25 Black Actresses Over 50 You Should Follow

Black actresses over 50 have made some of the most amazing impacts on Black Cinema and Hollywood as a whole. Over the years, these actresses have also aged like fine wine, often looking as young as when they started out but have amassed accomplishments and awards that make them stand out. Take a look at some of the most fabulous black actresses over 50 that you should follow.

Famous Black Actresses Over 50

1. Gabrielle Union

  • Date of Birth: October 29, 1972
  • Age: 51 Years Old
  • Spouses: Chris Howard (2001–2006), Dwyane Wade (m. 2014)
  • Children: One (Kaavia James)

Gabrielle Union made her acting debut in on Broadway in 1996, even though she had been acting in school productions. Her breakthrough role came in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), where she played the character Chastity. This early success paved the way for her to establish herself as a prominent actress in Hollywood.

Gabrielle Union is married to former professional basketball player Dwyane Wade but was previously married to retired professional American football running back Chris Howard. She shares a daughter with Wade, who she had through a surrogate. She is also a stepmother to his three children from his other relationships.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Deliver Us from Eva (2003)
  • Being Mary Jane (2013 – 2019)
  • Neo Ned (2005)
  • Breaking In (2018)
  • The Perfect Find (2023)

Awards Won:

  • Black Reel Awards for Theatrical – Best Supporting Actress 2001 – Bring It On
  • American Black Film Festival Rising Star Award (2003)
  • BET Comedy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Box Office Movie 2004 – Deliver Us From Eva
  • NAACP Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special 2015 – Being Mary Jane
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Action TV Actress 2019 – LA’s Finest

2. Jada Pinkett Smith

  • Date of Birth: September 18, 1971
  • Age: 52 Years Old
  • Spouse: Will Smith (m. 1997)
  • Children: Two (Jaden Smith and Willow Smith)

Jada Pinkett Smith is an American actress, talk show host, and author born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 18, 1971. Smith made her acting debut in the 1990s and quickly rose to prominence with her role as Stony, a struggling woman turned bank robber in the 1996 film Set It Off.

Jada Pinkett Smith has taken on diverse and impactful roles in films like The Nutty Professor, Ali, and The Matrix film franchise. Pinkett Smith has been married to Will Smith since 1997. They have two children, Jaden Smith (born 1998) and Willow Smith (born 2000).

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Set It Off (1996)
  • Ali (2001)
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
  • Angel Has Fallen (2019)
  • The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Awards Won:

  • Interactive Achievement Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance – Female 2004 – Enter the Matrix
  • NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series 2019 – Hawthorne
  • MTV Movie & TV Trailblazer Awards
  • Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Informative Talk Show 2021 – Red Table Talk

3. Regina King

  • Date of Birth: January 15, 1971
  • Age: 53 Years Old
  • Spouse: Ian Alexander Sr. (1997–2007)
  • Children: One (Ian Alexander, Jr.)

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A post shared by Regina King (@iamreginaking)

Regina King is an actress, director, and producer born on January 15, 1971, in Los Angeles, California. She rose to fame for her early roles in television series like 227 and Southland. However, she gained widespread recognition for her performances in Boyz n the Hood, Jerry Maguire, and Ray.

In addition to her acting career, Regina King has also made a significant impact as a director and producer. She has directed episodes of popular television series and has received critical acclaim for her directorial work in projects like One Night in Miami, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Director.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • 24 (2007)
  • Our Family Wedding (2010)
  • Southland (2009–2013)
  • Being Mary Jane (2015)
  • One Night in Miami (2020)

Awards Won:

  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress 2019 – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress 2019 – Motion Picture – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (2015/2016) – American Crime
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (2018/2020) – Seven Seconds and Watchmen
  • Critics’ Choice Super Award for Best Supporting Actress 2018 – If Beale Street Could Talk

4. Regina Hall

  • Date of Birth: December 12, 1970
  • Age: 53 Years Old

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A post shared by Regina Hall (@morereginahall)

Regina Hall is famous for her tiny voice and witty dialogue. Born on December 12, 1970, in Washington, D.C., she began her acting career in the late 1990s and quickly gained recognition for her comedic talents and versatility. She is perhaps best known for her roles in the Scary Movie film series, where she played the role of Brenda Meeks. She is also known for hit movies like Love & Basketball, The Best Man, and Girls Trip.

