HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK
ANGELA BASSETT (Ste/la) decided to pursue acting
after a high school field trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington
D.C. left her in tears (She had just witnessed James Earl Jones'
powerful performance in "Of Mice and Men"). Less than
a decade later, Bassett remained true to her word by earning a
Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College and a Masters of Fine
Arts from the demanding and prestigious Yale School of Drama.
Upon graduation, Bassett moved directly to New York to pursue
her career. It wasn't long before she was landing roles in Off-Broadway
productions like Second Stage's "Black Girl," the Negro
Ensemble's "Colored Peoples' Time" and "Henry IV
Part I" for Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. On Broadway, she
appeared in August Wilson's celebrated plays "Ma Rainey's
Black Bottom" and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
Bassett recently returned to the stage, appearing at the New York
Shakespeare Festival as Lady Macbeth (opposite Alec Baldwin).
In 1990. John Singleton cast Bassett in his critically acclaimed
feature film debut "Boyz N the Hood." She shined in
her role as a single mother trying to raise her troubled, teenage
son. Bassett next starred opposite Denzel Washington as Betty
Shabazz, the wife of the seminal leader "Malcolm X"
in Spike Lee's biographical epic.
But it was her riveting portrayal of legend Tina Turner in "What's
Love Got to Do With It?" which cemented Bassett's growing
reputation as a powerful and versatile actor. Chronicling the
superstar's sixteen year marriage to Ike Turner, Bassett's honest
and emotional performance struck a chord with audiences worldwide.
She was honored with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and
also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Other screen credits include the box-office hit "Waiting
to Exhale,""Contact," John Sayles' "City of
Hope" and "Passion Fish." Wes Craven's "A
Vampire in Brooklyn" (opposite Eddie Murphy), and "Strange
Days," directed by Kathryn Bigelow. She also made a cameo
appearance in Mario Van Peeble's "Panther," again playing
On television, Bassett appeared in the ABC mini-series "The
Jacksons: An American Dream," receiving rave notices for
her touching portrayal as Katherine, a role which encompassed
thirty years of the woman's life.
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