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Minnie Gentry

Minnie Gentry

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Also Known As: Minnie Lee Watson Died: May 11, 1993
Born: December 2, 1915 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Norfolk, Virginia, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Durable African-American actor who began in segregated, all-black theater at an early age, and well over half a century later was still racking up credits in features like "The Bad Lieutenant" (1992). For many years Gentry worked primarily on the stage, in plays ranging from "Lysistrata" and "Medea" to a revival of "A Raisin in the Sun". Feature film work did not begin until late middle age, but Gentry made her dignified, charming and strong presence visible in a number of media in the years that followed. For many she is probably best for her touching work as Great Aunt Gramtee, a recurring role she played during the 1989-90 season on the hit sitcom, "The Cosby Show".

Durable African-American actor who began in segregated, all-black theater at an early age, and well over half a century later was still racking up credits in features like "The Bad Lieutenant" (1992). For many years Gentry worked primarily on the stage, in plays ranging from "Lysistrata" and "Medea" to a revival of "A Raisin in the Sun". Feature film work did not begin until late middle age, but Gentry made her dignified, charming and strong presence visible in a number of media in the years that followed. For many she is probably best for her touching work as Great Aunt Gramtee, a recurring role she played during the 1989-90 season on the hit sitcom, "The Cosby Show".

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bad Lieutenant (1992) Elderly Woman
2.
 Def By Temptation (1990) Grandma
3.
4.
 America (1986)
5.
6.
 Hollow Image (1979) Mamma
7.
 Greased Lightning (1977) Mrs Scott
8.
 Just an Old Sweet Song (1976) Aunt Velvet
9.
 Black Caesar (1973) Mama Gibbs
10.
 Sojourner (1975) Sophia
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Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Cleveland, Ohio; played in operettas and sang in church choirs
:
Joined the Gilpin Players through her future husband, Lloyd Gentry; was a company which performed at Cleveland's Karamu Playhouse; appeared in dramatic and musical roles for over 30 years
1946:
Appeared on Broadway in a production of "Lysistrata" with Sidney Poitier
1961:
Returned to the Karamu Playhouse; continued performing with them until 1961
:
Was busy in a number of roles during the late 1960s and early 70s dealing with race relations ("Black Girl", "The Gentleman Caller"); also played the title role in an off-Broadway of "Medea"
1971:
Received acclaim when she played Lena Younger in an off-Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun"
1971:
First notable feature film role, recreating the part she had played onstage in "Georgia, Georgia"
:
Played Great Aunt Gramtee for a season on the popular sitcom, "The Cosby Show"
1992:
Last feature film role, in "The Bad Lieutenant"
1992:
Last TV appearance, on a episode of the short-lived comedy series, "Here and Now"
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Notes

In addition to her daughter, Gentry had three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren who survived her.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Lloyd Gentry.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Marjorie Hawkins. Survived her.

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