*Actress Suzzanne Douglas, known for her leading roles in the Robert Townsend sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood” and 1989 feature film “Tap,” has died at the age of 64. So far, no cause of death has been revealed.
Angie Tee, reported to be a cousin of the late actress, broke the news of Douglas’ death on Facebook July 6, writing “Suzzanne Douglas a beautiful and talented actress made her transition today. She warmed our hearts on movie screens and television sets all over the world. This beautiful soul was my cousin.
“I can remember growing up, there weren’t very many black actresses who had starring roles but there was my cousin with the lead role in ‘Tap’ starring alongside great dancers such as Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. She also performed with Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg in ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back.’ ‘The Inkwell,’ ‘Jason’s Lyric’ and so much more, the list goes on. The world will miss your talent but your soul will live on forever. Rest in Paradise my beautiful cousin Suzzanne, you will be missed RIP.”
Douglas was born in Chicago and raised in public housing on the city’s south side by her single mother along with her three siblings. After taking an interest in fine arts, she earned a Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University before later earning a Master in Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
Her lead role in “Tap” earned an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. In 2015, she played Cissy Houston in the Lifetime biopic “Whitney.” She appeared in a number of TV sitcoms and dramas. In addition to her leading part as Jerri Peterson in the WB comedy “The Parent ‘Hood,” Douglas also had guest roles on “The Cosby Show,” “Touched By An Angel,” “The Parkers,” and “The Good Wife.”
Most recently, she starred in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 miniseries, “When They See Us.”
Suzzanne Douglas was a quiet, elegant force as we made WHEN THEY SEE US. A gentlewoman. A gem of a lady. A confident, caring actor who breathed life into the words and made them shimmer. I’m grateful that our paths in this life crossed. May she journey on in peace and love. pic.twitter.com/1ZhaucGEiK
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 7, 2021
Below, a look back at some of Douglas’ stellar work:
“How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998)