Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an American actress, director, producer, and activist. Known for her portrayals of strong African-American female leads, she is the recipient of numerous accolades, including; three Black Reel Awards, a Golden Globe Award, seven NAACP Image Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, in addition to nominations for an Academy Award, and seven Primetime Emmy Awards. She began her acting career in the 1980s, after graduating from Yale University. Early minor roles include F/X (1986), with Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora, and Cliff De Young; and Ivan Reitman’s Kindergarten Cop (1990), with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Linda Hunt, Richard Tyson, and Carroll Baker.
Films in the early 1990s include in John Sayles’ City of Hope (1991), with Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Joe Morton, Todd Graff, David Strathairn, Anthony John Denison, Barbara Williams, Gloria Foster, and Lawrence Tierney; John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood (1991), with Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, and Regina King; Critters 4 (1992), with Don Keith Opper, Terrence Mann, and Brad Dourif; John Landis’ Innocent Blood (1992), with Anne Parillaud, Robert Loggia, Anthony LaPaglia, Don Rickles, David Proval, and Chazz Palminteri; Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992), with Denzel Washington, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr., and Delroy Lindo; and Passion Fish (1992), with Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Strathairn, and Leo Burmester.
Bassett won a Golden Globe for Best Actress – Drama and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as singer Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), with Fishburne, Khandi Alexander, Jenifer Lewis, Penny Johnson Jerald, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Chi McBride.
Other films in the mid to late 1990s include Mario Van Peebles’ Panther (1995), with Kadeem Hardison, Bokeem Woodbine, Joe Don Baker, Courtney B. Vance (whom she’s been married to since 1997), Marcus Chong, Tyrin Turner, James Russo, M. Emmet Walsh, and Joan Tarika Lewis; Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days (1995), with Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Michael Wincott; Wes Craven’s Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), with Eddie Murphy, Allen Payne, Hardison, John Witherspoon, Zakes Mokae, and Joanna Cassidy; Forest Whitaker’s Waiting to Exhale (1995), with Whitney Houston, Lela Rochon, Loretta Devine, Dennis Haysbert, Michael Beach, Gregory Hines, Donald Faison, and Mykelti Williamson; Robert Zemeckis’ Contact (1997), with Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Rob Lowe, Jake Busey and David Morse; How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), with Taye Diggs, Whoopi Goldberg, and King; and Craven’s Music of the Heart (1999), with with Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, Gloria Estefan, Jane Leeves, Kieran Culkin, Jay O. Sanders, and Cloris Leachman.
Films in the 2000s include Supernova (2000), with James Spader, Robert Forster, Lou Diamond Phillips, Peter Facinelli, Robin Tunney, and Wilson Cruz; Boesman and Lena (2000), with Danny Glover; Frank Oz’s The Score (2001), with Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando; Sunshine State (2002), with Jane Alexander, Alan King, Timothy Hutton, Mary Steenburgen, Bill Cobbs, Edie Falco, Gordon Clapp, Miguel Ferrer, Richard Edson, and Ralph Waite; Masked and Anonymous (2003), with Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Bruce Dern, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris, Chris Penn, Steven Bauer, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Paul Chan, Christian Slater, and Fred Ward; The Lazarus Child (2004), with Andy García, Frances O’Connor, Harry Eden, Geraldine McEwan, and Danielle Byrnes; and Mr. 3000 (2004), with Bernie Mac, Paul Sorvino, Chris Noth, and Michael Rispoli.
Films in the mid to late 2000s include Akeelah and the Bee (2006), with Fishburne, Keke Palmer, Curtis Armstrong, J.R. Villarreal, Sean Michael Afable, Erica Hubbard, Lee Thompson Young, Julito McCullum, Sahara Garey, Eddie Steeples, and Tzi Ma; Meet the Browns (2008), with Tyler Perry (who also directed), Rick Fox, Margaret Avery, Frankie Faison, Jenifer Lewis, Lance Gross, Sofía Vergara, Lamman Rucker, Tamela Mann, and David Man; Nothing But the Truth (2008), with Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Alan Alda, and Vera Farmiga; Gospel Hill (2008), with Glover, Giancarlo Esposito (who also directed), Julia Stiles, Tom Bower, Adam Baldwin, and an uncredited Samuel L. Jackson; and Notorious (2009), with Jamal Woolard, Derek Luke, and Anthony Mackie.
Films in the 2010s include Jumping the Broom (2011), with Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, Meagan Good, Tasha Smith, Julie Bowen, Romeo Miller, DeRay Davis, and Valarie Pettiford; Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern (2011), with Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Taika Waititi, Tim Robbins, the voices of Geoffrey Rush, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Clancy Brown; This Means War (2012), with Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Til Schweiger, and Jenny Slate; Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen (2013), with Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Forster, Cole Hauser, Ashley Judd, Melissa Leo, Dylan McDermott, Radha Mitchell, and Rick Yune; Black Nativity (2013), with Whitaker, Tyrese Gibson, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Jacob Latimore, Curtis-Hall, and Nas Jones; and Greg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard (2014), with Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, and Thomas Jane.
Films in the mid to late 2010s include Survivor (2015), with Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Forster, Roger Rees, Antonia Thomas, James D’Arcy, Frances de la Tour, Genevieve O’Reilly, and Dylan McDermott; Lee’s Chi-Raq (2015), with Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Hudson, Steve Harris, Harry Lennix, D.B. Sweeney, John Cusack, and Jackson; London Has Fallen (2016), with Butler, Eckhart, Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Leo, Radha Mitchell, Sean O’Bryan, Waleed Zuaiter, and Charlotte Riley; Ryan Coogler’s Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Black Panther (2018), with Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Whitaker, and Andy Serkis; Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), with Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan, and Alec Baldwin; and Other (2019), with Patricia Arquette, Felicity Huffman, Jake Hoffman, Jake Lacy, and Sinqua Walls.
Films in the 2020s include Gunpowder Milkshake (2021), with Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Chloe Coleman, Michelle Yeoh, and Paul Giamatti; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), with much of the returning cast.
Voice roles include the animated film Our Friend Martin (1999), with Robert Ri’chard, Lucas Black, Dexter King, Burton, Jaleel White, Jessica Marie Garcia, Ed Asner, Glover, Goldberg, Jackson, James Earl Jones, Ashley Judd, Richard Kind, Susan Sarandon, John Travolta, Oprah Winfrey, Frank Welker, and Jess Harnell; Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale (2000), with Joanna Lumley, Anne Archer, Debi Derryberry, Kevin Michael Richardson, John DiMaggio, Betty White, Joan Rivers, Tone Loc, and Harvey Fierstein; Disney’s Meet the Robinsons (2007), with Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Wesley Singerman, Tom Selleck, Harland Williams, Laurie Metcalf, Nicole Sullivan, Adam West, Ethan Sandler, and Tom Kenny; Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle (2015), with Welker, Jeff Bennett, Gwendoline Yeo, Goodman, and Phil LaMarr; Bumblebee (2018), with Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, and Pamela Adlon, and the voices Dylan O’Brien, Justin Theroux, and Peter Cullen; Pixar’s Soul (2020), with Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, and Questlove.
TV movies and miniseries include Liberty (1986), with Chris Sarandon, Frank Langella, Carrie Fisher, Dana Delaney, George Kennedy, Claire Bloom, and LeVar Burton; Family of Spies (1990), with Powers Boothe, Lesley Ann Warren, and Lili Taylor; Challenger (1990), with Karen Allen, Barry Bostwick, Richard Jenkins, Morton, Keone Young, Brian Kerwin, Julie Fulton, and Kale Browne; In the Best Interest of the Child (1990), with Meg Tilly, Ed Begley Jr., Michael O’Keefe and Michele Greene; Perry Mason: In the Case of the Silenced Singer (1990), with Raymond Burr; Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story (1991), with Corbin Bernsen, Jenny Lewis, Sandy Bull, and John M. Jackson; Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor (1991), with Lee Majors; Locked Up: A Mother’s Rage (1991), with Cheryl Ladd, Diana Muldaur, Jean Smart, and Ariana Richards; The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992), with Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Holly Robinson Peete, Margaret Avery, Billy Dee Williams, Vanessa Williams, and Terrence Howard; Ruby’s Bucket of Blood (2001), with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Jurnee Smollett; The Rosa Parks Story (2002), with Peter Francis James, Cicely Tyson, Tonea Stewart, and Dexter Scott King; and Close to the Enemy (2016), with Jim Sturgess, Freddie Highmore, Charlotte Riley, Phoebe Fox, Alfred Molina, Ciara Charteris, Lindsay Duncan, August Diehl, Alfie Allen, Angela Bassett, Antje Traue, Lucy Ward, Sebastian Armesto, Julian Bleach, Charity Wakefield, Aleksandar Jovanovic, and Robert Glenister.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- F/X (1986) – directed by Robert Mandel
