Hollywood has produced some of the best black actresses from all over the world. These women shook the world with their talent. They had the freedom to be what they wanted to be, but they chose to be the greatest black actresses of all time. History has been kind on them, and that is why we have deliberately pieced together this article in their honor.
From Lupita to Juanita Moore, black actresses have infused the black woman magic in entertainment, and fans can not get enough of it. They are as energetic as they are talented. They easily conjure up memories with their strikingly great acting style. Some inspire confidence while others impress their audience with their great skills. Who was the first black female actress? Who was the first black person to be on TV? Diahann Carroll stands to be counted as one of the pioneer black woman on TV.
Who was the first black female actress to win the Oscars?
While there might have been black females who appeared on stage before February 29, 1940, actress Hattie McDaniel went down history as the first black woman to win the Oscars. She is also remembered as the first black female actress to win the Academy Awards for her character as Mammy in the 1940 movie Gone with the Wind.
Who was the first black woman to win best actress? The incredible Halle Berry was the first woman of color to win the coveted Academy Award for Best Actress. She won as a result of her lead character in the 2001 movie, Monster's Ball.
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Best 15 black actress of all time
This list includes greatest acts like Whoopi Goldberg to action enthusiast, Hale Berry.
15. Juanita Moore
Who is the black actress? Moore is an accomplished lady who joined film in the early 1950s. Back then, Juanita Moore hot pictures were a must-have. She rose to fame at a time when not so many people of color were given an opportunity to rise to stardom. She started by playing minor roles. She advanced gradually to more befitting characters. In 1959, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her character in the movie Imitation of Life.
The following decade, Hollywood went through radical sociological changes that Juanita benefited from. She featured in many black-oriented movies such as Abby, Uptight, Thomasine & Bushrod, and The Kid.
14. Lonette McKee
Lonette started her career in music back in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. She started composing, singing, playing piano, and performing at an early age. She made her film debut in Sparkle where she played Sista.
She starred in many more movies, such as, Which Way is Up, Jungle Fever, Brewster's Millions, Gardens of Stone, Lift, The Cotton Club, Cuba, Malcolm X, Men of Honor, She Hate Me, and He Got Game. She studied film directing at The New School in NYC.
She was nominated for the Image Awards in 1998 and 1999 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series, and Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series, respectively. She was also nominated for the Black Reel Awards in 2003 for Network/Cable - Best Supporting Actress.
13. Kimberly Elise
Born on April 17, 1967 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Kimberley Elise has made a name for herself as one of the best women of color in Hollywood. She is known for her work in movies such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman, John Q, and The Manchurian Candidate.
She bagged the award of Best Supporting Actress in the 1997 19th Annual Cable Ace Awards for her character as Jeanette in the movie The Ditchdigger's Daughters. Kimberly Elise Instagram page contains some of the Kimberly Elise hot pics.
12. Beah Richards
Beah Richards relocated from Vicksburg, Mississippi, to New York in 1950 to pursue a career in acting. Nothing forthcoming came her way until 1955 when she landed her significant role in Take A Giant Step, an off-Broadway production. She successfully portrayed the character of an old woman without using make-up.
She went ahead to appear in the movie The Amen Corner under the directorship of Frank Silvera, who advised her to be herself. Later, Beah credited Silvera for helping her build her quiet dignity and passion, which made her a great person in life. She bagged an Emmy Award in 1988 for her character in Frank's Palace. She got her second Emmy Award for her performance in The Practice three days prior to her demise.
11. Pam Grier
Pam was born in Winston-Salem, NC. She is the daughter of Clarence Ransom Grier Jr., and Gwendolyn Sylvia. She has been a big African-American artist since the early 1970s.
She began her career in the year 1971 with the movie, The Big Doll House. The following year, she appeared in the movie dubbed The Big Bird Cage. Her great acting skills landed her a deal with Samuel Z. Arkoff of American-International Pictures. She has played lead characters in movies such as Foxy Brown, Jack Hill's Coffy, Friday Foster and Sheba, and Baby.
Pam has won several awards. She is the recipient of the Career Achievement Award given to her at the 34th Annual Chicago International Film Festival. She was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a Golden Globe Award for her character in Jackie Brown.
10. Viola Davis
She was born in the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina, on her grandmother's farm. When she was two years old, her family relocated to Central Falls, Rhode Island. Her father, Dan Davis, worked in Rhode as a horse trainer and groomer.
She made her film debut in 1996's film, The Substance of Fire. This was accompanied by several guest roles in films and TV shows. In 2000, she landed the role in the City of Angels as Nurse Lynnette Peeler. Since then, her career took off at a good pace.
She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar Award for her role in Doubt. In 2012, she won critical acclaim for her role in The Help as Aibileen Clark. Viola Davis hot pics are a must-see from the Viola Davis Instagram page.
9. Ethel Waters
Ethel grew up in the slums of Philadelphia. She was the child of a rape victim. She lived in one location for a few weeks before relocating to a new place. At one time, she recollected her memories growing up and said that no one raised her. She said that she just ran wild, and it appears she did a good job.
