Born: August 16, 1958
Birthplace: New York, NY
Zodiac Sign: Leo
Career and Life
Angela Evelyn Bassett is an American actress and activist known for her biographical film roles, most notably her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. Bassett has additionally portrayed real life figures Betty Shabazz in both Malcolm X (1992) and Panther (1995), Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992), Voletta Wallace in Notorious (2009) and Coretta Scott King in Betty & Coretta (2013). Her other notable film roles include Reva Styles in Boyz in the Hood (1991), Bernie Harris in Waiting to Exhale (1995), Rachel Constantine in Contact (1997), Lynne Jacobs in Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016), and Queen Ramonda in Black Panther (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Bassett began her film career in the 1980s, after earning a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and a master of fine arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. In the 1990s, she appeared in films nearly every year. The 2000s saw a succession of films starring Bassett, with her appearing in at least one film every year. Bassett's success has continued into the 2010s. Bassett earned nominations for her roles in films such as The Score (2001), Akeelah and the Bee (2006), Meet the Browns (2008) and Jumping the Broom (2011) and won awards for her performances in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Music of the Heart (1999), among others. Bassett's performance as Rosa Parks in the 2002 film The Rosa Parks Story was honored with her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
In 2013, Bassett had a recurring role on the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story: Coven, earning her second Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her performance as Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. She returned for Freak Show, the series' fourth season, portraying a three-breasted woman named Desiree Dupree, for which she received another Emmy Award nomination. For the fifth season, Hotel, she portrayed Ramona Royale, a famous movie star. Bassett returned to the series's sixth cycle, Roanoke, portraying an alcoholic actress named Monet Tumusiime, who plays struggling mother and former police officer Lee Harris in the My Roanoke Nightmare documentary, and she reprised her role as Marie Laveau in a guest role in the eighth season Apocalypse. In 2018, Bassett began producing and starring in the Fox first responder drama series 9-1-1, playing LAPD patrol sergeant Athena Grant.
Bassett married actor Courtney B. Vance in 1997. In the summer of 2005, they starred together in a production of His Girl Friday at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The couple's twins – son Slater Josiah Vance and daughter Bronwyn Golden Vance – carried by a surrogate, were born on January 27, 2006.
Bassett is a supporter of programs for the arts, especially for youth. She annually attends events for children with diabetes and those in foster homes. She is an active Ambassador of UNICEF for the United States. Bassett is a supporter of the Royal Theater Boys & Girls Club in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida.
She is represented by the Executive Speakers Bureau of Memphis.
In early 2007, Bassett donated $2,300 to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Bassett supported Obama in his reelection campaign. In June 2012, she made an appearance at the St. Petersburg office of his campaign and said the election was not one "where we can sit on the sidelines". Bassett attended the second inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2013. She endorsed Hillary Clinton for president during the 2016 United States presidential election, saying "Bar none, Clinton would make a great president." Bassett also spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, introducing survivors of the previous year's Charleston church shooting, an incident about which she spoke during her remarks. After Clinton was defeated in the general election, Bassett tweeted, "Only 1455 days until November 3, 2020. Rest up my country. #ProudOfHer".
Bassett was initiated as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority on July 13, 2013.