ANGELA BASSETT (Lynn Jacobs) is one of the industry's premier leading ladies and personifies dignity whenever she appears on screen, while always delivering emotionally tinged performances. Her talents as an actress and executive producer in both television and film have earned undying respect from her peers.
Bassett is currently filming Black Nativity for director Kasi Lemmons. Inspired by the work of Langston Hughes, the musical transposes the nativity story with the plight of an unwed mother looking for a place to have a baby on a cold night in 20th Century America.
The actress will also be seen in the upcoming indie Whitebird in a Blizzard, directed by Gregg Araki. Bassett plays a pivotal role opposite Shailene Woodley. She was recently seen as Coretta Scott King in the Lifetime movie "Betty and Coretta," following Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King as single mothers after the assassination of their husbands.
Bassett recently starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson in the Broadway premiere of Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning play, "Mountaintop." The play is a gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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 a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture and an Academy Award nomination.
Bassett also starred in the wedding-themed comedy Jumping the Broom, alongside Paula Patton. The hilarious and touching film revolves around the clash of two African-American families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum who meet for the first time during a weekend wedding in Martha's Vineyard.
Bassett's first key screen role came in a small but rich role in John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood. She played an ambitious single mother who sends her son to live with his father. Other memorable film credits include Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale, costarring Whitney Houston; Kathryn Bigelow's futuristic Strange Days, opposite Ralph Fiennes; Vampire in Brooklyn, with Eddie Murphy; and Supernova, alongside James Spader. Bassett also starred in Notorious as Violetta Wallace, mother of the slain rapper Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace.
Bassett has received NAACP Image Awards for her performances in films such as How Stella Got Her Groove Back, opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Taye Diggs; The Score, opposite Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando; Music of the Heart, with Meryl Streep; Malcolm X, opposite Denzel Washington; Contact, alongside Jodie Foster; and 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. She also received a SAG Award nomination for that performance.
Bassett received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Television Movie for her work in "The Rosa Parks Story." For the ABC miniseries "The Jacksons: An American Dream," she drew rave reviews for her touching performance as Katherine Jackson. Bassett was also Emmy nominated for the "Uncle Jed's Barbershop" episode of PBS' "Storytime."
Other television credits include recurring roles on "ER" and "Alias" as well as narrating the PBS miniseries "Africans in America." Nominations and awards aside, one of the most gratifying moments of her career was to merge faith and talent when she gave voice to various characters in bestselling audio presentation "The Bible Experience."
A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Bassett began her career in the theater and continues to perform on stage. Credits 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."
In 1998 Bassett starred 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 premiere of John Guare's stage adaptation of "His Girl Friday" at the historic Guthrie Theater. She recently enjoyed rave reviews for her performance opposite Laurence Fishburne in August Wilson's "Fences," at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Bassett and Vance co-wrote the book, Friends: A Love Story. The inspirational book is the real-life love story of the pair, who were friends for many years before marrying. The couple has formed Bassett/Vance Productions and their first venture, United States, marks Bassett's directorial debut. Based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett and adapted by Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, this dramedy follows a prominent black literary figure who, to decry what is wrong with the glorification of "ghetto" culture, writes a faux biography from the perspective of a barely literate hoodlum. When the book is lauded as a possible contender for the National Book Award, he must choose between pride and fame.
Bassett resides outside of Los Angeles with Vance and their twins, Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah.