She’s been called home.
Suzzanne Douglas, the prolific actress of television, film, and Broadway, has passed away at her home in Martha’s Vineyard after a years-long battle with cancer. She was 64-years-old. Her four-decade career included classic Black films such as “Jason’s Lyric” and “Inkwell.” She was widely known for “The Parent ’Hood,” playing opposite Robert Townsend as Jerri Peterson – the wife, mother, and law student who appeared regally in every scene.
She made her first on-screen appearance in the 1981 film “Purlie,” a television adaptation of the Broadway musical. Eight years later, she starred alongside Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr., and Savion Glover in the movie “Tap,” which earned her an N.A.A.C.P. Image Award. In 2000, she became the first Black woman to play the lead role of Vivian Bearing, a poetry professor battling ovarian cancer, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Wit.”
The veteran actress continued to captivate audiences in recent years playing Grace Cuffe, the mother of Kevin Richardson, in the award-winning mini-series, “When They See Us,” directed by Ava DuVernay. The film chronicled the story of the Central Park Five, the teenage boys wrongfully convicted of rape in 1989. DuVernay tweeted her condolences, calling her a “gem of a lady.”
Suzzanne Douglas was a quiet, elegant force as we made WHEN THEY SEE US. A gentlewoman. A gem of a lady. A confident, caring actor who breathed life into the words and made them shimmer. I’m grateful that our paths in this life crossed. May she journey on in peace and love. pic.twitter.com/1ZhaucGEiKadvertisement
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 7, 2021
Douglas was a multifaceted artist, composing music and singing with jazz musicians like Thelonious Monk Jr., the trumpeter Jon Faddis, and the saxophonist Stanley Turrentine.
Her talent agency listed Douglas is an “Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and the honors society of Sigma Alpha Lambda, a national leadership and honors organization.”
Her co-stars, colleagues, and fans all expressed their shock and sadness at her passing.
Rip to the regal and talented Suzzanne Douglas. You deserved more flowers. https://t.co/WsnaEn2D64
— Undine Shorey (@UndineShorey) July 7, 2021
So very sad to hear about the passing of Suzzanne Douglas. Such an amazing and kind artist who blessed the world and our baby Really Love with her command and mastery and talent. She shined so very bright. So very bright. Rest in peace. #ReallyLove pic.twitter.com/3lzYmspmbf
— Felicia Pride (@feliciapride) July 7, 2021
R.I.P. to veteran actor of stage and screen Suzzanne Douglas (The Tap Dance Kid, Into The Woods, 3 Penny Opera) Notably known as the mother from The Parent ‘Hood and the film Tap with Gregory Hines & Savion Glover. #YouAreBroadwayBlack pic.twitter.com/hGfHwtt5Eu
— BWYBLK (@BroadwayBlack) July 7, 2021
I always thought she was so regally beautiful, especially in Jason’s Lyric.
Rest In Peace
Actress Suzzanne Douglas Dead At 64 https://t.co/j5LMOlcngGadvertisement
— existence is chaos (@By_Kemi) July 7, 2021
I am not okay… Not one of my tv mom’s RIP Suzzanne Douglas pic.twitter.com/9sy6BojB6fadvertisement
— Jazzman Hester (@Shreem16) July 7, 2021
I’m at such a loss. I was a Philly kid straight off the Greyhound bus who took a lot of things 4 granted. Watching you work & move gracefully from scene to scene…made me love & respect this business. Our talks…we had lots of them. You taught me so much. I will never 4get you pic.twitter.com/5rLZCIOHujadvertisement
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) July 7, 2021
Remember when Mz Suzzanne Douglas taught Denise Huxtable that she couldn’t be a teacher without a college degree? Or when she played Angela, Stella’s bougie sister? Her art. Her grace. Her beauty. She was everything. Thank you, Mz Douglas. Thank you . Rest Peacefully. pic.twitter.com/eS9nn9CsK4advertisement
— HardCayndii10 ✨ (@HardCayndii10) July 7, 2021
I woke up this morning to the news that Suzzanne Douglas has passed away. I worked with Suzzanne in the film Inkwell. She was an elegant, gentle warm spirit. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. May she rest in love. pic.twitter.com/fBUf3coIVbadvertisement
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) July 7, 2021
Suzzanne Douglas and Gregory Hines in Tap (1989)advertisement
rest in power and love pic.twitter.com/ctibWQldvL
— C.S.R. Calloway (@ChanceCalloway) July 7, 2021
My heart is full ,because yesterday I lost, my amazing dancing partner on TV for 5 years Suzanne Douglas. We did “Work”on THE PARENT’HOOD.I just remember a lot of laughter and a lot of tears… her regal bright light will be missed…. pic.twitter.com/RHT0rrd4zb
— Robert Townsend (@Robert_Townsend) July 7, 2021advertisement
She is survived by her husband of 32 years, Jonathan Cobb, and her daughter Jordan Victoria Cobb.
Her majestic presence will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all that knew her.
Photo Credit: Suzanne Douglas Website