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Angela Bassett | Success Story of the Era’s Iconic Actress



Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett is an American actress, director, and producer. Born in NYC, USA, Angela began her acting career in 1985. She has starred in iconic movies like What’s Love Got to Do with It, Green Lantern, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Olympus has Fallen, Black Panther, Music of the Heart, and Malcolm X. In her three-decade-long career, Angela has garnered several prestigious accolades like the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Primetime Emmy, and Black Reel Awards. In 1993, Angela received a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards for portraying Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It.


Angela Bassett rose to fame during the 90s. She is a prominent TV and movie star in the American entertainment industry. Angela has acted in over a hundred significant projects. In her successful career, she has worked with prominent artists like Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, James Cameron, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, Reese Witherspoon, Will Smith, and Gerard Butler. Angela has been married to famous American actor Courtney B. Vance since 1997. 

Early Life

On the 16th of August 1958, Angela Evelyn Bassett was born in New York City, USA. Her mother, Betty Jane, was a civil servant. In contrast, her father, Daniel Benjamin Bassett, was an electrician. When Angela was ten months old, her parents decided to send her to her paternal aunt. At the time, Betty Jane was pregnant with her second child. As a result, little Angela had to go to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her aunt did not have any children. She was always kind and loving to Angela. A few years later, Betty and Daniel got divorced. Consequently, Betty picked Angela from North Carolina and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. Angela and her younger sister, D’nette, spent many years of their childhood in Florida. 

Growing up, Angela did not meet her father for several years after the divorce. After eight years, at age twelve, she finally met him at her grandmother’s funeral. For schooling, Angela attended the Jordan Park Elementary school in St. Petersburg. After completing elementary education, Angela was forced to leave her neighborhood due to desegregation busing. For the seventh grade, she attended Disston Middle School. Later, for eighth and ninth grade, Angela had to go to Azalea Middle School as a part of the integrated busing program. From a young age, Angela loved to perform. She was a part of the youth choir in the church. Angela often danced with her younger sister to songs that her mother played. She attended Boca Ciega high school in Gulfport, Florida for high school. In 11th grade, Angela decided that she wanted to become an actor. 

Beginning of Career

During a field trip in 11th grade, Angela saw actor James Earl Jones perform. After that, her love for acting grew. She attended the prestigious Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, for higher education. In 1980, Angela earned a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies. Later, in 1983, she got her master’s in Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. After studying theatre at Yale, Angela started looking for acting projects in New York. Simultaneously, she worked as a receptionist at a beauty salon. Angela got her first acting opportunity in 1985 at the Second Stage Theatre of NYC. She appeared in a minor role in J.E. Franklin’s Black Girl. Her instructor, Lloyd Richards, cast her in two plays by August Wilson.

Initial years

In 1985, Angela made her television debut with a TV film called Doubletake. The following year, Robert Mandel cast her as a news reporter in F/X. For the role, Angela had to join the Screen Actor’s Guild. Two years after F/X, she decided to move to LA. In 1989, Angela landed two acting jobs on NBC and ABC’s TV shows. It took Angela over five years since her debut to get a prominent role. Finally, in the early 90s, she started gaining recognition. John Singleton cast Angela in a coming-of-age drama film, Boyz n the Hood. The film was a major critical and commercial success. 

Worldwide Recognition

Angela Bassett with Denzel Washington in Malcolm X

After the memorable success of Boyz n the Hood, Angela starred in Malcolm X alongside Denzel Washington. It became one of the most iconic movies of the 90s. Angela’s role as Betty Shabazz garnered worldwide acclaim. In 1992, Angela also starred in The Jacksons: An American Dream. The miniseries achieved critical and commercial success, making Angela a prominent star in the industry. However, it was in 1993 when she gained wider recognition. Brian Gibson cast her in What’s Love Got to Do with It. It was a biographical film based on Tina Turner. The movie became one of the biggest hits of the year. Angela’s portrayal of Tina Turner earned her a Golden Globe award for Best Actress. She became the first-ever African-American woman to win the prestigious award. Through these milestones, Angela achieved worldwide recognition and became one of the industry’s most iconic actors. 

Also read: Martin Lawrence | Hollywood’s Irreplaceable Comedian and Actor

How old is Angela Bassett?

Angela Bassett is 64 years old as of 2022. She was born on the 16th of August 1958 in New York City, USA. Her mother was a social worker, and her father was an electrician. When Angela was ten-months-old, her parents sent her to her paternal aunt’s house. Consequently, Angela spent a few years in North Carolina and Florida.

What is the net worth of Angela Bassett?

Angela Bassett’s net worth is estimated to be $25 million. She has been a part of the entertainment industry for over three decades. In her career, Angela has starred in iconic movies like Green Lantern, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Olympus has Fallen, Black Panther, Music of the Heart, and Malcolm X.

Is Angela Bassett married?

Yes, Angela has been married to Courtney B. Vance since 1997. He is an actor. The couple has two children together. Angela met Courtney while studying at Yale.

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