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Juanita Moore

Juanita Moore

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Also Known As: Died: December 31, 2013
Born: October 19, 1914 Cause of Death: natural causes
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: actor, chorus girl, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A former Cotton Club chorus girl. Los Angeles native Juanita Moore began her career as a film extra, later honing her craft in local stage productions at the Ebony Showcase, Theater. In 1949, she made her feature film debut in "Pinky", playing a nurse. She spent the better part of the next decade trapped in mostly stereotypical roles as domestics until landing the breakthrough part of Annie Johnson, the hard-working housekeeper to actress Lora Meredith in the glossy Douglas Sirk-directed remake of "Imitation of Life" (1959). Moore excelled as Annie, whose light-skinned daughter attempted to deny her roots by passing for Caucasian, and the actress received a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.As with any so-called "minority" performer, though, Moore initially found finding suitable follow-up roles difficult. She landed supporting turns in "Tammy, Tell Me True" (1961) and "Papa's Delicate Condition" (1963). In 1966, she was one of the titular character's fellow religious in "The Singing Nun". With the advent of the black-themed films in the late 60s and early 70s, Moore saw some improvement in the types of parts in which she was cast. Mostly, she undertook matriarchal roles in...

A former Cotton Club chorus girl. Los Angeles native Juanita Moore began her career as a film extra, later honing her craft in local stage productions at the Ebony Showcase, Theater. In 1949, she made her feature film debut in "Pinky", playing a nurse. She spent the better part of the next decade trapped in mostly stereotypical roles as domestics until landing the breakthrough part of Annie Johnson, the hard-working housekeeper to actress Lora Meredith in the glossy Douglas Sirk-directed remake of "Imitation of Life" (1959). Moore excelled as Annie, whose light-skinned daughter attempted to deny her roots by passing for Caucasian, and the actress received a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.

As with any so-called "minority" performer, though, Moore initially found finding suitable follow-up roles difficult. She landed supporting turns in "Tammy, Tell Me True" (1961) and "Papa's Delicate Condition" (1963). In 1966, she was one of the titular character's fellow religious in "The Singing Nun". With the advent of the black-themed films in the late 60s and early 70s, Moore saw some improvement in the types of parts in which she was cast. Mostly, she undertook matriarchal roles in movies like "Uptight" (1968), a loose remake of 1935's "The Informer", "The Mack" (1973) and "Abby" (1974). Her appearances tapered off in the 1980s as she cared for her ill spouse, Charles Burris. At a time when many in her profession might consider retirement, Moore renewed her career returning to movies after a dozen years in the small role of a wise and warm, advice-dispensing grandmother in "Disney's The Kid" (2000). Following Burris's death in 2001, Moore went on to land guest parts on such high profile TV shows like "ER" and "Judging Amy". Juanita Moore died at her home in Los Angeles on December 31, 2013 at the age of 99.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Disney's The Kid (2000) Kenny'S Grandmother
2.
 Two Moon Junction (1988) Delilah
3.
 Paternity (1981) Celia
4.
 Joey (1977)
5.
 Abby (1974) Mama Potter
6.
 Thomasine and Bushrod (1974) Pecolia
7.
 Dream For Christmas, A (1973) Fannie Mitchell
8.
 Mack, The (1973) Mother
9.
 Skin Game (1971) Viney
10.
 Uptight (1968) Johnny's mother
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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in South Los Angeles, California
:
Performed as chorus girl at the Cotton Club in the 1930s; first met Dorothy Dandridge who remained a lifelong friend
:
Worked as an extra in films, earning $10 or $12 per day
:
Acted in local stage productions at the Ebony Showcase Theater
1949:
Film debut as a nurse in "Pinky"
1952:
Acted in "Lydia Bailey", a drama set in 19th-century Haiti
1959:
Breakthrough screen role as Annie Johnson, the hard-working, widowed housekeeper to actress Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) in "Imitation of Life"; received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination
1965:
Was one of the title character's fellow sisters in "The Singing Nun"
1969:
Appeared in the TV movie "The Whole World Is Watching" (NBC)
1971:
Cast in a supporting role in the underrated "Skin Game"
1973:
Co-starred in "A Dream for Christmas", an unsold ABC pilot for a series about a black family; created by Earl Hamner
1973:
Acted in "The Mack"
1977:
Appeared in "Joey"
1981:
Had featured role in "Paternity"
1988:
Last film for 12 years, "Two Moon Junction"
2000:
Resumed acting career with small role in "Disney's The Kid"
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Education

Jefferson High School: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

"The Apollo Theater [in Harlem] marquee had on it: "Imitation of Life" starring Juanita Moore. I thought Lana [Turner] would have a fit if she saw that." --Juanita Moore to Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2000

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