Angela Bassett is an award-winning American actress best known for her biographical portrayal of women in American culture.
Raised by her social worker/ civil servant mother, Angela Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City. Her interest in acting developed when she was young, as she and her sister were always asked to read poems and sing popular music on family events. She attended Boca Ciega High School where she was an active member of the debate team, student government, drama club, choir, and the cheerleading squad. Angela Bassett obtained her bachelors degree in African-American studies from Yale University. In 1983, she received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the Yale School of Drama.
After graduating, Angela Bassett soon pursued acting in the New York Theater. In 1985, she starred in Franklin's Black Girl at Second Stage Theatre. Also in that same year, she made her debut appearance on television playing a prostitute in the made-television movie Doubletake. The following year, she made her film debut in the action film Fix, in which she played a news reporter.
In 1991, Bassett starred in the Academy Award-nominated hood film Boyz n the Hood, playing Tre Styles’ (Desi Arnez Hines II) mother, Reva Devereaux. In 1992, she played Betty Shabazz in the biographical film Malcom X. The role earned Bassett an Image Award. Later that year, she won the role of Tina Turner in Brian Gibson’s feature film What's Love Got to Do with It, in which Bassett earned a Golden Globe award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
In 1995, Bassett starred in the movies Vampire in Brooklyn where she played the heroine Lornette "Mace" Mason, Strange Days, and Waiting to Exhale where she worked with novelist Terry McMillan. In 1998, Bassett played what could be considered her most powerful role in the romance film How Stella Got Her Groove Back, as the 40-year-old successful stock broker Stella.