Beah Richards on The Bill Cosby Show (1970)
Beulah Elizabeth Richardson
July 12, 1920
Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||September 14, 2000 80) (aged|
Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.
|Alma mater||Dillard University|
| Guess Who's Coming to Dinner |
Roots: The Next Generations
|Spouse(s)||Hugh Harrell Jr. (divorced)|
Beulah Elizabeth Richardson (July 12, 1920 – September 14, 2000), known professionally as Beah Richards, was an American actress of stage, screen, and television. She was also a poet, playwright, and author.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
Richards was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her supporting role in the film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in 1968, as well as winning two Primetime Emmy Awards for her guest roles in the television series Frank's Place in 1988 and The Practice in 2000. She also received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 1965 production of The Amen Corner .
The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role while working within the film industry. The award was traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Supporting Actor winner.
The Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 1944 for a performance in a motion picture released in the previous year.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, and written by William Rose. It stars Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn, and features Hepburn's niece Katharine Houghton.
She was born Beulah Elizabeth Richardson in Vicksburg, Mississippi; her mother was a seamstress and PTA advocate and her father was a Baptist minister. In 1948, she graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans and two years later moved to New York City.Her career began in 1955 when she portrayed an 84-year-old-grandmother in the off-Broadway show Take a Giant Step . She often played the role of a mother or grandmother, and continued acting her entire life. She appeared in the original Broadway productions of Purlie Victorious, The Miracle Worker , and A Raisin in the Sun .
Vicksburg is the only city in, and county seat of, Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is located 234 miles (377 km) northwest of New Orleans at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and 40 miles (64 km) due west of Jackson, the state capital. It is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from the state of Louisiana.
Dillard University is a private, historically black, liberal arts college in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Founded in 1930 and incorporating earlier institutions that were founded as early as 1869 after the American Civil War, it is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
From the 1930s to the late 1950s, Richards was a member and organizer with the Communist Party USA in Los Angeles after befriending artist Paul Robeson. She is among the Black women who "actively participated in movements affiliated with the CPUSA" between 1917's Bolshevik Revolution and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 revelations.She was later a sponsor of the National United Committee to Free Angela Davis.
Paul Leroy Robeson was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. Educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University, he was also a star athlete in his youth. He also studied Swahili and linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London in 1934. His political activities began with his involvement with unemployed workers and anti-imperialist students whom he met in Britain and continued with support for the Loyalist cause in the Spanish Civil War and his opposition to fascism. In the United States he also became active in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. His sympathies for the Soviet Union and for communism, and his criticism of the United States government and its foreign policies, caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Soviet statesman who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev's party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.
Angela Yvonne Davis is an American communist, political activist, academic, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist in the 1960s working with the Communist Party USA, of which she was a member until 1991, and was involved in the Black Panther Party during the Civil Rights Movement.
Richards was nominated for a Tony Award for her 1965 performance in James Baldwin's The Amen Corner .She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Sidney Poitier's mother in the 1967 film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner . Other notable movie performances include Hurry Sundown , The Great White Hope , Beloved and In the Heat of the Night .
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
The Amen Corner is a three-act play by James Baldwin. It was Baldwin's first attempt at theater following Go Tell It on the Mountain. It was first published in 1954, and inspired a short-lived 1983 Broadway musical adaptation with the slightly truncated title, Amen Corner. The play was revived at the Royal National Theatre in London in summer 2013.
Sir Sidney Poitier, is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author, and diplomat.
She made numerous guest television appearances including roles on Beauty and the Beast , The Bill Cosby Show , Sanford and Son , Benson , Designing Women , The Practice , The Big Valley and ER (as Dr. Peter Benton's mother.) She was the winner of two Emmy Awards, one in 1988 for her appearance on the series Frank's Place and another in 2000 for her appearance on The Practice .
