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Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett is featured in:

Season 2, Episode 6: We Come From People

Alluring audiences with emotionally tinged performances has been the signature of Angela Bassett, 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 her to be one of the industry’s premier leading ladies.

Currently, Angela is making her directorial debut as she leads the helm for Lifetime’s film I will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story; a biopic that will chronicle the loving and tumultuous relationship between Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.

Angela was recently 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. She’ll return for season four’s carnival themed American Horror Story: Freak Show.

She was seen in the Sundance Indie Film White Bird in a Blizzard, directed by Gregg Araki. Angela will be seen as Dr. Thaler, a pivotal role opposite Shailene Woodley. Angela was also recently seen as Coretta Scott King in the Lifetime movie Betty and Coretta for which she received a SAG Award Nomination.

Angela recently completed work in London on the upcoming film SURVIVOR opposite Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson and Milla Jovovich for director James McTeigue.

Angela 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 has Fallen.

Angela returned to the musical front in Fox Searchlight’s BLACK NATIVITY opposite Forest Whitaker for director Kasi Lemmons. 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.

Angela 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.

Angela also starred in Columbia Pictures’ wedding themed comedy JUMPING THE BROOM alongside Paula Patton. The hilarious and touching JUMPING THE BROOM 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”, “Sabrina’s” (Paula Patton) mother, 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, Angela 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.

Angela has also received eleven NAACP Image Awards for her performances in films such as BLACK NATIVITY opposite Forest Whitaker, 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, BOESMAN AND LENA with Danny Glover; and television movies and shows such as RUBY’S BUCKET OF BLOOD and ER. Bassett also received a Screen Actors Guild Award 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, Angela received critical raves 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. Angela’s other notable television roles have included the final season of NBC’s hit primetime series E.R., 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, this 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 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; and recently received rave reviews for her work with Fishburne in August Wilson’s classic play FENCES at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse.

Angela and her husband, actor Courtney B. Vance 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 Slater Josiah.

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Guests From Episode 6 of Season 2

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Episode Guide

Finding Your Roots Season Six

Discover the surprising ancestral stories of 27 fascinating guests, including Jeffrey Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Melissa McCarthy, Sterling K. Brown, Jordan Peele, Nancy Pelosi, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, Queen Latifah, Jon Batiste, Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini, Terry Gross, Eric Stonestreet and more in season six of Finding Your Roots.

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WETA | Finding Your Roots
with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

New Episodes: Tuesdays at 8/7c