First primetime TV guest spot, "Spenser: For Hire" (ABC)
Acted in Broadway production of August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," directed by Lloyd Richards
Appeared on episodes of "Spenser: For Hire" spin-off "A Man Called Hawk" (ABC)
First film with independent writer-director John Sayles, "City of Hope"
Portrayed Jackson family matriarch Katherine in ABC miniseries "The Jacksons: An American Dream"
Provided voice of writer Zora Neale Hurston for TBS documentary miniseries "A Century of Women"
Reprised role of Betty Shabazz for uncredited cameo in Mario Van Peebles' "Panther"
Co-starred in female ensemble "Waiting to Exhale," directed by Forest Whitaker and scripted by Terry McMillan
Cast as a school principal in "Music of the Heart"
Appeared in less than stellar sci-fi flick "Supernova"
Co-starred with Danny Glover in "Boesman and Lena"; film adapted from Athol Fugard's play
Cast as Robert De Niro's love interest in "The Score"
Played the owner of a waterfront joint in 1960s Louisiana who begins a relationship with a white male singer in Showtime movie "Ruby's Bucket of Blood"; also served as co-producer
Starred in "Sunshine State" with Edie Falco as a failed actress who goes with her friend home to their northern Florida town
Cast in Bob Dylan film "Masked & Anonymous"
Joined cast of "Alias" (ABC) as the new CIA director
Portrayed the mother of a young girl trying to make it to the National Spelling Bee in "Akeelah and the Bee"
Joined cast of NBC's "ER" as Dr. Cate Banfield, an exacting Chief of the ER; husband Courtney Vance played her television husband
Played Dr. Amanda Waller, a government agent in film adaptation of DC Comics superhero "Green Lantern"
Landed supporting role in "This Means War," an action comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy
Played the head of the Secret Service in action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen"
Nabbed a supporting role in the crime-thriller "Survivor"
Nabbed a supporting role on the mini-series "Close to the Enemy"