August 16, 1958
New York, New York
Angela Bassett was raised along with her sister by their single mother in the housing projects of Saint Petersburg, Florida. It was after watching James Earl Jones' Broadway performance in Of Mice and Men that Angela decided she wanted a career in acting. After graduating from high school, Angela went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College, and a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama.
Upon graduation, Angela Bassett moved to New York and it wasn't long before she was landing roles in off-Broadway productions. But is was difficult to avoid the stereotypical roles afforded to African-American women in film. However, Angela worked her way through such typecasting and into mainstream stardom with such roles as Katherine Jackson in
"The Jacksons: An American Dream".
In 1990, John Singleton cast Bassett in his feature film debut Boyz N the Hood. A role in which she played a single mother trying to raise her troubled, teenaged son. Angela's work received even more attention when she starred opposite Denzel Washington in Malcolm X, but it was her riveting portrayal of singing legend Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It? that cemented Angela's growing reputation as a powerful and versatile actor, and won her an Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category.
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