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Mary Alice

Mary Alice is known for playing women of quiet dignity and strength. Television viewers have known her as Fred Sanford's nemesis sister-in-law on episodes of Sanford and Son and also as the housemother with a past on A Different World. Anyone who has seen her playing wife of James Earl Jones and mother to Courtney Vance in her Tony-winning role in Fences or as the sassy sister in Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years on Broadway is aware of the depth of her talent.

Alice has also graced the stage with roles in Trials of Jero, The Strong Breed and No Place to Be Somebody. Her feature film credits began with her debut in The Education of Sonny Carson, and she went on to appear in Beat Street, Teachers, The Inkwell, To Sleep With Anger starring Danny Glover, Awakenings starring Robin Williams, Bed of Roses starring Christian Slater and Malcolm X, starring Denzel Washington.

Alice entertained audiences on the small screen by appearing in series such as Oz, L.A. Law, Laurel Avenue, Providence, Touched by an Angel, Cosby, and I'll Fly Away, for which she earned an Emmy.

Born in Chicago, Alice began her working life as a teacher and began her acting career on stage in her hometown. Eventually, she moved to New York where she studied with Lloyd Richards, who would later direct her in her Tony-winning role in Fences.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Mary Alice Facts

Birth NameMary Alice Smith
BirthdayDecember 3, 1941 (82)
BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA

Selected Filmography

House of D
To Kill a Mockingbird
Till The Clouds Roll By
After the Thin Man
A Farewell To Arms
Bonfire of the Vanities
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Stefano Formaggio
Snowball Express
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