- Liberty (1986) – directed by Richard C. Sarafian – TV movie
- Challenger (1990) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
- In the Best Interest of the Child (1990) – directed by David Greene – TV movie
- Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer (1990) – directed by Ron Satlof – TV movie
- Kindergarten Cop (1990) – directed by Ivan Reitman
- Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story (1991) – directed by John Korty – TV movie
- City of Hope (1991) – directed by John Sayles
- Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor (1991) – directed by Robert Day – TV movie
- Boyz n the Hood (1991)** – directed by John Singleton
- The Heroes of Desert Storm (1991) – directed by Don Ohlmeyer – TV movie
- Locked Up: A Mother’s Rage (1991) – directed by Bethany Rooney – TV movie
- One Special Victory (1991) – directed by Stuart Cooper – TV movie
- Critters 4 (1992) – directed by Rupert Harvey
- Innocent Blood (1992) – directed by John Landis
- Malcolm X (1992) – directed by Spike Lee
- The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992) – directed by Karen Arthur – miniseries
- Passion Fish (1992) – directed by John Sayles
- What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) – directed by Brian Gibson
- Panther (1995) – directed by Mario Van Peebles
- Strange Days (1995) – directed by Kathryn Bigelow
- Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) – directed by Wes Craven
- Waiting to Exhale (1995) – directed by Forest Whitaker
- Contact (1997) – directed by Robert Zemeckis
- How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) – directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan
- Our Friend, Martin (1999) – directed by Rob Smiley & Vincenzo Trippetti – straight to video
- Music of the Heart (1999) – directed by Wes Craven
- Supernova (2000) – directed by Walter Hill (as Thomas Lee), Francis Ford Coppola (uncredited), & Jack Sholder (uncredited)
- Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale (2000) – directed by Dereck Joubert
- Boesman and Lena (2001) – directed by John Berry
- The Score (2001) – directed by Frank Oz
- Ruby’s Bucket of Blood (2001) – directed by Peter Werner – TV movie
- The Rosa Parks Story (2002) – directed by Julie Dash – TV movie
- Sunshine State (2002) – directed by John Sayles
- Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (2003) – directed by Ed Bell & Thomas Lennon – documentary
- Masked and Anonymous (2003) – directed by Larry Charles
- The Lazarus Child (2004) – directed by Graham Theakston
- Mr. 3000 (2004) – directed by Charles Stone III
- Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) – directed by Doug Liman – uncredited voice
- Akeelah and the Bee (2006) – directed by Doug Atchison
- The Bomb (2006) – directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal – TV movie
- Meet the Robinsons (2007) – directed by Stephen Anderson
- Of Boys and Men (2008) – directed by Carl Seaton
- Meet the Browns (2008) – directed by Tyler Perry
- Nothing But the Truth (2008) – directed by Rod Lurie
- Gospel Hill (2008) – directed by Giancarlo Esposito
- Notorious (2009) – directed by George Tillman Jr.
- Jumping the Broom (2011) – directed by Salim Akil
- Green Lantern (2011)* – directed by Martin Campbell
- Identity (2011) – directed by Gary Fleder – TV movie
- This Means War (2012) – directed by McG
- Rogue (2012) – directed by Brett Ratner – TV movie
- I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac (2011) – directed by Robert Small – documentary
- Betty and Coretta (2013) – directed by Yves Simoneau – TV movie
- Olympus Has Fallen (2013) – directed by Antoine Fuqua
- Black Nativity (2013) – directed by Kasi Lemmons
- White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) – directed by Gregg Araki
- Whitney (2015) – director only – TV movie
- Survivor (2015) – directed by James McTeigue
- Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle (2015) – directed by Phil Weinstein – straight to video
- Chi-Raq (2015) – directed by Spike Lee
- London Has Fallen (2016) – directed by Babak Najafi
- The Snowy Day (2016) – directed by Jamie Badminton & Rufus Blacklock – TV short
- Close to the Enemy (2016) – directed by Stephen Poliakoff – miniseries
- Black Panther (2018)* – directed by Ryan Coogler
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) – directed by Christopher McQuarrie
- Bumblebee (2018)* – directed by Travis Knight
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)* – directed by Anthony & Joe Russo – cameo
- Otherhood (2019) – directed by Cindy Chupack
- Attorneys at Love (2020) – directed by Daniel Findlay – short
- Soul (2020) – directed by Pete Docter & Kemp Powers
- Tina (2021) – directed by Dan Lindsay & T.J. Martin – documentary
- Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) – directed by Navot Papushado
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) – directed by Ryan Coogler