She made her first film appearance in 1917 when she played Sweet Mama Stringbean in the Black Vaudeville circuit. Soon after, she became one of Americas most famous and highly paid women.
She was nominated for the 1960 for an Oscar Award in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category for her role in Pinky. In 1962, she was nominated in the Primetime Emmy Awards under the Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role category for her role in Route 66. Apart from this, she earned a permanent spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
8. Halle Berry
Halle Berry is known for her role in the films, Losing Isaiah, Boomerang, Monster's Ball, Frankie & Alice, and Things We Lost in the Fire. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Halle has grown to become one of the famous women in Hollywood. She was the first woman of color to win the Oscar awards for the Best Actress.
She debuted her acting career with the TV series Living Dolls. She went on to appear in Jungle Fever. She did not take a shower for several days to fit into her character well. In 1992, she appeared in Boomerang as Eddie Murphy's lover.
She bagged a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Movie/Mini-Series for her role as Dorothy Dandridge in the 1999 movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Soon after, she became the first African-American to win Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her role in Monster's Ball. Check out Halle Berry hot pics from the Halle Berry Instagram account.
7. Dorothy Dandridge
Born on November 9, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, Dorothy made her first appearance on film in the movie A Day at the Race. It took her a while before appearing on Four Shall Die in the year 1940. She appeared in more movies such as Hit Parade of 1943, and Drums of the Congo.
In 1955, she was nominated for the Oscars under the Best Actress in a Leading Role category. This was because of her role in Carmen Jones. Five years later, she was nominated for the Golden Globes, USA under the Best Actress - Comedy or Musical for her role in Porgy and Bess. She was also nominated for the BAFTA Awards, and Laurel Awards in the years 1956 and 1960 respectively. She won the 1983 Walk of Fame.
6. Diahann Carroll
Diahann Carroll is one of the premier African-American series stars. She had the grace and talent of a true entertainer. Together with her friend, Diahann auditioned for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts show. She was invited to the show and won. This marked the start of her TV career. In 1954, she appeared in Carmen Jones.
In 1975, she was nominated to the Academy Awards under the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for her role in Claudine. She was also nominated to the Golden Globe awards under the Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for her role in Claudine in the same year.
5. Alfre Woodard
Born on November 8, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Alfre Woodard has grown to become one of the most celebrated black actresses of all time. In 1996, she offered to play a role in the movie Follow Me Home without any pay. Before then, she had played roles on St. Elsewhere and Homicide: Life on the Street.
Due to her stellar performance on-set, Alfre earned herself numerous awards. These included the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe awards. She was nominated to the 1984 Academy award under the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category for her role in Cross Creek. In 1998, she won the Golden Globe awards for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television category due to her role in Miss Evers' Boys.
4. Ruby Dee
Best known for her role as Ruth Younger in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun, Ruby rose to become one of the finest black actresses in the world. She starred in many other films, including The Jackie Robinson Story, Cat People, American Gangster, and Do the Right Thing.
Her exemplary performance on set earned her numerous awards. Some of her notable awards include her 1991 Primetime Emmy Awards under the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category for her role in Evening Shade. This opened doors for many more awards in the ensuing years.
3. Cicely Tyson
If you do not know Cicely Tyson from the Sounder then you surely have caught her in the film The Help. Raised by strict parents from the Carribean, Cicely grew up to become one of the finest women of color in history. She began her career in showbiz as a model and later moved to acting in 1957. She began to appear in small roles in off Broadway production and gradually moved to bigger roles.
She has received many awards throughout her acting career. In 1973, she was nominated for the Oscars award under the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for her exemplary skills in the Sounder. She was also nominated for the Golden Globe awards in the same year in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama category for her role in the Sounder.
2. Angela Bassett
Apart from her great looks, Angela is celebrated for her sensational acts on screen. Some of her prolific roles are in Waiting to Exhale, What's Love Got to Do With It, The Score, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Boyz n the Hood. She first appeared on the Cosby Show for small roles in 1984.
She is also the recipient of the world's most coveted film awards. In 1994, she won the Golden Globe awards under the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical category for her role in What's Love Got to Do with It. She was also nominated for the Oscars in the same year under the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for her role in What's Love Got to Do with It.
1. Whoopi Goldberg
Who is the best black actress? Arguably, Whoopi Goldberg easily qualifies as the best female black actress. Some of her notable movies include Sarafina, Ghost (Academy-Award Winning Performance), Corina, Sister Act, and The Color Purple. Who is the highest paid black actress of all time? Whoopi is because she has a life-time gross of $1,800,253,561.
A casual search about her award history brings forth an endless list of the awards she has won. They include Oscars, Golden Globe, Emmys, BAFTA, among others. In 1991, she won an Oscar award for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her character in Ghost. Prior to this, she was nominated for the 1986 Oscar Awards under the Best Actress in a Leading Role for her character in The Color Purple, a 1985 film.
These are the top 15 best black actresses of all time. They had the grace, charm, and talent to earn their spot in the top spot in entertainment. They are remembered as pacesetters for other black women in Hollywood.