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Lynne Thigpen

Lynne Thigpen

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Also Known As: Lynn Thigpin Died: March 12, 2003
Born: December 22, 1948 Cause of Death: unknown cause of death
Birth Place: Joliet, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A powerful and commanding singer and actress, Lynne Thigpen first gained attention on stage in the pop musical "Godspell" and repeated her role in the 1973 film version. She continued to carve out a niche on stage in productions varied as "The Magic Show" (1976) and a Tony-nominated turn in multiple roles in "Tintypes" (1981). Thigpen again played several roles (including an ex-slave and entertainer Moms Mabley) in Off-Broadway's "And I Ain't Finished Yet" before making the most of a small role as a camera operator in the hit comedy film "Tootsie" (1982). Segueing to the small screen, she joined the cast of the NBC sitcom "Love, Sidney" in 1982, playing a secretary and was among the cast of regulars in the summer variety series "The News Is the News" (NBC, 1983). One of her best screen roles came as a black activist determined to oust hard-nosed principal Joe Clark (portrayed by Morgan Freeman) in the biopic "Lean on Me" (1989). That same year, Thigpen portrayed the straight-laced radio station manager in the NBC sitcom "FM". While she continued to act in features ("Bob Roberts" 1992; "Just Cause" 1995) and on stage (notably in "Fences" opposite Billy Dee Williams and a Tony-winning turn as a...

A powerful and commanding singer and actress, Lynne Thigpen first gained attention on stage in the pop musical "Godspell" and repeated her role in the 1973 film version. She continued to carve out a niche on stage in productions varied as "The Magic Show" (1976) and a Tony-nominated turn in multiple roles in "Tintypes" (1981). Thigpen again played several roles (including an ex-slave and entertainer Moms Mabley) in Off-Broadway's "And I Ain't Finished Yet" before making the most of a small role as a camera operator in the hit comedy film "Tootsie" (1982). Segueing to the small screen, she joined the cast of the NBC sitcom "Love, Sidney" in 1982, playing a secretary and was among the cast of regulars in the summer variety series "The News Is the News" (NBC, 1983). One of her best screen roles came as a black activist determined to oust hard-nosed principal Joe Clark (portrayed by Morgan Freeman) in the biopic "Lean on Me" (1989). That same year, Thigpen portrayed the straight-laced radio station manager in the NBC sitcom "FM". While she continued to act in features ("Bob Roberts" 1992; "Just Cause" 1995) and on stage (notably in "Fences" opposite Billy Dee Williams and a Tony-winning turn as a feminist doctor in "An American Daughter"), she is perhaps best known to children of a certain age as 'The Chief' of the game shows "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" (PBS, 1991-96) and "Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?" (PBS, 1996-98). Fans of daytime television would also remember her for her compelling turn as the grief-stricken Grace Keefer (who kidnapped a baby) in ABC's "All My Children", a role she essayed from 1993 to 1997 while primetime viewers may recognize her from her series parts or recurring roles on "L.A. Law" (as a district attorney) and "thirtysomething". More recently, Thigpen landed the pivotal role of the new employer of tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffery Wigand in Michael Mann's Oscar-nominated "The Insider" (1999). The following year, she made regular appearances in support of Craig T Nelson in the CBS drama "The District".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Anger Management (2003) Judge Daniels
2.
 Novocaine (2001) Pat
3.
 Dinner and a Movie (2001) Eleanor
4.
 Shaft (2000) Carla Howard
5.
 American Daughter, An (2000) Dr Judith B Kaufman
6.
 Bicentennial Man (1999) Female President
7.
 Insider, The (1999) Mrs Williams
8.
 Random Hearts (1999) Phyllis Bonaparte
9.
 Night Ride Home (1999) Fran
10.
 Chance of a Lifetime (1998) Mrs Wood
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Made NYC stage debut in the musical "Godspell"; socre by Stephen Schwartz
1973:
Reprised stage role for film debut in "Godspell"
1975:
Broadway debut in the short-lived "The Night That Made America Famous"
1976:
Appeared in "The Magic Show", with score by Schwartz
1980:
Received Tony nomination for playing several roles in the musical "Tintypes"
1982:
Acted small role of cameraperson in the hit film "Tootsie"
:
TV series debut as regular, joined cast of the NBC sitcom "Love, Sydney", playing a secretary at an advertising agency
1983:
Was a regular in the summer variety series "The News Is the News" (NBC)
:
Spent several years as member of the now-defunct Circle Repertory Theatre in NYC
1984:
Appeared in John Malkovich's acclaimed stage revival of "Balm in Gilead"
1989:
Co-starred in the film "Lean on Me"
1989:
Had recurring role in "thirtysomething"
:
Had featured role as the station manager in the NBC sitcom "FM"
:
Played dual role of 'The Chief' and 'Edwina' in the children's game show "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" (PBS)
:
Had recurring role of a district attorney in the primetime legal series "L.A. Law" (NBC)
1993:
Joined cast of the ABC daytime drama "All My Children", playing Grace Keefer
1995:
Played recurring role of the ex-wife of a college professor on the short-lived Fox sitcom "The Preston Episodes", starring David Alan Grier
1995:
Had supporting role in the feature thriller "Just Cause"
:
Reprised role of 'The Chief' in the PBS children's game show "Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?"
1997:
Gave award-winning supporting performance in Wendy Wasserstein's Broadway comedy-drama "An American Daughter"
1999:
Had supporting role in "The Insider" as the new employer of whistleblower Jeffery Wigand
2000:
Recreated award-winning stage role in Lifetime movie version of "An American Daughter"
2000:
Co-starred in the CBS fall drama "The District"
2001:
Played the officious office manager in "Novocaine"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana , Illinois -
University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana , Illinois -

Notes

The year of Ms. Thigpen's birth has variously been reported as 1940, 1948 and 1957

On her work in daytime, Lynne Thigpen told Soap Opera Digest (September 28, 1998): "If you're in a front-burner storyline, it's very intense because you have reams of memorization to do daily. The stage is a completely different thing. You work intensely for a period of time and then it's yours--yours and the audience's. But the daily thing [in soaps] is unlike anything else in the acting business. Even a weekly show is the equivalent of creating a small movie in eight days."

Contributions

Mclaglen ( 2007-05-25 )

Source: jet magazine shortly after her death

Ms. Thigpen's death was caused by cancer.

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