Regina Hall’s impressive acting career has earned her numerous awards, including two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Think Like a Man 1 & 2 (2012/2014)
  • The Best Man Holiday (2013)
  • Girls Trip (2017)
  • Little (2019)
  • Shaft (2019)

Awards Won:

  • African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress 2018 – Support the Girls
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress 2018 – Support the Girls
  • Women’s Image Network Awards for Best Supporting Actress, Feature Film 2019 – The Hate U Give
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a TV Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special 2022 – Nine Perfect Strangers

5. Nia Long

  • Date of Birth: October 30, 1970
  • Age: 53 Years Old
  • Spouse: Ime Bishop (2010 – 2022)
  • Children: Two (Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, Kez Sunday Udoka)

Nia Long is a celebrated American actress known for her long and successful career in Black cinema. Born on October 30, 1970, in Brooklyn, New York, she made her acting debut in the early 1990s and quickly gained recognition for her role in Boyz n the Hood (1991). Since then, Long has been a prominent figure on both the big and small screens, with notable roles in films and TV series like Love Jones (1997), Love Jones (1997), The Best Man (1999), Third Watch (2003-2005), and Empire (2017).

She has won three NAACP Image Awards, two for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Third Watch and one for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in The Best Man Holiday (2013).

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Love Jones (1997)
  • The Best Man (1999)
  • Third Watch (2003-2005)
  • Empire (2017)
  • The Best Man Holiday (2013)

Awards Won:

  • American Black Film Festival Star of the Year 2000
  • American Black Film Festival Best Actress Award 2014 for The Best Man Holiday
  • Black Reel Awards for Outstanding Actress Award 2014 for The Best Man Holiday
  • NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2004/2005) For Third Watch

6. Taraji P. Henson

  • Date of Birth: September 11, 1970
  • Age: 53 Years Old
  • Children: One (Marcel Johnson)

Taraji P. Henson is one highly accomplished American actress and author, best known for her compelling performance as Cookie Lyon in Empire. Born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C., she rose to prominence for her role as Cookie, which earned her several awards.

For her different roles in different successful movies and TV series, Henson has won a total of twenty-eight different awards out of 76 nominations. She is the author of “Around the Way Girl,” a memoir in which she shares her life experiences and journey to success.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Empire (2015 – 2019)
  • Hidden Figures (2016)
  • Acrimony (2018)
  • What Men Want (2019)
  • The Color Purple (2023)

Awards Won:

  • Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama 2016 (for Empire)
  • Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actress, TV Movie or Limited Series 2012 – Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2016) for “Empire”
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2016) for “Empire”
  • BET Award for Best Actress (2018) for “Acrimony” and “Proud Mary”
  • Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (2019) for “What/If”

7. Octavia Spencer

  • Date of Birth: May 25, 1970
  • Age: 54 Years Old 

Octavia Spencer is an actress, producer, and author known for her exceptional talent and versatility. She gained widespread recognition for her role in the critically acclaimed film The Help (2011), where she portrayed Minny Jackson, a role that earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, among other accolades. This breakthrough performance marked a turning point in her career and solidified her as a prominent figure in Hollywood.

In addition to The Help, Octavia Spencer has continued to deliver outstanding performances in a variety of film and television roles. Her remarkable acting skills have garnered her numerous awards and nominations, including additional Academy Award nominations for her roles in Hidden Figures (2016) and The Shape of Water (2017). Her achievements as an actress reflect her dedication to her craft and her ability to bring depth and authenticity to her characters, making her one of the most respected and celebrated talents in the entertainment industry.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Hidden Figures (2016)
  • The Shape of Water (2017)
  • Gifted (2017)
  • Ma (2019)
  • Zootopia (2016)

Awards Won:

  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (2012) for The Help
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (2012) for The Help
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (2012) for The Help
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (2020) for Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special (2021) for Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

8. Queen Latifah

  • Date of Birth: March 18, 1970
  • Age: 54 Years Old
  • Partner: Eboni Nichols

Dana Elaine Owens, better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is a rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, producer, and television personality born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 18, 1970. Queen Latifah made her acting debut in the early 1990s with roles in television series and films. However, her breakthrough performance in the 2002 musical film Chicago garnered her widespread recognition.

Her portrayal of Matron Mama Morton earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, marking a significant turning point in her acting career. Queen Latifah’s achievements as an actress extend to her roles in various films, including Bringing Down the House, Hairspray, and Last Holiday. She has also found success on the small screen, earning a Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO biographical film Bessie.

She is also a successful businesswoman, having founded a production company, Flavor Unit Entertainment, which has produced several films and television shows. She also owns a clothing line, Flavor Unit Jeans, and her own fragrance line, Queen Latifah.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Beauty Shop (2005)
  • The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
  • Joyful Noise (2012)
  • Just Wright (2010)
  • Girls Trip (2017)

Awards Won:

  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (2003) for Chicago
  • BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (2003) for Chicago
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (2003) for Chicago
    Television
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie (2000) for Life-Size
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film (2000) for Life-Size

9. Gina Torres

  • Date of Birth: April 25, 1969
  • Age: 55 Years Old
  • Spouse: Laurence Fishburne (2002 – 2018)
  • Children: One (Delilah Fishburne)

Gina Torres was born on April 25, 1969, in Manhattan, New York. She developed a passion for acting at an early age, inspired by her grandmother, who introduced her to the world of theater and film. Torres made her acting debut in the early 1990s, initially finding her footing in television with guest roles on various shows.

However, it was her role as Jessica Pearson in the legal drama series Suits that catapulted her to stardom. Her portrayal of the intelligent and powerful law firm managing partner showcased her commanding presence and acting prowess, making her a fan favorite on the show.

Other significant roles in her career include parts in series like Firefly and Hannibal, as well as appearances in films like The Matrix trilogy. Her achievements as an actress include a dedicated fan base, recognition for her dynamic performances, and her contributions to the science fiction genre.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Suits (2011 – 2018)
  • Mr. Sophistication (2013)
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
  • Firefly (2002-2003)
  • The Perfect Find (2023

Awards Won:

  • Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television (2018) for Suits
  • Imagen Award for Best Actress – Television (2020) for Pearson
  • La Femme Film Festival Visionary Award (2018)

10. Cynthia Bailey

  • Date of Birth: February 19, 1967
  • Age:57 Years Old
  • Spouse: Mike Hill (2020–2022), Peter Thomas (2010–2017)
  • Children: One (Noelle Robinson)

Cynthia Bailey is primarily known for her career as a model and reality television personality rather than her acting pursuits. She made her acting debut in the mid-1990s with a role in the film Without You I’m Nothing. While she has appeared in a few acting roles, her career and achievements are primarily associated with her successful modeling career, her role in Bravo’s reality TV series The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and her entrepreneurship in the fashion and beauty industry.

Cynthia Bailey’s recognition and achievements as an actress are relatively limited compared to her accomplishments in modeling and reality television. She is celebrated for her work in the fashion world, her role on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and her contributions to the beauty industry, where she has established herself as an entrepreneur and influential figure.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • The Dark Power (1985)
  • Without You I’m Nothing (1990)
  • Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016)
  • The Real Housewives of Atlanta (2010-2021)
  • Celebrity Apprentice (2012)

Awards Won:

  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Reality Personality (2016) for
    The Real Housewives of Atlanta
  • BravoCon 2019 Fan Favorite Bravolebrity
  • The Daily Dish Awards (2019) Most Iconic Housewife
  • 25 Most Influential Women in Atlanta (2023) Shero Icon Award

11. Kimberly Elise

  • Date of Birth: April 17, 1967
  • Age: 57 Years Old
  • Spouse: Maurice Oldham (1989 – 2005), George E. McCrary (2023)
  • Children: Two (Butterfly Rose Oldham and AjaBleu Oldham)
Black Actresses Over 50
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Kimberly Elise Trammel, known professionally as Kimberly Elise, was born on April 17, 1967, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She began her acting career in the early 1990s and quickly gained recognition for her talent and emotional depth as an actress. Her breakthrough role came in the 1996 film Set It Off, where she portrayed Stony, a struggling woman turned bank robber. Her powerful performance in the film marked a significant moment in her career.

Elise has taken on diverse and impactful roles in films like Beloved, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and For Colored Girls. She has earned critical acclaim for her ability to portray complex and emotionally charged characters, earning awards and nominations, including an NAACP Image Award.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
  • Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)
  • For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf (2010)
  • The Mentalist (2008–2013)
  • Hit the Floor (2013–2016)

Awards Won:

  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (2006) for Diary of a Mad Black Woman
  • Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actress (2002) for John Q.
  • Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead (2005) for Woman Thou Art Loosed
  • MovieGuide Award for Grace Award – Best Actress (2010) for Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

12. Garcelle Beauvais

  • Date of Birth: November 26, 1966
  • Age: 57 Years Old
  • Spouses: Daniel Saunders (1991 – 2000), Michael Nilon (2001 – 2011)
  • Children: Three (Oliver Saunders, Jax Joseph Nilon, and Jaid Thomas Nilon)

Born on November 26, 1966, in Saint-Marc, Haiti, Garcelle Beauvais moved to the US with her family at age seven. She made her acting debut in the late 1980s, and her early career included roles in television series like The Cosby Show and Family Matters. However, she gained broader recognition for her role as Fancy Monroe in the popular sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show, which ran from 1996 to 2001. Her portrayal of Fancy showcased her comedic talents and charismatic on-screen presence.

Beauvais has appeared in various films and television shows, including Coming to America (1988) and NYPD Blue. She has earned accolades for her performances and is known for her contributions to both comedy and drama. She is a board member of the Haiti Fund for Education. Beauvais is also a successful businesswoman. She has a clothing line, GB by Garcelle Beauvais, and she is the co-founder of the production company Beauvais Entertainment.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Black Girl Missing (2023)
  • Caught in His Web (2023)
  • Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (2020–present)
  • The Other Black Girl (2023)
  • Carol’s Second Act (2019–2020)

Awards Won:

  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (2000) for The Jamie Foxx Show
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2003) for NYPD Blue
  • People’s Choice Award for Favorite Reality TV Star (nominated) (2022) for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
  • Black Reel Award for Outstanding TV Movie/Limited Series (nominated) (2023) for The Other Black Girl

13. Halle Berry

  • Date of Birth: August 14, 1966
  • Age: 57 Years Old
  • Spouses: David Justice (1993–1997), Eric Benét (2001–2005), Olivier Martinez (2013–2016)
  • Children: Two (Nahla Ariela and Maceo-Robert)

Halle Berry is an acclaimed American actress and former fashion model/beauty queen who has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry with her ageless beauty. Born on August 14, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio, she began her career from beauty pageants to modeling before transitioning to acting. Berry gained widespread recognition for her role in the 2001 film Monster’s Ball, for which she became the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Her talent and versatility have allowed her to excel in various film genres, from action to drama and science fiction. Some of her other notable films include X-Men, Die Another Day, and Catwoman. Berry has been a trailblazer for women of color in Hollywood and is a prominent figure in the industry. In addition to her acting career, she is also a successful businesswoman. She launched her production company, 606 Films, in 2014 and has been a Revlon spokesmodel since 1996.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Perfect Stranger (2007)
  • Frankie & Alice (2010)
  • The Call (2013)
  • Bruised (2020)
  • Extant (2014–2015)

Awards Won:

  • Academy Award for Best Actress (2002) for Monster’s Ball
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama (2002) for Monster’s Ball
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (2002) for Monster’s Ball
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (2000) for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film (2000) for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge

14. Janet Jackson

  • Date of Birth: May 16, 1966
  • Age: 58 Years Old
  • Spouses: Wissam Al Mana (m. 2012–2017), René Elizondo Jr. (m. 1991–2003), James DeBarge (m. 1984–1985)
  • Children: One (Eissa Al Mana)

Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and film producer born on May 16, 1966, in Gary, Indiana, as the youngest of ten children in the Jackson family. She started as a singer and became quite known for it, just like the other members of her family.

She made her acting debut in the early 1970s on the television series Good Times. However, her role in the 1993 film Poetic Justice as Justice marked her rise to fame as an actress. Since then, she has stared in several other critically acclaimed movies like The Wiz (1978), Poetic Justice (1993), A Different World (1988–1993), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enough (2010) amongst others. Janet Jackson has won twelve Grammy Awards, twenty-two American Music Awards, and seventeen Billboard Music Awards.

Major Movies and TV Series:

  • Poetic Justice (1993)
  • Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)
  • The Nutty Professor (1996)
  • Why Did I Get Married? (2007)
  • For Colored Girls (2010)

Awards Won:

  • 11 American Music Awards
  • 5 Grammy Awards
  • 10 MTV Video Music Awards
  • 11 Billboard Music Awards
  • Soul Train Music Award for Lifetime Achievement Award
  • BET Award for Icon Award

15. Viola Davis

  • Date of Birth: August 11, 1965
  • Age: 58 Years Old
  • Spouse: Julius Tennon (m. 2003)
  • Children: One (Genesis Tennon)

Viola Davis made her professional acting debut in the late 1990s and gained widespread recognition for her critically acclaimed role in the play King Hedley II. However, it was her role in the film Doubt (2008) that brought her significant attention and marked a turning point in her career. Her portrayal of Aibileen Clark in The Help (2011) earned her an Academy Award nomination.

She won several awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her iconic performance as Annalise Keating in the television series How to Get Away with Murder. In 2016, Viola Davis made history by becoming the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences. She has also won multiple Oscars, Emmy Awards, and Tony Awards, solidifying her as one of the most respected and accomplished actresses in the industry.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • The Help (2011)
  • Fences (2016)
  • Widows (2018)
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
  • The Woman King (2022)

Awards Won:

  • Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (2017) for Fences
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (2017) for Fences
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (2017) for Fences
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress (2017) for Fences
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2015) for How to Get Away with Murder
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2016) for How to Get Away with Murder
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2016) for How to Get Away with Murder

16. Vivica A. Fox

  • Date of Birth: July 30, 1964
  • Age: 59 Years Old
  • Spouse: Christopher Harvest (1998–2002)

Vivica A. Fox was born on July 30, 1964, in South Bend, Indiana, and is currently 59 years old. She made her acting debut in the late 1980s and quickly established herself as a dynamic presence in Hollywood. One of her early breakthrough roles came in the film Independence Day (1996), where she played the role of Jasmine Dubrow, earning her widespread recognition and cementing her status as a prominent actress in the industry.

Over the years, Vivica A. Fox has been in a wide range of film and television roles. She has appeared in numerous popular movies and TV shows, including Soul Food, Kill Bill, and Empire. Her talent and dedication to her craft have earned her accolades and nominations, making her a respected figure in the entertainment world and showcasing her enduring presence in both Hollywood and the world of television.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
  • Two Can Play That Game (2001)
  • Booty Call (1997)
  • A New Diva’s Christmas Carol (2022)

Awards Won:

  • MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (1997) for Independence Day (shared with Will Smith)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2001) for Soul Food
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (2003) for Juwanna Mann

17. Robin Givens

  • Date of Birth: November 27, 1964
  • Age: 59 Years Old
  • Spouse: Mike Tyson (1988 – 1989), Svetozar Marinkovic (1997 – 1998)
  • Children: Two (Michael Givens and William Givens Jensen)

Givens was born on November 27, 1964, in New York City, where she started her career as a model. She made her acting debut in the mid-1980s and quickly rose to prominence for her captivating beauty and charisma. One of her early major roles came in the popular television series Head of the Class, where she played the character Darlene Merriman. The role established her as a prominent figure in the world of television.

She has continued to take on various film and television roles, including appearances in movies like Boomerang and A Rage in Harlem.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Boomerang (1992)
  • A Good Night to Die (2003)
  • Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys (2008)
  • God’s Not Dead 2 (2016)
  • Riverdale (TV Series, 2017-2018)

Awards Won:

  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture (1993) for Boomerang
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture (1992) for A Rage in Harlem

18. Vanessa Williams

  • Date of Birth: March 18, 1963
  • Age: 61 Years Old
  • Spouses: Ramon Hervey II (1987–1997), Rick Fox (1999–2005), Jim Skrip (2015) 
  • Children: Four (Sasha Gabriella Fox, Jillian Hervey, Melanie Hervey, Devin Hervey)

Vanessa Williams is a highly accomplished American actress, singer, and former beauty queen. Born on March 18, 1963, in Millwood, New York, she first gained national attention in 1983 when she became the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss America. Her reign as Miss America was cut short due to a controversial scandal, but Williams used the setback as a stepping stone to a successful career in entertainment.

She transitioned into acting and music, achieving remarkable success in both fields. Williams has appeared in numerous films, television series, and Broadway productions, including her Emmy-nominated role in Ugly Betty. As a singer, she has released several albums and achieved chart-topping hits, such as Save the Best for Last and Colors of the Wind from Disney’s Pocahontas.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Soul Food (1997)
  • Dance with Me (1998)
  • Ugly Betty (TV Series, 2006-2010)
  • Desperate Housewives (TV Series, 2010-2012)
  • Candyman (2021)

Awards Won:

  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (1997) for Soul Food
  • Black Reel Award for Best Actress (2008) for My Brother
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress (2008) for My Brother
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (2010) for For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2006, 2007) for Ugly Betty

19. Angela Bassett

  • Date of Birth: August 16, 1958
  • Age: 65 Years Old
  • Spouse: Courtney B. Vance (m. 1997)
  • Children: Two (Bronwyn Golden Vance, Slater Josiah Vance)

Born on August 16, 1958, in New York City, Angela Bassett has earned widespread acclaim for her powerful and versatile performances. She has portrayed a wide range of complex characters, earning critical acclaim and awards for her roles in films like What’s Love Got to Do with It, where she portrayed Tina Turner and Malcolm X. Known for her ability to bring depth and authenticity to her characters Bassett is well respected in the black community.

Beyond her acting career, Angela Bassett has been an influential voice in the industry, advocating for diversity and representation in Hollywood. She has also been involved in television series, such as “American Horror Story,” and has received multiple accolades for her work, including two Golden Globes and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
  • The Rosa Parks Story (2002)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • American Horror Story (TV Series, 2013-2021)
  • 9-1-1 (TV Series, 2018-present)

Awards Won:

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame star
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama (1994) for What’s Love Got to Do with It
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (2023) for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (2002) for Black Panther
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress (2023) for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (2000) for Life-Size

20. Whoopi Goldberg

  • Date of Birth: November 13, 1955
  • Age: 68 Years Old
  • Spouse: Alvin Martin (1973 – 1979), David Claessen (1986 – 1988), Lyle Trachtenberg (1994 – 1995)
  • Children: One (Alex Martin)

Whoopi Goldberg was born on November 13, 1955, in Chelsea, New York City as Caryn Elaine Johnson. She is an actress, comedian, author, and television personality. Whoopi Goldberg made her acting debut in the early 1980s, initially gaining recognition as a stand-up comedian and theater performer.

However, it was her breakthrough role in the 1985 film The Color Purple that catapulted her to stardom. Her portrayal of Celie Johnson earned her an Academy Award nomination and marked the beginning of a highly successful acting career.

Throughout her career, Whoopi Goldberg has taken on a diverse range of film and television roles, including her iconic portrayal of Oda Mae Brown in Ghost (1990), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has received numerous accolades, including Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards, making her one of the few entertainers to achieve the prestigious EGOT status.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • The Color Purple (1985)
  • Sister Act (1992)
  • The Lion King (1994)
  • The Conners (TV Series, 2018-present)
  • The View (TV Series, 2007-present)

Awards Won:

  • Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (1991) for Ghost
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (1991) for Ghost
  • BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (1991) for Ghost
    Television
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1985) for The Color Purple
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (2002) for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

21. Lynn Whitfield

  • Date of Birth: February 15, 1953
  • Age: 71 Years Old
  • Spouse: Vantile Whitfield (1974 – 1978), Brian Gibson (1990 – 1992)
  • Children: One (Grace Gibson)

 

Lynn Whitfield was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on February 15, 1953. She made her acting debut in the early 1980s and quickly rose to prominence for her remarkable talent and commanding presence on both stage and screen. She gained recognition for her captivating performance in the critically acclaimed play The Great White Hope (1984), earning her a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and establishing her as a rising star in the world of theater.

Throughout her career, Lynn Whitfield has delivered exceptional performances in a variety of film and television roles. She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Josephine Baker in the 1991 television film The Josephine Baker Story, which earned her an Emmy Award. Her achievements as an actress also include roles in films like Eve’s Bayou and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.

Major Movies and TV Series:

  • The Josephine Baker Story (1991)
  • Eve’s Bayou (1997)
  • A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996)
  • Madea’s Family Reunion (2006)
  • Greenleaf (TV Series, 2016-2020)

Awards Won:

  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (1991) for The Josephine Baker Story
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special (1991) for The Josephine Baker Story
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2020, 2019) for Greenleaf
  • Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2017) for The Bold and the Beautiful

22. Alfre Woodard

  • Date of Birth: November 8, 1952
  • Age: 71 Years Old
  • Spouse: Roderick Spencer (m. 1983)
  • Children: Two (Mavis Spencer and Duncan Spencer)

Born on November 8, 1952, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Alfre Woodard got the knack for storytelling and the performance arts from her mother. She is a highly accomplished American actress known for her remarkable talent and extensive contributions to film and television. She has portrayed a wide range of characters in various genres, earning critical acclaim for her performances.

Some of her major roles include her portrayal of Lily Sloane in Star Trek: First Contact and her Emmy Award-winning role as a mother coping with her son’s death in the television movie Miss Evers’ Boys.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Cross Creek (1983)
  • Passion Fish (1992)
  • How to Make an American Quilt (1995)
  • Miss Evers’ Boys (1997)
  • The Family That Preys (2008)

Awards Won:

  • 4 Primetime Emmy Awards
  • 1 Golden Globe Award
  • 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards
  • 2 NAACP Image Awards

23. Debbie Allen

  • Date of Birth: January 16, 1950
  • Age: 74 Years Old
  • Spouse: Winifred Wilford (1975 – 1983), Norm Nixon (m. 1984)
  • Children: Two (Norman Ellard Nixon Jr. and DeVaughn Nixon)
Black Actresses Over 50
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Debbie Allen is a multi-talented American actress born on January 16, 1950, in Houston, Texas. She made her acting debut in the late 1970s. However, it was her captivating performance as Lydia Grant in the 1980 film and subsequent television series “Fame” that brought her widespread recognition. Her portrayal of the passionate dance instructor earned her critical acclaim and established her as a prominent actress in the entertainment industry.

She has appeared in numerous film and television projects, including Ragtime (1981) and The Cosby Show. In addition to her acting career, she has made significant contributions to the world of dance, choreography, and directing. Her talent and impact have earned her a Tony Award for her work in Sweet Charity and a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Fame. She has been nominated 20 times for an Emmy Award (winning five),

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Grey’s Anatomy (TV Series, 2005-present)
  • Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (2020)
  • A Fall from Grace (2020)
  • Freeze Frame…Stop the Madness (2020)
  • Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001)

Awards Won:

  • 5 Primetime Emmy Awards
  • 3 Golden Globe Awards
  • Astaire Award for Best Dancer (1991)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (2005) for Diary of a Mad Black Woman
  • Tony Award for Best Choreography (1992) for Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk

24. Loretta Devine

  • Date of Birth: August 21, 1949
  • Age: 74 Years Old
  • Spouse: Glenn Marshall (m. 1967)
  • Children: One (James Lawrence Tyler)

Born on August 12, 1949, in Temple, Texas, Loretta Devine is a celebrated American actress with a prolific career spanning decades. She is widely recognized for her significant contributions to both film and television. She had her breakthrough in the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale, where she portrayed Gloria Matthews, earning critical acclaim for her performance and establishing herself as a notable talent in the industry.

Throughout her career, Loretta Devine has consistently delivered outstanding performances, earning her several awards and nominations. Her portrayal of Adele Webber on the popular medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy showcased her acting prowess to a broader audience, and she received a Primetime Emmy Award for her guest role on the show.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • Family Reunion (2019-present)
  • P-Valley (TV Series, 2020-present)
  • Documentary Now! (TV Series, 2019)
  • Line Sisters (2020)
  • Christmas on the Square (2020)

Awards Won:

  • 8 NAACP Image Awards
  • Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series (2011) for Grey’s Anatomy
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pan African Film Festival
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP Theatre Awards
  • Thespian Award from the LA Femme International Film Festival

25. Phylicia Rashad

  • Date of Birth: June 19, 1948
  • Age: 76 Years Old
  • Spouses: William Lancelot Bowles, Jr. (1972–1975), Victor Willis (1978 – 1982), Ahmad Rashad (1985–2001)
  • Children: One (Condola Rashad)

Phylicia Rashad is an American actress and stage director known for her significant contributions to both stage and screen. She is perhaps best recognized for her iconic role as Clair Huxtable, the loving and no-nonsense mother in the hit 1980s and 1990s television series The Cosby Show. Her portrayal of Clair Huxtable made her an influential and beloved figure in American households, and the show’s success contributed to her widespread recognition.

In addition to her role on The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad has had a successful career in theater, earning accolades for her stage performances. She became the first African American woman to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role in A Raisin in the Sun in 2004.

Major Movies and TV Series: 

  • This Is Us (TV Series, 2016-2022)
  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
  • David Makes Man (TV Series, 2019-2021)
  • Black Box (2020)
  • For Colored Girls (2010)

Awards Won:

  • Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (2004) for A Raisin in the Sun
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (1995, 1997, 1999) for The Cosby Show
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2003) for NYPD Blue
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special (2008) for A Raisin in the Sun
  • TV Land Impact Icon Award (2012)
  • The BET Honors Award for Theatrical Arts (2013)
Hugo Wright
Hugo Wright
Hugo has extensive professional writing experience and has been writing and editing articles on multiple platforms for several years now. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favourite pastimes.

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