New York, NY
|Beat out Halle Berry and Robin Givens for the role of Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It.|
|Played Malcolm X's widow, Betty Shabazz, twice: in Spike Lee's 1992 biopic Malcolm X and in Melvin Van Peebles' 1995 Black Panther film Panther.|
|Inspired to pursue acting after seeing James Earl Jones in a 1974 Kennedy Center production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.|
|Appeared with Laurence Fishburne in numerous projects, including the films 1991's Boyz N the Hood, 1993's What's Love Got to Do With It and 2006's Akeelah and the Bee|
|Although she and her husband Courtney B. Vance both attended the Yale Drama School, they didn't begin dating until many years later.|
|Hosted the PBS documentary series Independent Lens in 2002-3.|
|Turned down Halle Berry's role in 2001's Monster's Ball; Berry went on to become the first African-American woman to win a best-actress Oscar.|
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