Beauty and the Beast is an American fantasy-drama series which first aired on CBS in 1987. Creator Ron Koslow's updated version of the fairy tale has a double focus: the relationship between Vincent, a mythic, noble man-beast, and Catherine, a savvy Assistant District Attorney in New York; and a secret Utopian community of social outcasts living in a subterranean sanctuary. Through an empathetic bond, Vincent senses Catherine's emotions, and becomes her guardian.
The Bill Cosby Show is an American sitcom that aired for two seasons on NBC's Sunday night schedule from 1969 until 1971, under the sponsorship of Procter & Gamble. There were 52 episodes made in the series. It marked Bill Cosby's first solo foray in television, after his co starring role with Robert Culp in I Spy. The series also marked the first time an African American starred in his or her own eponymous comedy series.
Sanford and Son is an American sitcom that ran on the NBC television network from January 14, 1972, to March 25, 1977. It was based on the BBC Television program Steptoe and Son, which had its original broadcast run in the United Kingdom from 1962 to 1965.
Richards died from emphysema in her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi at the age of 80.
In the last year of her life, Richards was the subject of a documentary created by actress Lisa Gay Hamilton. The documentary Beah: A Black Woman Speaks was created from over 70 hours of their conversations. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the AFI Film Festival.
Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War (2011), by Dayo Gore, is about Richards and others.
|1958||The Mugger||Grecco Maid|
|1959||Take a Giant Step||May Scott|
|1962||The Miracle Worker||Viney the Maid||Uncredited|
|1963||Gone Are the Days!||Idella Landy|
|1967||Hurry Sundown||Rose Scott|
|1967||In the Heat of the Night||Mama Caleba|
|1967||Guess Who's Coming to Dinner||Mrs. Prentice||Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress |
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
|1970||The Great White Hope||Mama Tiny||NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
|1972||The Biscuit Eater||Charity Tomlin|
|1973||A Dream For Christmas||Grandma Bessie|
|1987||Big Shots||Miss Hanks|
|1989||Homer and Eddie||Linda Cervi|
|1989||Drugstore Cowboy||Drug Counselor|
|1998||Beloved||Baby Suggs||Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
– Beah Richards
Eileen Heckart was an American actress whose career spanned nearly 60 years. She first became known for her role as schoolteacher Rosemary Sydney in the original 1953 cast of William Inge's play Picnic on Broadway. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the overprotective mother of a blind adult son in Butterflies Are Free (1972), a role she originated on Broadway before playing it in the film.
Ellen Burstyn is an American actress best known for her roles in films of the 1970s, such as The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, for which she won an Academy Award.
Diahann Carroll is an American actress, singer and model. She rose to stardom in performances in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts, including Carmen Jones in 1954 and Porgy and Bess in 1959. In 1962, Carroll won a Tony Award for best actress, a first for a black woman, for her role in the Broadway musical No Strings.
Sally Margaret Field is an American actress and director. She is the recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and has been nominated for a Tony Award and two BAFTA Awards.
Marcia Gay Harden is an American actress. Her film breakthrough was in the 1990 Coen brothers-directed Miller's Crossing. She followed this with roles in films including Used People (1992), The First Wives Club (1996), and Flubber (1997). For her performance as artist Lee Krasner in the 2000 film Pollock, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She earned another Academy Award nomination for her performance as Celeste Boyle in Mystic River (2003). Other notable film roles include American Gun (2005), and 2007's The Mist and Into the Wild.
