Today in History: In 1958, Actress Angela Bassett was Born

Angela Bassett

Bassett was born Angela Evelyn Bassett in Harlem, New York on August 16, 1958, the daughter of Betty Jane and Daniel Benjamin Bassett. After her parents’ separation, she relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida, where she and her sister D’nette were raised by their social worker/civil servant mother.

As her interest in entertainment developed, Angela and her sister would often put on shows, reading poems or performing popular music for their family.

Bassett attended Yale University and received her B.A. degree in African-American studies in 1980. In 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama.

In 1985, Bassett made her first television appearance as a prostitute in the TV movie Doubletake. However, she made her official film debut as a news reporter in F/X  in 1986.

Angela has starred in the following films: The Jacksons: An American Dream, Malcolm X, and What’s Love Got to Do with It?

She has become well known for her biographical film roles portraying real life women in African American culture, including Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It, as well as Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X and Panther, Rosa Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream, and Voletta Wallace in Notorious.

Bassett won a Golden Globe and earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Turner. She was the first African-American to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

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