There are a few actors and actresses from the ‘80s that are still active today, and even fewer that are as beloved as Angela Bassett. You may recognize her as Queen Ramonda from Black Panther, but her influence and legacy stretch even before Marvel Studios was founded.
Like many people of color, Angela Bassett was born in a broken household. Her parents divorced before she turned 1, and she was raised primarily by her uncle and aunt. Through challenges, Angela persevered and became one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood today.
Angela Bassett’s Early Career
Angela Bassett got her start in the entertainment industry in the ‘80s when she made a few guest appearances on TV shows like The Cosby Show and Spenser: For Hire. However, it wasn’t until 1991 that her big break arrived.
Angela played Reva Devereaux in John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood. Her performance was raw, powerful, and highly praised for its authenticity. This role landed Angela a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress and shot her up to stardom.
She went on to star in huge films such as Malcolm X (1992), Waiting to Exhale (1995), and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998). She even won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance as Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do with It.
Angela Takes Over the 2000s
At the turn of the century, Angela’s career didn’t show any signs of slowing down. She starred in a handful of more films including Akeelah and the Bee (2006), where she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
She also ventured into TV series as well, appearing in a variety of roles in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, E-Ring, and ER.
Angela Bassett’s Directing Career
Angela eventually began dipping her toes into the world of directing. She had expressed her interest in it for a while and finally got her opportunity in 2014 with Whitney, a TV film that followed the life of Whitney Houston, somebody Angela had worked with previously.
She later directed an episode in the series American Horror Story: Roanoke, which she also acted in. Her directing performance was greatly praised by producer Ryan Murphy.
‘Black Panther’ and the Future
In 2018 and 2022, Angela joined the star-studded cast of Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as Queen Ramonda. This exposed her to a whole new and much younger audience, cementing her legacy as one of the most enduring and loved actresses of all time. Her performance in Wakanda Forever, made history as she became the first actor to be nominated for a Marvel movie.
In 2022, Angela was named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100, as well as an honoree-mention in Time’s 2023 “Women of the Year.”
Angela currently stars as Athena Grant on the FOX series 9-1-1 and has several projects in the works, including the Netflix film Damsel and the six-part miniseries Zero Day alongside Robert DeNiro and Lizzy Caplan.