Alluring audiences with emotionally tinged performances has been the signature
of ANGELA BASSETT (Aretha Cobbs) who personifies a sense of dignity and pride
whenever she appears on screen. Her talent and abilities as an actress and executive
producer in both television and film have time and time again earned respect and acclaim from her
peers and fans, proving Bassett to be one of the industry's premier leading ladies.
Bassett can be seen with the impressive cast of the third season of the hit FX
series "American Horror Story: Coven" as Marie Laveau, the historical voodoo queen and
leader of the Coven's most powerful rivals in the Dark Arts.
Bassett recently returned to the musical front in Fox Searchlight's BLACK
NATIVITY opposite Forest Whitaker for director Kasi Lemmons; set to hit theaters November
27, 2013. The musical, inspired by Langston Hughes' work, transposes the plight of an unwed
mother looking for a place to have a baby on a cold night in a cold city to twentieth-century
America. Meanwhile, a young boy meets his grandparents for the first time and forms new bonds with
his struggling mother.
Bassett will soon work on the upcoming film SURVIVOR opposite Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson and Milla Jovovich for director James McTeigue. Production starts
shooting in London in January 2014.
Bassett was seen as Lynne Jacobs, the head of the secret service in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN for FilmDistrict opposite Morgan Freeman, Gerard Butler, and Aaron
Eckhart for director Antoine Fuqua. She will reprise her role in the upcoming sequel LONDON
She will be seen in the upcoming independent film WHITEBIRD IN A BLIZZARD, directed by Gregg Araki. Bassett will be seen as Dr. Thaler, a pivotal role
opposite Shailene Woodley. She was recently seen as Coretta Scott King in the Lifetime movie
"Betty and Coretta," which follows the lives Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King face as single
mothers after the assassination of their husbands.
Bassett starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson in the Broadway premiere of Katori
Hall's Olivier Award winning play Mountaintop. Mountaintop was a gripping reimagining
of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. Bassett also starred in Columbia Pictures' wedding themed JUMPING THE BROOM, alongside Paula Patton. The hilarious and touching comedy revolves around the
clash of two African-American families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum
meeting for the first time during a weekend wedding in Martha's Vineyard. Bassett played
'Claudine Watson,' mother of 'Sabrina' (Paula Patton), heiress to the Watson family fortune and a
pillar of the Washington D.C. Elite.
Perhaps best known for her intense portrayal of Tina Turner in the biopic WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT opposite Laurence Fishburne, Bassett earned the Golden
Globe for Best Actress in a Musical, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in
a Motion Picture, and an Academy Award nomination for her powerful performance.
Bassett first made the successful crossover to the silver screen when she
appeared in a small but rich role as the ambitious single mother who sends her son to live
with his father in John Singleton's BOYZ N THE HOOD. Other memorable roles include Terry McMillan's WAITING TO EXHALE co-starring Whitney Houston, Kathryn Bigelow's futuristic
STRANGE DAYS with Ralph Fiennes, VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN opposite Eddie Murphy, and SUPERNOVA with James Spader. Angela also starred as 'Violetta Wallace,' mother
of slain rapper, Christopher 'Notorious B.I.G.' in NOTORIOUS.
Bassett has also received NAACP Image Awards for performances in films such as
HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Taye Diggs; THE SCORE opposite Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando; MUSIC OF THE
HEART with Meryl Streep; MALCOLM X opposite Denzel Washington; CONTACT opposite Jodie Foster and for BOESMAN AND LENA with Danny Glover. She was also recognized for
her leading role in the television movie RUBY'S BUCKET OF BLOOD, bringing her total
number of Image Awards to nine. Bassett received a Screen Actors Guild AwardÂ®
nomination for her performance in RUBY'S BUCKET OF BLOOD and an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in
a television movie for her work in "The Rosa Parks Story."
For the ABC mini-series "The Jacksons: An American Dream," Bassett received
critical praise for her touching performance as Katherine Jackson; an Emmy nomination for
the "Uncle Jed's Barbershop" episode of PBS' "Storytime"; and critical nods for narrating
the miniseries, "Africans in America," also for PBS. Bassett's other notable television roles
have included the final season of NBC's hit Primetime series "ER," as Dr. Cate Banfield, and a
recurring role in ABC's hit drama series "Alias."
Nominations and awards aside, one of the most gratifying moments of her career
was the opportunity to merge faith and talent when she gave voice to various characters
in the all-time best selling audiobook The Bible Experience.
Beginning her career on stage and continuing to this day, the Yale School of
Drama graduate completed several productions on and off Broadway, which include Ma
Rainey's Black Bottom, Colored People's Time, Henry IV, Part I, Joe Turner's Come and Gone,
Antigone, Pericles, and Black Girl. She returned to the stage in 1998 to star opposite
Alec Baldwin in Macbeth at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York. In 2005, Bassett starred
with her husband, Courtney B. Vance, in the North American premier production of John
Guare's stage adaptation of His Girl Friday and The Front Page at the historic Guthrie
Theater. She has recently received rave reviews for her work with Fishburne in August Wilson's
classic play Fences at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse.
Bassett and her husband co-wrote the book, Friends: A Love Story. The
inspirational book is the real-life love story of Bassett and Vance, who were friends for many
years before marrying. They have also formed Bassett Vance Productions and their first
venture, BOOK OF THE YEAR, marks Bassett's directorial debut. Based on the novel Erasure by
Percival Everett and adapted by Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, the dramatic comedy follows Monk Ellison,
a prominent black literary figure. Ellison writes a faux biography from the
perspective of a barely literate hoodlum to decry what is wrong with the glorification of "ghetto"
culture, but when the book is lauded as a possible contender for the National Book Award, he must
choose between pride and fame.
The couple resides outside of Los Angeles with their twins, Bronwyn Golden and
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