Saturday, February 25, 2017

28 Days Of Black Women In Horror: Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett (1958- )

American Horror Story: Coven (2013)

Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born in New York City to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son. Bassett and her sister D'nette grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida with their mother. As a single mother, Betty stressed the importance of education for her children. With the assistance of an academic scholarship, Bassett matriculated into Yale University where she received her B.A. in African-American studies. In 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Yale School of Drama. It was at Yale that Bassett met her husband, Courtney B. Vance, a 1986 graduate of the Drama School. Bassett first appeared in small roles on The Cosby Show (1984) and Spenser: For Hire (1985), but it was not until 1990 that a spate of television roles brought her notice. Her breakthrough role, though, was playing Tina Turner, whom she had never seen perform before taking the role in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). Bassett's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. (Source)

About American Horror Story: Coven (2013)

Out of the dozens of roles, I chose Marie Laveau from American Horror Story because I feel it to be such a genre breakout for a younger generation who may not be familiar with seeing Angela as Katherine Jackson in Strange Days or in Critters 4, etc. Along with bridging the generation gap, her performance was so superlative I can probably conclude that even for the harsher critics of the season, she carried the strength of it equally beside Jessica Lange. My reverence for this role is purely visceral; I saw power, was rejuvenated by her passion, sorrow, and vengeance modus operandi leaning towards racial justice. And she was just so cool.

Other Genre Performances

Ramonda, Black Panther (2018)
Lee Harris/Monet Tumusiime, American Horror Story: Roanoke (2016)
Ramona Royale, American Horror Story: Hotel (2015)
Desiree Dupree, American Horror Story: Freakshow (2014)
Doctor Waller, Green Lantern (2011)
Dr. Kaela Evers, Supernova (2000)
Rachel Constantine, Contact (1997)
Det. Rita Veder, Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
Lornette 'Mace' Mason, Strange Days (1995)
U.S. Attorney Sinclair, Innocent Blood (1992)
Fran, Critters 4 (1992)
Evelyn, Nightmare Cafe (1992)
Linda Lake, The Flash (1991)
Renee Longstreet, Alien Nation (1990)
TV Reporter, F/X (1986)

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