Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett


8/16/1958, New York, New York

Birth Name

Angela Evelyn Bassett



Also Known As

Angela Basset
  • Courtney B. Vance and his wife actress A...
  • Angela Bassett and actor Courtney B. Van...
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Angela Bassett is an American actress born in New York City on August 16, 1958. Though born in New York City, she grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida. A high school teacher of Bassett's encouraged her to apply to Yale and she got a scholarship, and ended up…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2009, Angela (along with fellow cast members) won the Icon Award at the TV Land Awards for her work on the television series ER.

    • In 2005, Angela was nominated for a BET Comedy Award at the BET Comedy Awards in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Theatrical Film
      for her role in the 2004 film Mr 3000.

    • In 1999, Angela won the Black Film Award at the Acapulco Black Film Festival in the category of Best Actress for her role in the 1998 film How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

    • Angela graduated from Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, Florida, Class of 1976.

    • In 1996, Angela won the Saturn Award at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA in the category of Best Actress in the 1995 film Strange Days.

    • In 1994, Angela was nominated for an Oscar at the Academy Awards, USA in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role in the 1993 film What's Love Got to Do with It.

    • According to Celebrity Sleuth magazine, Angela's measurements are 34B-25-37.

    • Angela is 5' 4" (1.63 m).

    • Angela is an extremely private person, with a deep religious background based in the Christian faith. She attends Los Angeles' Church of God in Christ, as does close friend and fellow actor Denzel Washington.

    • Angela is an enthusiatic supporter of programs for the arts. She also supports various children's causes, such as: Children with Diabetes, the first all performing arts 'Boys & Girls Club' in the country, Children in Foster Homes, and is an active Ambassador of UNICEF.

    • Angela worked extremely hard to win her part as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It, turning in a lengthy, brutal, intense audition that left her with a broken finger during a screen test of a violent scene. She also maintained a no-sugar diet, weight-trained for 4 hours a day, 6 days a week, and did extensive aerobic dance routines to achieve Tina's incredible fit, muscular physique. In the end, Angela won the role over Halle Berry and Robin Givens.

    • Angela went to Yale University on an Academic Scholarship and earned her B.A. in African-American studies in 1980, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1983 from the Yale School of Drama. She met her future husband at Yale, Courtney is a 1986 graduate of the Drama School.

    • Angela and her younger sister grew up encouraging each other to be creative, putting on shows or performing music and dance routines for the family. At her high school, she stayed involved by joining the debate club, becoming a member of the student government, and cheerleading.

    • Angela played Muslim activist Betty Shabazz in two different films: Malcom X in 1992 and Panther in 1995.

    • Angela was the first and only African American recipient of the Golden Globe Award for 'Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy' as of 2005. She received the honor for her dead-on portrayal of Tina Turner in 1993's What's Love Got to Do with It?.

    • Angela and her husband, Courtney B. Vance released a book together in December 2006, titled Friends: A Love Story.

    • Angela refused the role of Leticia Musgrove in Monster's Ball, due to the required nudity.

    • Angela rallied to land the part of Dorothy Dandridge, but was beat by Halle Berry, with the HBO telefilm Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, in 1999.

    • Angela has built her career by playing some of the most powerful, influential, pioneering black women of the twentieth century.

    • Angela was an appointment booker for a beauty salon, and a photo cataloger at US News and World Report, before her career in acting took off.

    • Angela made her Broadway debut in 1985, in August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Lloyd Richards.

    • Angela made her television movie debut in 1985, in Doubletake.

    • Angela began working at the Hartford Stage Company in 1984, performing in The Mystery Plays.

    • Angela would practice being the center of attention as a teen in her church, she performed monologues and poetry readings for the congregation.

    • Angela was the first black student at her high school to be accepted into the National Honor Society.

    • Angela made her acting debut at age 15, as Mama in a school production of A Raisin in The Sun, at Boca Ciega High School in St. Petersburg, Florida.

    • Angela was inspired to act after an 11th grade class field trip to Washington, DC during which she saw James Earl Jones star in a Kennedy Center production of Mice and Men.

    • Angela was first exposed to the theater through the Upward Bound Program for academically gifted low-income children.

    • She is married to fellow actor Courtney B. Vance and they have twin daughters together through a surrogate. Their names are Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah.

  • Quotes

    • Angela: I would have to say honestly I was very pleased to be in a film whether it was good or bad with De Niro, Norton and Brando even if I don't have any scenes with them, I thought it was pretty good company to keep.

    • Angela: I'm thinking about directing, but I know it's a lot of work and I appreciate what directors do and I would like to be good at it. The opportunity has presented itself four to five times, and I usually said no because of the script.

    • Angela: She was hurt, but not only did it hurt her, it hurt me. We talked it through, but there are issues that I Can't reconcile myself with as an actress. As a black woman growing up in a country that has had a long history of racism, I'm sensitive to all of the portrayals of us.
      (When asked about her controversial remarks made about Halle Berry's role in 'Monster's Ball')

    • Angela: I really believe that what I do as an actress is my God-given talent. This is my calling...not my career.

  • Great actress.

    Great person.
  • empty

    She is a good actress, and I think that the reason I like her style, is beause she simply has a lot of good talent along with her. She really knows how to act, and she ennjoys doing it. She has a lot of good attributes, and that makes her acting more enjoyable to watch. I really enjoy all of her movies.