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      Olivia Cole

      Olivia Cole

      Highest Rated: 86% Coming Home (1978)

      Lowest Rated: 12% First Sunday (2008)

      Birthday: Nov 26, 1942

      Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      A black character player of numerous period TV miniseries, usually cast as mature, overly proper, stylish women, Olivia Cole is perhaps best recalled for her Emmy-winning turn as Mathilda, wife of Chicken George (Ben Vereen) and great-grandmother of Alex Haley on the famed miniseries "Roots" (ABC, 1977). Her other miniseries leads have included playing Maggie Rogers, the head maid at the Executive Mansion in "Backstairs at The White House" (1979), and Miss Sophie, the waspish, snoopy arbiter of morality aghast that lesbians are afoot in "The Women of Brewster Place" (ABC, 1989) and its 1990 short-lived series spin-off. After completing studies at RADA in London, Cole spent several years honing her craft in regional theater. She landed her first regular TV role on the CBS daytime soap "The Guiding Light" before segueing to features and primetime in the mid-70s. Her film roles include small supporting parts in "Heroes" (1977) and "Coming Home" (1978). She was particularly effective as the long-suffering wife of the bitter husband and father (Paul Winfield) in the 1984 production of James Baldwin's "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Cole has appeared as Ned Beatty's district supervisor on the CBS sitcom "Szysznyk" (1977) and later played Michael Keaton's social worker boss on "Report to Murphy" (ABC, 1982). Finding herself typecast in period pieces and as characters that were older and dowdier than herself, the actress became less active in film and TV in the 90s. Her final film role came in the Ice Cube comedy "First Sunday" (2008). Olivia Cole died of a heart attack in Mexico in January 2018. She was 75.

      Highest rated movies

      Coming Home poster
      Coming Home
      Some Kind of Hero poster
      Some Kind of Hero
      Heroes poster
      Heroes
      First Sunday poster
      First Sunday

      Photos

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      12% 56% First Sunday Momma T (Character) $37.9M 2008
      No Score Yet 94% The Women of Brewster Place Unknown (Character) - 1989
      No Score Yet 60% Go Tell It on the Mountain Elizabeth (Character) - 1984
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Something About Amelia Ruth Walters (Character) - 1984
      50% 31% Some Kind of Hero Jesse Keller (Character) - 1982
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Fly Away Home Sarah Brookford (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Children of Divorce Betty Williams (Character) - 1980
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Sky Is Gray Octavia (Character) - 1980
      86% 83% Coming Home Corrine (Character) - 1978
      27% 49% Heroes Jane Adcox (Character) - 1977

      TV

      Credit
      No Score Yet 66% Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1985 1991 1995
      82% No Score Yet Christy Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
      100% No Score Yet Brewster Place Miss Sophie (Character) 1990
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Women of Brewster Place Unknown (Character) 1989
      No Score Yet No Score Yet North and South Maum Sally (Character) 1985
      76% 71% Roots Mathilda (Character) 1977
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Police Woman Dr. Dorothy Bailey (Guest Star) 1975-1976