Isabel Sanford

Lowest Rated: 22% Sprung (1997)
Birthday: Aug 29, 1917
Birthplace: Not Available
Defying her mother's wishes, African-American actress Isabel Sanford secretly worked as a nightclub performer in her teens. Upon winning 3rd prize in an Apollo Theatre amateur contest, Sanford could keep her new career a secret no longer. Married to a house painter who worked only on a seasonal basis, she held down a full-time job as a keypunch operator at the New York City department of Welfare, spending her evenings acting with such groups as Harlem Y and the American Negro Theatre. Seeking out better opportunities, Sanford packed her family into a bus and headed to Hollywood in the early 1960s. Her breakthrough film role was in Stanley Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner; she played Tillie the cook, who heartily disapproved of the upcoming interracial marriage between Katharine Houghton and Sidney Poitier (the hardest part of this assignment was not mouthing the "controversial" dialogue but preparing dinner in a key scene; Sanford had never learned to cook!) On the strength of this film, Isabel Sanford was hired for several guest spots on The Carol Burnett Show, which led to her most famous characterization: Louise Jefferson, the acerbic but loving wife of "movin' on up" Sherman Hemsley, on the immensely popular sitcom The Jeffersons (1975-82).

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
60% Hickey & Boggs Nyona's Mother 2000
22% Sprung Sista No. 1 1997
53% Original Gangstas Gracie Bookman 1996
No Score Yet South Beach Mama 1993
No Score Yet Pucker up and Bark Like a Dog Actor 1989
67% Love at First Bite Judge 1979
No Score Yet The Photographer Actor 1975
69% Lady Sings the Blues First Madame 1972
No Score Yet The New Centurions Wilma 1972
60% Up the Sandbox Maria 1972
No Score Yet Buffalo Soldier Isabel 1970
No Score Yet The Comic Woman 1969
71% Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Tillie 1967

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet The Parkers
1999-2004
Grandma
  • 2001
No Score Yet Teen Angel
1997-1998
Laurie
  • 1997
No Score Yet The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1990-1996
Louise Jefferson
  • 1996
  • 1995
76% Roseanne
1988-2018
  • 1995
No Score Yet Hangin' With Mr. Cooper
1992-1997
Judge
  • 1994
86% Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
1993-1997
Margaret Duffy
  • 1994
No Score Yet Living Single
1993-1998
  • 1993
No Score Yet The Jeffersons
1975-1985
Louise Jefferson Winnie
  • 1985
  • 1984
  • 1983
  • 1982
  • 1981
  • 1980
  • 1979
  • 1978
  • 1977
  • 1976
  • 1975
No Score Yet All in the Family
1971-1979
Mrs. Jefferson Louise Louise Jefferson
  • 1979
  • 1977
  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1972
  • 1971
No Score Yet Kojak
1973-1978
Grace
  • 1974
No Score Yet The Mary Tyler Moore Show
1970-1977
Mrs. Wilson
  • 1972
No Score Yet Bewitched
1964-1972
Aunty Jenny
  • 1968

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