Maya Angelou

Birthday: Apr 4, 1928
Birthplace: Not Available
At once a novelist, actress, poet, singer, and humanitarian (and one of the most renowned figures in each of the said roles), Maya Angelou spent the majority of her life crusading for egalitarianism, human rights, and spiritual healing in the African American community. A child of the Great Depression and a victim of extreme racial discrimination and abject poverty from early childhood, Angelou came of age in the racially segregated American south, experiences ultimately chronicled in the 1970 memoir that made her a literary giant, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She survived a host of personal trials, including childhood rape, a period of uncertainty regarding her own sexual orientation, and single parenthood -- in addition to a period that witnessed her working as a prostitute -- but eventually learned to support herself and her son as a calypso dancer. By the 1960s, Angelou extended herself into acting roles, began publishing poetry and plays, and spent periods of time at home and abroad in a succession of relationships with men. Most significantly, she plunged into the Civil Rights movement opposite Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, and received a personal appointment by King to head up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.The literary triumph of Caged Bird is well-known; championed by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt and others, it became a massive bestseller and a staple of college classrooms everywhere, and also helped carry the torch of the civil rights movement. In successive decades, Angelou began publishing a series of sequels; she also moved into film work as a screenwriter and occasional actress, peaking in on-camera activity during the 1990s. Assignments included parts in John Singleton's urban drama Poetic Justice (1993), Jocelyn Moorhouse's female ensemble drama How to Make an American Quilt (1995), and the urban seriocomedy Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion (2006). Angelou also hosted the PBS series Maya Angelou's America: A Journey of the Heart in the early '90s, and appeared in everything from Sesame Street videos to documentaries on Christianity. She achieved her greatest recognition, however, and made history in the process, when President Bill Clinton asked her to deliver an original poem at his 1992 inauguration. Her appointment to U.S. poet laureate made her the first American to wear that title in 30 years, and the first African American female poet laureate in U.S. history. In 1998, Angelou debuted as a director with the gentle ensemble drama Down in the Delta. She continued to make public appearances until shortly before her death in 2014, at age 86.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection Actor 2019
96% Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise Actor 2016
94% Rosenwald Actor $0.4M 2015
No Score Yet The Power Of The Heart Actor 2015
No Score Yet I Hope You Dance Actor 2015
No Score Yet On The Shoulders Of Giants Actor 2011
No Score Yet Ela pour Cesaire Actor 2009
56% As Seen Through These Eyes Narrator 2008
No Score Yet The Black Candle Narrator 2008
No Score Yet African American Lives 2 Actor 2007
25% Madea's Family Reunion May $63.3M 2006
No Score Yet African American Lives Actor 2006
38% The Ballad of Greenwich Village Actor 2005
No Score Yet America Beyond the Color Line Actor 2004
No Score Yet Sesame Street: What's the Name of That Song Actor 2004
No Score Yet Quincy Jones: In the Pocket Actor 2002
No Score Yet The Runaway Conjure Woman 2000
79% Down in the Delta Director 1998
No Score Yet Elmo Saves Christmas Actor 1996
61% How to Make an American Quilt Anna 1995
No Score Yet The Gospel According to Jesus Actor 1995
No Score Yet Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World Actor 1994
No Score Yet There Are No Children Here Lelia Mae 1993
37% Poetic Justice Aunt June 1993
No Score Yet The Black Candle Actor 1991
No Score Yet Georgia, Georgia Screenwriter 1972

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
Appearing
  • 2013
No Score Yet CBS This Morning
2012
Guest
  • 2012
No Score Yet Michael Feinstein's American Songbook
2010-2013
Guest
  • 2012
No Score Yet Moesha
1996-2001
Herself
  • 1999
No Score Yet Touched by an Angel
1994-2003
  • 1995
86% Roots
1977
Nyo Boto
  • 1977

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