Born: August 16, 1958 Height: 5'4"
Angela Evelyn Bassett is an American actress and activist known for her biographical film roles, most notably her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic What's Love Got to Do with It
(1993), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. Bassett has additionally portrayed Betty Shabazz in both Malcolm X
(1992) and Panther
(1995), Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream
(1992), Voletta Wallace in Notorious
(2009) and Coretta Scott King in Betty & Coretta
(2013). Her other roles include Rachel Constantine in Contact
(1997), Amanda Waller in Green Lantern
(2011), Lynne Jacobs in Olympus Has Fallen
(2013) and London Has Fallen
(2016) and Queen Ramonda in Black Panther
Bassett was born in New York City, and was raised in Harlem. 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. 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 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. 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.
Bassett began her film career in the mid-1980s. In the 1990s, 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 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. Bassett's performance as Rosa Parks in the 2002 film The Rosa Parks Story
was honored with her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
In 2013, Bassett had a recurring role on the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story: Coven
, earning her second Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her performance as Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. She returned for Freak Show
, the series' fourth season, portraying a three-breasted woman named Desiree Dupree, for which she received another Emmy Award nomination. For the fifth season, Hotel
, she portrayed Ramona Royale, a famous movie star. Bassett returned to the series's sixth cycle, Roanoke
, portraying an alcoholic actress named Monet Tumusiime, who plays struggling mother and former police officer Lee Harris in the My Roanoke Nightmare documentary, and she reprised her role as Marie Laveau in a guest role in the eighth season Apocalypse
. In 2018, Bassett began producing and starring in the Fox first responder drama series 9-1-1
, playing LAPD patrol sergeant Athena Grant.
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