr. Willie Burns Episode: "Ladyfinger"
1992 Nightmare Cafe Evelyn Episode: "Sanctuary for a Child"
1995 Get Smart Uncredited role as Runway Model Episode: "Pilot"
2003 Freedom: A History of Us Sheyann Webb Episode: "Marching to Freedom Land"
2003 Freedom: A History of Us Melba Pattillo Episode: "Let Freedom Ring"
2003 The Bernie Mac Show Herself Episode: "Laughing Matters"
2005 Alias CIA Director Hayden Chase 4 episodes
2008–09 ER Dr. Cate Banfield 16 episodes
2010 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons First Lady Michelle Obama Episode: "Stealing First Base"
2013–14 American Horror Story: Coven Marie Laveau 12 episodes
2014–15 American Horror Story: Freak Show Desiree Dupree 11 episodes
2015 BoJack Horseman Ana Spanikopita Episode: "Out to Sea"
2015–16 American Horror Story: Hotel Ramona Royale 6 episodes
2016 Close to the Enemy Eva Upcoming series

Video games

Year Film Role Notes
2015 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Agent Six Voice role/motion capture

Awards and nominations


  1. Bassett, Angela (2009), p. 11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bassett, Angela; Vance, Courtney B.; with Beard, Hilary. Friends: A Love Story. Kimani Press. ISBN 9780373830589. Archived from Excerpt from the original Check |url= value (help) on June 24, 2007. ...she met my daddy, Daniel Benjamin Bassett, who'd moved to New York from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They met, dated, got pregnant with me, married and lived in a small apartment in Harlem.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Betty Jane BASSETT". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Nas, Angela Bassett, and Valerie Jarrett on "Finding Your Roots"". Retrieved 2014-11-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Bassett, Angela (2009), pp. 12-13.
  6. "Angela Bassett Biography (1958–)". Retrieved 2010-08-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Weinraub, Bernard (1993-06-23). "As Tina Turner, Wig to High Heels –". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bassett, Angela (2009), pp. 18-19.
  9. Bassett, Angela (2009), pp. 23-24.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bassett, Angela (2009), pp. 29-31.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Angela Bassett's Aha! Moment". September 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Johnson, Erick (January 23, 2014). "CELEBRITIES, COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS PUT GUN VIOLENCE IN THE SPOTLIGHT". South Florida Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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Works cited

  • Bassett, Angela; Courtney B. Vance (2009). Friends: A Love Story. Kimani Press Single Title.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links