The Info List - Beah Richards

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Richards (July 12, 1920 – September 14, 2000) was an American actress of stage, screen and television. She was a poet, playwright and author. During her career, Richards was nominated for a Tony and an Academy Award, and received two Primetime Emmy Awards
Emmy Awards
for her performances on television.


1 Life and career 2 Death 3 Documentary 4 Further reading 5 Filmography 6 References 7 External links

Life and career[edit] She was born Beulah Elizabeth Richardson in Vicksburg, Mississippi; her mother was a seamstress and PTA advocate and her father was a Baptist
minister. In 1948, she graduated from Dillard University
Dillard University
in New Orleans and two years later moved to New York City.[1] Her career began in 1955 when she portrayed an eighty-four-year-old-grandmother in the off-Broadway show Take a Giant Step. She often played the role of a mother or grandmother, and continued acting her entire life. She appeared in the original Broadway productions of Purlie
Victorious, The Miracle Worker, and A Raisin in the Sun. Richards was nominated for a Tony Award
Tony Award
for her 1965 performance in James Baldwin's The Amen Corner.[2] She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
for her performance as Sidney Poitier's mother in the 1967 film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.[1] Other notable movie performances include Hurry Sundown, The Great White Hope, Beloved and In the Heat of the Night. She made numerous guest television appearances including roles on Beauty and the Beast, The Bill Cosby Show, Sanford and Son, Benson, Designing Women, The Practice, The Big Valley
The Big Valley
and ER (as Dr. Peter Benton's mother.) She was the winner of two Emmy Awards, one in 1988 for her appearance on the series Frank's Place, and another in 2000 for her appearance on The Practice.[1] Death[edit] Richards died from emphysema in her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi at the age 80.[3][4] Documentary[edit] In the last year of her life, Richards was the subject of a documentary created by actress Lisa Gay Hamilton. The documentary Beah: A Black Woman Speaks was created from over 70 hours of their conversations. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the AFI Film Festival. Further reading[edit] Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War (2011), by Dayo Gore, is about Richards and others. Filmography[edit]

Feature films

Year Title Role Notes

1958 The Mugger Grecco Maid

1959 Take a Giant Step May Scott

1962 The Miracle Worker Viney the Maid Uncredited

1963 Gone Are the Days! Idella Landy

1967 Hurry Sundown Rose Scott

1967 In the Heat of the Night Mama Caleba

1967 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Mrs. Prentice Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

1970 The Great White Hope Mama Tiny NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

1972 The Biscuit Eater Charity Tomlin

1973 A Dream For Christmas Grandma Bessie

1975 Mahogany Florence

1986 Inside Out Verna

1987 Big Shots Miss Hanks

1989 Homer and Eddie Linda Cervi

1989 Drugstore Cowboy Drug Counselor

1998 Beloved Baby Suggs Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

"There are a lot of movies out there that I would hate to be paid to do, some real demeaning, real woman-denigrating stuff. It is up to women to change their roles. They are going to have to write the stuff and do it. And they will."



^ a b c Brian Baxter. "Obituary: Beah
Richards". the Guardian. Retrieved 27 December 2014.  ^ The Broadway League. " Beah
Richards - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". Retrieved 27 December 2014.  ^ " Beah
Richards, 80, Actress in Stalwart Roles". 16 September 2000. Retrieved 27 December 2014.  ^ " Beah
Richards; Oscar Nominee for 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Richards on IMDb 57692 Beah
Richards at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Richards at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Beah
Richards at Find a Grave

v t e

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman
(1975) Beah
Richards (1988) Colleen Dewhurst
Colleen Dewhurst
(1989) Swoosie Kurtz
Swoosie Kurtz
(1990) Colleen Dewhurst
Colleen Dewhurst
(1991) No award (1992) Tracey Ullman
Tracey Ullman
(1993) Eileen Heckart (1994) Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper
(1995) Betty White
Betty White
(1996) Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
(1997) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1998) Tracey Ullman
Tracey Ullman
(1999) Jean Smart
Jean Smart
(2000) Jean Smart
Jean Smart
(2001) Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman
(2002) Christina Applegate
Christina Applegate
(2003) Laura Linney
Laura Linney
(2004) Kathryn Joosten
Kathryn Joosten
(2005) Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman
(2006) Elaine Stritch
Elaine Stritch
(2007) Kathryn Joosten
Kathryn Joosten
(2008) Tina Fey
Tina Fey
(2009) Betty White
Betty White
(2010) Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow
(2011) Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates
(2012) Melissa Leo
Melissa Leo
(2013) Uzo Aduba
Uzo Aduba
(2014) Joan Cusack
Joan Cusack
(2015) Tina Fey
Tina Fey
& Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler
(2016) Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy

v t e

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Zohra Lampert
Zohra Lampert
(1974) Fionnula Flanagan
Fionnula Flanagan
(1976) Beulah Bondi
Beulah Bondi
(1977) Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno
(1978) Alfre Woodard
Alfre Woodard
(1987) Shirley Knight
Shirley Knight
(1988) Kay Lenz
Kay Lenz
(1989) Viveca Lindfors
Viveca Lindfors
(1990) Peggy McCay
Peggy McCay
(1991) Elaine Stritch
Elaine Stritch
(1993) Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway
(1994) Shirley Knight
Shirley Knight
(1995) Amanda Plummer
Amanda Plummer
(1996) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1997) Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman
(1998) Debra Monk
Debra Monk
(1999) Beah
Richards (2000) Sally Field
Sally Field
(2001) Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
(2002) Alfre Woodard
Alfre Woodard
(2003) Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone
(2004) Amanda Plummer
Amanda Plummer
(2005) Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
(2006) Leslie Caron
Leslie Caron
(2007) Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon
(2008) Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
(2009) Ann-Margret
(2010) Loretta Devine
Loretta Devine
(2011) Martha Plimpton
Martha Plimpton
(2012) Carrie Preston
Carrie Preston
(2013) Allison Janney
Allison Janney
(2014) Margo Martindale
Margo Martindale
(2015) Margo Martindale
Margo Martindale
(2016) Alexis Bledel
Alexis Bledel

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 306489977 LCCN: n84111868 ISNI: 0000 0001 1444 4081 GND: 1048018202 SUDOC: 176551050 BNF: