Louise Beavers

Actor, Minstrel show singer, Maid
A vivacious and prolific character player, Louise Beavers kept company with the more acclaimed Hattie McDaniel as America's foremost filmic embodiment of a "mammy", a subservient but jovial African-American maid or ... Read more »
Born: 03/08/1902 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Filmography

Actor (63)

Make Room For Daddy 1953 - 1964 (TV Show)

Actor

All the Fine Young Cannibals 1960 (Movie)

Rose (Actor)

The Facts of Life 1960 (Movie)

Gussie (Actor)

The Swamp Fox 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Tammy and the Bachelor 1957 (Movie)

Osia (Actor)

Good-Bye, My Lady 1956 (Movie)

(Actor)

Teenage Rebel 1956 (Movie)

Willamay (Actor)

You Can't Run Away From It 1956 (Movie)

Maid (Actor)

I Dream of Jeanie 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

Reap the Wild Wind 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Parole Fixer 1939 (Movie)

(Actor)

Brother Rat 1938 (Movie)

(Actor)

Wings Over Honolulu 1936 (Movie)

Mamie (Actor)

Bullets or Ballots 1935 (Movie)

Nellie LaFleur (Actor)

General Spanky 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

Imitation of Life 1933 (Movie)

Etta McDaniel (Actor)

She Done Him Wrong 1932 (Movie)

(Actor)

What Price Hollywood? 1931 (Movie)

Juanita (Actor)

A Shriek in the Night (Movie)

Black Maid (Actor)

Annapolis Farewell (Movie)

Miranda (Actor)

Bedside (Movie)

(Actor)

Belle Starr (Movie)

Mammy Lou (Actor)

Beulah (TV Show)

Actor

Delightfully Dangerous (Movie)

Hannah (Actor)

Du Barry Was a Lady (Movie)

Niagara (Actor)

Election Day (Movie)

Farina's Mother (Actor)

Girls About Town (Movie)

Hattie (Actor)

Glamour (Movie)

Millie (Actor)

Gold Diggers of Broadway (Movie)

(Actor)

Good Sam (Movie)

Chloe (Actor)

Her Bodyguard (Movie)

(Actor)

Hold Your Man (Movie)

Powder Room Maid (Actor)

Holiday Inn (Movie)

Mamie (Actor)

I Give My Love (Movie)

Maid (Actor)

Jack London (Movie)

Mammy Jenny (Actor)

Made for Each Other (Movie)

Third Cook (Actor)

Make Way for Tomorrow (Movie)

Mamie (Actor)

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (Movie)

Gussie (Actor)

Never Wave at a WAC (Movie)

Artamesa (Actor)

Night World (Movie)

Maid (Actor)

Nix on Dames (Movie)

Magnolia (Actor)

No Time for Comedy (Movie)

Clementine (Actor)

Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus (Movie)

Cassey (Actor)

Pick-Up (Movie)

Magnolia (Actor)

Reform School (Movie)

Mother Barton (Actor)

Seven Sweethearts (Movie)

Petunia (Actor)

Shadow of the Thin Man (Movie)

Stella (Actor)

Sign of the Wolf (Movie)

Beulah (Actor)

Street of Women (Movie)

Mattie, the Maid (Actor)

Tell It to the Judge (Movie)

Cleo (Actor)

Tennessee Johnson (Movie)

Addie (Actor)

The Big Street (Movie)

Maid (Actor)

The Jackie Robinson Story (Movie)

Jackie's Mother (Actor)

The Last Gangster (Movie)

Gloria (Actor)

Too Busy to Work (Movie)

Mammy (Actor)

True to the Navy (Movie)

The Maid (Actor)

Unashamed (Movie)

Amanda (Actor)

West of the Pecos (Movie)

Mauree (Actor)

What Price Innocence? (Movie)

Hannah (Actor)

Wild Girl (Movie)

Mammy Lou (Actor)

Woman Condemned (Movie)

Sally (Actor)

Young America (Movie)

(Actor)

Young Widow (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

A vivacious and prolific character player, Louise Beavers kept company with the more acclaimed Hattie McDaniel as America's foremost filmic embodiment of a "mammy", a subservient but jovial African-American maid or cook. Like McDaniel, she was heavy-set and fairly dark-skinned; her roles generally presented her as extremely cheerful, loyal (if sometimes less than bright) and distinctly asexual. Her omnipresence in US film from the 1920s through the 50s testifies to the racist stereotypes so central to the history of an entire culture, but it would be far too facile to blame players like Beavers for their involvement in such image-making. After all, typecasting placed particular limits on the roles that blacks could play and, in some sense, Beavers' persona doubtless reflected at least some of the realities of black women's social backgrounds and careers. What is also important is how players like Beavers not only became a likable part of the cultural landscape despite the limitations of their roles, but also how their best work transcends the limitations of stereotyping. Furthermore, Beavers' characters often acted as a comical "Greek chorus" commenting on the antics of her films' white stars. Thus, even if no one intended any subversion, Beavers' presence could hint at the follies of racism within dominant society.

Relationships

Leroy Moore

Husband
married

Milestones

1976

Posthumously inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame

1960

Last film, "The Facts of Life"

1952

Played the title role in the early TV sitcom, "Beulah", for its final season; succeeded Ethel Waters and Hattie McDaniel in the role

1934

Played rare second lead in the first film version of Fannie Hurst's best-selling novel, "Imitation of Life"

1923

Film debut in "Gold Diggers"

Moved to Hollywood in the early 1920s working as a maid for actress Leatrice Joy

Played the family housekeeper, Louise, on the first season of "The Danny Thomas Show" (a.k.a. "Make Room for Daddy"); was succeeded in the role by Amanda Randolph

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