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Angela Bassett was born August 16, 1958 in New York, New York. She and her sister D'nette were raised by a single mom, Betty Bassett, in a housing project in St. Petersburg, Florida. When she was in high school, her class took a trip to Washington, D.C. There she saw James Earl Jones perform in the play OF MICE AND MEN. The experience inspired her to become an actress.

Bassett earned her B.A. From Yale University in Afro-American studies and her M.F.A. at the Yale Repertory Theater where she studied under the direction of Lloyd Richards. She did television commercials and a brief run on "The Guiding Light" before appearing on Broadway. She appeared in Ma Rainey's BLACK BOTTOM and Joe Turner's COME AND GONE. Her breakthrough role was portraying a single mom in the movie BOYZ IN THE HOOD. She won a Golden Globe and received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Tina Turner in WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? She has also won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture three times. She currently lives in California with her husband, a former Yale classmate, Courtney Vance.

CHRONOLOGY

1958 She was born in New York, New York. (August 16)

1974 She saw James Earl Jones in OF MICE AND MEN in Washington, D.C. Which inspired her to become an actress.

1982 She earned her M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama.

1991 BOYZ IN THE HOOD

1993 MALCOLM X, WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?; She won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for best actress for her role in the movie WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

1995 STRANGE DAYS, WAITING TO EXHALE

1997 CONTACT; She married Courtney Vance

1998 HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK