Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
Vic Morrow to Lennie Niehaus
Denise Nicholas Biography (1944-)
Born July 12, 1944 (some sources say 1945) in Detroit, MI (some sources say Delaware); daughter of Otto Nicholas and Louise Carolyn Burgen; married Gilbert Moses (a theater artistic director), 1964 (divorced, 1965); married Bill Withers (a singer; divorced); married Jim Hill (a sportscaster), 1981. Education: Attended the University of Michigan, 1962-64; and the University ofSouthern California, B.A., drama, 1987; trained for the stage with Paul Mannand Lloyd Richards; studied dance with Louis Johnson and voice with KristanLinklater at the Negro Ensemble Company. Addresses:
Agent-- Paul Kohner, Los Angeles, CA. Career: Actress, writer, and producer. Appeared in productions with Media Forum Players, CA, and at Old Reliable TheatreTavern, New York City; member of original acting company, Negro Ensemble Company, New York City, 1967-68; artist in residence, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, 1987-88; acting teacher, University of Southern California, 1987-89; founding member, Free Southern Theatre, New Orleans, LA; founder and co-owner,Masai Films, Inc., Hollywood, CA; producer, Artists and Athletes against Apartheid: A Benefit, Beverly Wilshire Hotel; producer, The Media ForumPresents, Wilshire Ebell Hotel. Chair, Fourth Annual American Airlines/Jet Celebrity Tennis Classic, United Negro College Fund Super Tennis Week, 1978; secretary, Negro Ensemble Company; works with Neighbors of Watts, Inc. (an organization for the care of children); and worked as a secretary forJ. Walter Thompson. Member: Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Women in Film. Awards, Honors: Golden Globe Award nominations, best TV actress--drama, 1970-72, and three Emmy Award nominations, all for Room 222; CEBA Awards, for excellence for advertising and communications, 1981-82;Cultural Artist of the Year, Harvard University Harvard Foundation, 1995; five National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Awards;two Los Angeles Emmy Awards for Voices of Our People: In Celebration of Black Poetry.
Addresses: Agent: Paul Kohner, Los Angeles, CA.
- Actress, writer, producer
- Birth Details
- July 12, 1944
- Detroit, Michigan, United States
- Michelle, Blacula, American International Pictures, 1972
- Elena, The Soul of Nigger Charley, Paramount, 1973
- Irene Mapes, Mr. Ricco, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1975
- Beth Foster, Let's Do It Again, Warner Bros., 1975
- Lila French, A Piece of the Action, Warner Bros., 1977
- Betty Walker, Capricorn One, Warner Bros., 1978
- (As Denise Nicholas-Hill) Vanessa Jackson, Marvin and Tige, Lorimar, 1983
- Joan, Ghost Dad,1990
- Sylvia Becker, Ritual, Gotham Entertainment, 2000
- Producer of short films, all with Masai Films: Navy Junior R.O.T.C. and Welcome Aboard, both for the U.S. Navy; Aquarius(animated), for Mattel Electronics; The Road Rapper, for the California Department of Highways; also Doing Business in Nigeria.
- Liz McKintyre, guidance counselor, Room 222, ABC, 1969-74
- Olivia Ellis, his wife, Baby, I'm Back, CBS, 1978
- Councilwoman Harriet DeLong, In the Heat of the Night,1989-94
- Also appeared in Yes, Inc., PBS.
