'Imitation of Life' Actress Juanita Moore Passes Away at 99

Oscar-nominated actress Juanita Moore passed away Wednesday at the age of 99. Moore is best known...

 photo juanitamoore.jpg
Oscar-nominated actress Juanita Moore passed away Wednesday at the age of 99.

Moore is best known for her role as Annie Johnson, the mother of a daughter who passes for white, in the 1959 film Imitation of Life. For this role, Moore, became the fifth Black actor to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Born in Los Angeles, Moore helped to break down doors for black actors in the Los Angeles area. She was a member of the Cambridge Players along with celebrated actresses like Esther Rolle ("Good Times") and Helen Martin ("227").

Like many big screen black women performers of her era, she often played maids. Moore's first role was a maid in the classic race-mixing film Pinky.

In addition to work in film, Moore got her start at the heraled New York night club The Cotton Club and  appeared in stage productions of A Raisin in the Sun and James Baldwin's The Amen Corner.

Among Moore's other films were The Girl Can't Help It, The Singing Nun, Paternity and The Kid. Her TV credits include The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Adam-12, Judging Amy and ER.


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