Annette Carol Bening is an American actress. She began her career on stage with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival company in 1980, and played Lady Macbeth in 1984 at the American Conservatory Theatre. She was nominated for the 1987 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Coastal Disturbances and for the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for All My Sons. She is a four-time Academy Award nominee for the films: The Grifters (1990), American Beauty (1999), Being Julia (2004), and The Kids Are All Right (2010). In 2006, she received a film star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Allison Brooks Janney is an American actress. A prolific character actress, Janney has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Isabel Sanford was an American stage, film, and television actress and comedian best known for her role as Louise "Weezy" Mills Jefferson on the CBS sitcoms All in the Family (1971–1975) and The Jeffersons (1975–1985). In 1981, she became the second black American actress to win a Primetime Emmy Award, and the first to win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
LisaGay Hamilton is an American actress who has portrayed roles in films, television, and on stage. She is best known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC's legal drama The Practice (1997-2003). She also portrayed Melissa Thoreau on the TNT comedy-drama Men of a Certain Age (2009-2011), Celia Jones on the Netflix series House of Cards (2016), Suzanne Simms on the Hulu series Chance (2016), and Kayla Price on the Hulu series The First (2018).
Colleen Rose Dewhurst was a Canadian-American actress. She is known most for theatre roles, and for a while as "the Queen of Off-Broadway". In her autobiography, Dewhurst wrote: "I had moved so quickly from one Off-Broadway production to the next that I was known, at one point, as the 'Queen of Off-Broadway'. This title was not due to my brilliance, but, rather, because most of the plays I was in closed after a run of anywhere from one night to two weeks. I would then move immediately into another." She was a renowned interpreter of the works of Eugene O'Neill on the stage, and her career also encompassed film, early dramas on live television, and Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. One of her last roles was playing Marilla Cuthbert in the Kevin Sullivan television adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables series, and her reprisal of the role in the subsequent TV series Road to Avonlea. Dewhurst won two Tony Awards and four Emmy Awards for her stage and television work.
LaTanya Richardson, often listed as LaTanya Richardson Jackson, is an American actress and producer. She began her career appearing in off-Broadway, before playing supporting roles on television and film.
Jean Elizabeth Smart is an American actress. After beginning her career in regional theater in the Pacific Northwest, she appeared on Broadway as Marlene Dietrich in Piaf in 1981. Smart was later cast in a lead role as Charlene Frazier Stillfield on the CBS sitcom Designing Women, which she played from 1986 to 1991.
Beulah Bondi was an American actress of stage, film and television. She began her acting career as a young child in theater and, after establishing herself as a stage actress, reprised her role in Street Scene for the 1931 film version. She played supporting roles in several films during the 1930s, and was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She played the mother of James Stewart in the four films Of Human Hearts, Vivacious Lady, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and It's a Wonderful Life (1946). She continued acting well into her later years, winning an Emmy Award for an appearance on The Waltons in 1976.
Barbara Barrie is an American actress of film, stage and television. She is also an accomplished author.
Holland Virginia Taylor is an American actress and playwright. She won the 1999 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Judge Roberta Kittleson on the ABC drama The Practice (1998–2003). She is also known for her role as Evelyn Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003–2015).
Valerie Mahaffey is an American TV actress and producer. She won an Emmy Award for her work on Northern Exposure. She later won fame through her portrayal of extroverted and friendly but ultimately insane women on the television shows Wings, Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids.
Viola Davis is an American actress and producer. She is the first black actor to have won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award in acting, named the Triple Crown of Acting.
Edmund James Cambridge Jr. was an American actor and director who was a founding member of the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) and the Kilpatrick-Cambridge Theater Arts School.
Take a Giant Step is a 1959 coming-of-age drama film directed by Philip Leacock. The plot concerns a black teenager living in a predominantly white environment and having trouble coping as he reaches an age at which the realities of racism are beginning to affect his life more directly and pointedly than they had in his childhood. Adapted from the Broadway play by Louis S. Peterson, the film stars Johnny Nash - who would ultimately become more well known for his singing career, including the hit song "I Can See Clearly Now" - as the lead character, Spencer "Spence" Scott. Co-stars included Ruby Dee as the Scott family's housekeeper, Estelle Hemsley as Grandma Martin, and Beah Richards as Spence's mother. The movie's executive producer was Burt Lancaster through his Hecht-Hill-Lancaster production company.
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