Esther Rolle Biography (1920-1998)

See index for CTFT sketch: Born November 8, 1920, in Pompano Beach, FL; died November 17, 1998, in Los Angeles, CA. Actress. Esther Rolle was wellknown for her roles in the 1970s television series Maudeand Good Times. But she was also noted by peers as a fearless advocate for fair African American representation in cinema. At one time, she temporarily left thecast of Good Times because she objected to the stereotypical portrayalof another African American character on the show. Rolle had an early interest in acting and started her career working with African American dance and acting troupes in New York City. Her portrayal of indomitable maid characterswas noted by many on television, and she played such roles in the movie Driving Miss Daisy and the television movie Summer of My German Soldier. Norman Lear, who worked with Rolle in many of her roles, called her a woman of strong conviction. When the show Good Times was created, Rolleinsisted that the family that she played the mother of also be headed by a father character. Her work in the show caused her to receive the NAACP's CivilRights Leadership Award in 1990 for helping portray African Americans in a positive light.

Birth Details
November 8, 1920
Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
Death Details
November 17, 1998
Los Angeles, California, United States

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