Mary Alice, ‘Sparkle’ & ‘Matrix Revolutions’ Actress, Dies At 85 [Condolences]

Mary Alice

Mary Alice, ‘Sparkle’ & ‘Matrix Revolutions’ Actress, Dies At 85 [Condolences]

Mary Alice, the Hollywood actress known for her role as the mother of three singing daughters in “Sparkle” and her appearance as The Oracle in “The Matrix Revolutions,” has died. She was 85 years old at the time of her death.

According to reports, Tony and Emmy-winning actress Mary Alice passed away in her home on Wednesday (July 27) in New York City.

Mary Alice in ‘The Matrix Revolutions’

The television/film actress played dorm director Lettie Bostic on the first two seasons (1988-89) of NBC’s “A Different World.” Mary Alice’s on-screen resume also includes her role as the mother of Oprah Winfrey on the 1988 ABC miniseries “The Women of Brewster Place”; and the mother of Harold Perrineau Jr. in 2002 on HBO’s “Oz.”

Reportedly, Alice transitioned into film roles in 1974 with her screen debut in “The Education of Sonny Carson.” In films, she appeared in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” (1992), Maya Angelou’s “Down in the Delta” (1998), John Sayles’ “Sunshine State” (2002), among many others.

The former Chicago schoolteacher received back-to-back Emmy nominations in 1992 and ’93 — winning in the second year — for her role on the Atlanta-set NBC legal drama “I’ll Fly Away.”

Alice’s award accolades include an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for 1993’s “I’ll Fly Away.” The stage actress also won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 1987 for her role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning and original Broadway production “Fences.”

Mary Alice in ‘Sparkle’

Born Mary Alice Smith in Indianola, Mississippi, she was one of five children. Alice reportedly pursued acting an early age and got her start on stage in her hometown. After briefly becoming an elementary school teacher after college, Alice returned to acting in the 1960s by joining a community theater group. She worked her way up to stage productions in Manhattan’s East Village throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Alice was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2000, and she retired from acting in 2005.

We send our love and condolences to Mary Alice’s family and loved ones during this time.

[Sources: 1, 2]

Authored by: Ariel Whitely