Angela Basset Birthday: August 16, 1958 Birth Place: New York, New York, USA Height: 5' 4"
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Born in New York City, she grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida. Pushed by a high school teacher, she applied for Yale and got a scholarship, ultimately spending 7 years there including 3 post-grad years studying drama. She first appeared in a small role in the cult favorite F/X (1986), but it was not until 1990 that a spate of TV roles brought her notice. Her breakthrough role, though, was playing Tina Turner, whom she had never seen perform before taking the role.
Bassett has built her career around playing some of the most celebrated real-life, pioneering black women of the twentieth century. She was Oscar-nominated and won both the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture for her star-making performance as Tina Turner/Anna Mae Bullock in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). She won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her work as the late-Dr. Betty Shabazz (widow of the slain civil rights pioneer Malcolm X) in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992). She would later play Dr. Shabazz in a cameo appearance in Mario Van Peebles' Panther (1995). She delivered the only three-dimensional performance in the 1992 ABC miniseries about The Jackson Five and their family, The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992) (TV). In 1999, she played Janet Williams--the principal of the school where Roberta Guaspari taught in Music of the Heart (1999). She was also in the running to play Dorothy Dandridge, until Halle Berry beat her to the punch with the HBO telefilm, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (TV).
She was once employed as a photo researcher at U.S. News & World Report magazine.
In 1974 she began to consider acting as a career choice after an 11th-grade class trip to Washington, DC during which she saw actor James Earl Jones perform in a Kennedy Center production of the play "Of Mice and Men".
Turned down the role of Leticia Musgrove in Monster's Ball (2001) because she did not want to perform nude.
Won the 2002 Lena Horne Award for Outstanding Career Achievements in the Field of Entertainment.