- Joy, Five Desperate Women, ABC, 1971
- Marva Trotter Louis, Ring of Passion(also known as Countdown tothe Big One), 1978
- (As Denise Nicholas Hill) Connie, Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls(also known as Valley of the Dolls), 1981
Supercarrier(also known as Deadly Enemies), 1988
- Elizabeth Sturgis, Mother's Day(also known as Lethal Error), 1989
- Cleo Babilonia, On Thin Ice: The Tai Babilonia Story, NBC, 1990
- Harriet DeLong, In the Heat of the Night: A Matter of Justice, CBS, 1994
- Harriet DeLong, In the Heat of the Night: Who Was Geli Bendl?, CBS, 1994
- Harriet DeLong, In the Heat of the Night: By Duty Bound, CBS, 1995
- Harriet DeLong, In the Heat of the Night: Grow Old Along with Me,CBS, 1995
- Lettie, The Rockford Files: Murder and Misdemeanors, CBS, 1997
- Pat, The Sophisticated Gents, NBC, 1981
- CBS team member, Battle of the Network Stars IV,1978
- Nurse Reilly, The Big Stuffed Dog,1980
- Wife, And the Children Shall Lead(also known as Wonderworks: And the Children Shall Lead), PBS, 1985
- Jean Kincaid, Heart and Soul,1989
The 19th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame,1992
- Connie, Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls," CBS, 1981
- Also appeared in Over Here, Mr. President, HBO.
- "To Catch a Roaring Lion," It Takes a Thief, ABC, 1968
- "Eye of the Storm," The F.B.I., ABC, 1969
- Jyro, "Logoda's Heads," Night Gallery,1971
- "A Community of Victims," Police Story,1975
- "Substitute Mother," Diff'rent Strokes, NBC, 1980
- (As Denise Nicholas-Hill) T. C.'s date, "I Witness," Magnum, P.I.,1984
- Lorraine, "Birthday Blues," The Cosby Show,1989
- "Plates," B.L. Stryker,1990
- Carol Garrison, "Here's to Old Friends," A Different World, NBC, 1990
- Mrs. Walker, "My Dinner with Mark," Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, ABC, 1992
Storytime, PBS, 1994
- Miss Hickes, "A Kiss Is Just a Kiss," The Parent 'Hood, The WB, 1995
- Lilah James, "One Degree of Separation," Living Single, Fox, 1997
- Lilah James, "Never Can Say Goodbye," Living Single, Fox, 1997
- Also appeared in N.Y.P.D., ABC; Rhoda, CBS; Marcus Welby, M.D., ABC; One Day at a Time, CBS; The Paper Chase, CBS;The Love Boat(two episodes), ABC; Masquerade, ABC; and Benson, ABC.
- (Off-Broadway debut) Viet Rock, Martinique Theatre, 1966
The Song of the Lusitanian Bogey, Negro Ensemble Company, St. Mark's Playhouse, New York City, 1967
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Negro Ensemble Company, St. Mark's Playhouse, 1968
- Praise singer and dancer, Kongi's Harvest, Negro Ensemble Company, St. Mark's Playhouse, 1968
- Lena, Daddy Goodness, Negro Ensemble Company, St. Mark's Playhouse, 1968
- Young girl, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, Negro Ensemble Company, Pocket Theatre, New York City, 1968 then St. Mark's Playhouse, 1969
- Angela, Dame Lorraine, Los Angeles Actors Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, 1982 . Panzi Lew McVain, Long Time Since Yesterday, New Federal Theatre, New York City, 1985
- Suzanne Alexander, The Ohio State Murders, American Repertory Theatre, Hasty Pudding Theatre, Cambridge, MA, 2000
- Also appeared as Janie, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute; in Poetry Show, Judson Poets Theatre, New York City; and as Rosa Parks, Buses, University of Southern California.
- Black woman, In White America, Free Southern Theatre, U.S. cities,1964
- Young actress, Three Boards and a Passion, U.S. cities, 1966
- Also appeared as Lutiebell, Purlie Victorious, neighbor woman, The Rifles of Senora Carrar, player, Does Man Help Man?, and the girlfriend, Shadow of a Gunman, all Free Southern Theatre, U.S. cities;in An Evening of Afro-American Poetry and Song, Free Southern Theatre, U.S. cities; and was assistant stage manager, Waiting for Godot, Free Southern Theatre, U.S. cities.
- Appeared as Dr. Judith Kaufman, An American Daughter, Los AngelesTheatre Works, on National Public Radio.
In the Heat of the Night, CBS, 1991-93
The Denise Nicholas Beauty Book(nonfiction), Cornerstone Library,1971
Jet, May 9, 1994 , p. 54.