Mary Alice

Actor, Schoolteacher
A stage and TV actress with some feature credits, Mary Alice is known for playing women of quiet dignity and strength and for her eyes which speak a thousand words. TV viewers have known her as Fred Sanford's nemesis ... Read more »
Born: 12/03/1941 in Indianola, Mississippi, USA

Filmography

Actor (39)

The Matrix Revolutions 2003 (Movie)

The Oracle (Actor)

I'll Fly Away 1987 - 1989, 1991 - 1993, 1998 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

L.A. Law 1987 - 1993, 1998 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Oz 1987 - 1989, 1992 - 1993, 1998 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Sunshine State 2002 (Movie)

Eunice Stokes (Actor)

A Different World 1987 - 1989, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Cosby 1987 - 1989, 1992 - 1993, 1998 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order 1987 - 1989, 1992 - 1993, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Providence 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Soul Food 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1987 - 1988, 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Catfish in Black Bean Sauce 2000 (Movie)

Dolores Williams (Actor)

Down in the Delta 1998 (Movie)

Rosa Lynn (Actor)

Heading Home 1995 (Movie)

Mary Jones (Actor)

The Mother 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Inkwell 1994 (Movie)

Evelyn (Actor)

The Vernon Johns Story 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

A Perfect World 1993 (Movie)

Lottie (Actor)

Life With Mikey 1993 (Movie)

Mrs Gordon (Actor)

Awakenings 1990 (Movie)

Nurse Margaret (Actor)

The Bonfire of the Vanities 1990 (Movie)

Annie Lamb (Actor)

To Sleep With Anger 1990 (Movie)

Suzie (Actor)

Beat Street 1984 (Movie)

Cora (Actor)

Teachers 1984 (Movie)

Linda Ganz (Actor)

The Killing Floor 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Color of Friendship 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Joshua's World 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Sanford and Son 1971 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Sparkle 1976 (Movie)

Effie (Actor)

The Education of Sonny Carson 1973 (Movie)

Moms (Actor)

Just an Old Sweet Song (TV Show)

Actor

Laurel Avenue (TV Show)

Actor

Orleans (TV Show)

Actor

The Photographer (TV Show)

Actor

The Women of Brewster Place (TV Show)

Actor

This Man Stands Alone (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

A stage and TV actress with some feature credits, Mary Alice is known for playing women of quiet dignity and strength and for her eyes which speak a thousand words. TV viewers have known her as Fred Sanford's nemesis sister-in-law on episodes of "Sanford and Son" (NBC, 1975), and as the housemother with a past on "A Different World" (NBC, 1988-89). But anyone who has seen her playing wife of James Earl Jones and mother to Courtney Vance in her Tony-winning role in "Fences" (1987; also on tour) or as the sassy sister in "Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years" (1995) on Broadway knows that Alice is a resource never properly cultivated by Hollywood.

Relationships

Sam Smith

Father

Ozelar Smith

Mother

Sibling
has four

EDUCATION

Teachers College, Chicago State University

Chicago, Illinois

Milestones

1999

Co-starred as the adoptive mother of a pair of Vietnamese orphans in "Catfish and Black Bean Sauce"

1995

Starred on Broadway in "Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years"

1993

Starred in HBO limited series "Laurel Avenue"

1992

Played memorable role on "I'll Fly Away" (NBC)

1990

Starred in film "To Sleep With Anger"

1989

Played mother to Oprah Winfrey in miniseries "The Women of Brewster Place" (ABC)

1988

Was regular on the NBC sitcom "A Different World"

1987

Starred on Broadway and on tour in "Fences"; won Tony Award

1978

Performed in Australian production of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf"

1976

Made TV-movie debut in "Just an Old Sweet Song" (CBS)

1975

Appeared in memorable episode of "Sanford and Son" as Fred's sister-in-law

1974

Film debut, "The Education of Sonny Carson"

1974

TV debut, "The Sty of the Blind Pit" on PBS' "Hollywood Television Theatre"

1970

Broadway debut, "No Place to Be Somebody"

1967

Made Off-Broadway debut in "Trials of Jero" and "The Strong Breed"

1967

Moved to New York and trained for the stage with Lloyd Richards at the Negro Ensemble Company

Had regular role on the CBS soap opera "Edge of Night"

Made stage debut in Chicago production of "Purlie Victorious"

Raised in Chicago, Illinois

Taught grammar school in Chicago

Considered retiring from acting and returning to teaching in the 1980s

Bonus Trivia

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Inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2001.

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