Monday, July 21, 2008

Angela Bassett: Simply Amazing

Let me just start this off by declaring Angela Evelyn Bassett will be 50 years old come August 16. Yes read it again, 50 gorgeous awe-inspiring years old. She shares a birthday with the 'Material Girl' Madonna.

Let me get this off my chest as well, the woman is phenomenal! She is awesome. Angela Bassett is quite simply - amazing!

She's a strong, intelligent, proud, extremely talented woman of color. She has lead an exemplary life. A life that's inspiring, uplifting, challenging, demanding and worhtwhile. I admire her to the fullest. She has blazed her own trail, she has paved the way for many a women of color to follow. She's has lived a life full of integrity. She has unshakable character.

The IMDB describes her as being captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. I could not agree more. Angela is all that and so much more.

The woman has a body to die for. How the hell does she do it? Beats the hell outta me. I'll I ask is that she just keeps on doing it and doing it well. I don't care to know. I just care about the end results and her end rocks! Hard!

One of the most admirable characteristic about Angela is the roles that she chooses to play in movies. She has a reputation for choosing roles that depict women as being strong, independent, self-sufficient and pioneers. The woman is truly powerful and charismatic.

Such roles include Tina Turner in What's Love Got To Do With It (1993), Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X's wife) in Malcolm X (1992) and she reprised the same role in Mario Van Peeble's Panther (1995) and Rosa Parks in The Rosa Parks Story (1992). She also auditioned for the role of Dorothy Dandridge for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (2002) a role which she lost to Halle Berry.

I saw her in Music of the Heart and her performance was outstanding! Seriously why don't they make movies like that anymore. It was sheer genius and a total delight to sit and watch three of my favorite actresses in the same movie. All of whom gave award worthy performances.

Seriously, Meryl Streep, Cloris Leachman and Angela Bassett in the same movie! I'm taking the casting director out to dinner! Bless the day! And Gloria Estefan (what a bonus, this woman belongs on the screen) - Oh Happy Day indeed! The kids were all so earnest and cute, they all deserved an award of some kind.

I recently saw her in Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns and the woman is still at the top of her game. She brings every character to life. She gets into the character and becomes said character. It's a true joy and pleasure to watch her work.

To date she has made 60 appearances in movies and television since beginning her career in 1985 and is probably best known for her roles in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale and Akeela and the Bee. An additional 3 will be added to the list since she's will be appearing in Nothing But Truth (set for release December 2008), Notorious (16 January 2009) and Toussaint (2009).

In Notorious she stars opposite Derek Luke in this depiction of the life and death of Notorious B.I.G.(Christopher Wallace). The cast of Toussaint include Don Cheadle, Mos Def and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Bassett is also moving into the movie production business. She was the producer of Ruby's Buck of Blood (2001) and will produce Phuck (2008 which is in post-production phase). She was executive producer of Our America and The Rosa Parks Story.

Angela received and academic scholarship and attended Yale Universtiy where she received a B.A. in African-American studies in 1980. In 1983 she earned her Masters of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama.

Her accomplishments are many. In 2005 she became the first and only African American to receive a Golden Glove award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her portrayal of Tina Turn in What's Love Got to Do with It.

She falls into an elite group of (7 in total so far) exceptionally talented African American actress who have received Best Actress Oscar nominations. The other 6 are Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg and Halle Berry. This is proof positive that I'm not exaggerating about her acting skills.

On January 27, 2006 she and her husband Courtney B. Vance became proud parents of twins Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah through a surrogate after Bassett endured a long battle with infertility. The are such a beautiful adorable family.

1993 - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy - What's Love Got to do With It

1994 - Golden Apple Award for Female Discovery of the Year

1995 - Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture - What's Love Got to do With It
1995 - Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture - Malcolm X

1996 - Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture - Waiting to Exhale
1996 - Saturn Award for Actress - Strange Days

1999 - Black Film Award for Best Actress - How Stella Got her Groove Back
1999 - Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture - How Stella Got her Groove Back (not to worry love, I'll keep your secret)

2000 - Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture - Music of the Heart

2002 - Black Reel Award for Best Actress in a Network/Cable Film - The Rosa Parks Story
2002 - Black Reel Award for Best Actress - Sunshine State
2002 - Black Reel Award for Best Actress - Ruby's Bucket of Blood

2002 - Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special - Ruby's Bucket of Blood
2002 - Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture - The Score

2003 - Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture - Sunshine State
2003 - Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Mini-Series/Television Movie - The Rosa Parks Story

2006 - Black Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress - Akeela and the Bee

On 20 March 2008, Angela received a well earned star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

She is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the United States and is an ardent and avid support of programs for Arts and many other programs that support children.

The fantastic thing is that she has done all this while keeping her private life private and maintaining a well balanced and fulfilled life. So it's like I started off saying and still maintain, Angela Bassett is simply amazing.

She is utterly sophisticated.

She's hardworking.

A gem to be treasured.

She's enriching. This world is a better place because she's in it.

She is a woman I consider myself to be fortunate and privileged to exist in the same time and space with. She's all woman. Yeah.

She's a bad mamma jamma who you definitely don't wanna mess with or piss off in anyway. She might just burn all your clothes in the new car then sell everything else for $1 :). I love this lady, she's definitely my kinda girl, I mean woman.

p.s. Let the records show that Angela could effortlessly have been published on this blog as a Timeless Thursday or Hottie Friday candidate. She's just that versatile, definitely worthy and qualifies for both.


  1. Dag, this is amazing tribute to an even more amazing woman. I've never come across a blog post that does Angela such justice! She is in a league of her own. A heavenly mixure of class, beauty, and brilliance! Thanks for posting!

  2. WONDERFUL!!! I love this post! thanks so much for the tribute!

  3. I love this post too! Angela is such an inspiration to black women. She's always so positive and the roles she plays are so strong. Not to mention that she has an AMAZING body and always steps on the scene looking fabulous. She's definitely going down in the Hall of Fame for Black Actress'. She's one of my faves next to Femi Emiola. Angela has been in the game longer, but Femi is earning her stripes...especially after starring in Toyota's "If Looks Could Kill" series. If you haven't heard about it then you need to check it out because she's bomb. Her and Angela go hand in hand.

    The webisodes follow an aspiring fashion designer, Bianca turner (played by Femi Emiola, Wicked Wicked Games), who is a prime example of a woman who’s got it going on. I’m talking the dream job, the man who’s got all the ladies drooling, and the spice to keep it all together. Think James Bond meets Sanaa Lathan in “Something New”, Bianca is the girl who isn’t afraid to run in her Louboutin Heels!


    The last episode-The Sell Out- has been available since 7/21, but it’s not too late to catch up and tune in. I work with Toyota, so take my word for it. I’m sure that you’ll be reeled in, so don’t be surprised when you are. Also, don’t forget to hit me up with the scoop on your thoughts, or comments from others, about the webisodes.

    Looking forward to the chit chat!

    Amanda Clouden
    ILCK Ambassador