7 Memorable Maya Angelou Onscreen Appearances (Video)
Maya Angelou – who rose from poverty, surrounded by segregation and violence, to become a force on the stage, the screen and the printed page -- died Wednesday morning at 86.
While the late author was the source of endless noteworthy quotes and powerful passages through her writings, she enjoyed her moments in the spotlight in film and television.
The Hollywood Reporter recounts a handful of Angelou's most memorable appearances:
Angelou appeared in the fabled ABC slavery miniseries Roots, which aired in 1977. Watch a clip of her performance below.
The Richard Pryor Special? (1977)
In 1977, Angelou performed a moving soliloquy on NBC's The Richard Pryor Special? as the wife of an alcoholic, Willie. Watch her stretch her knack for both comedy and drama in the clip below.
Poetic Justice (1993)
Angelou played Aunt June in John Singleton's Poetic Justice, also starring Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur and Regina King. Jackson's character, Justice, plays a poet and recites Angelou's work. Watch the clips of "Alone" and "Phenomenal Woman" below.
"On the Pulse of Morning" (1993)
Angelou became the second poet to ever present at a presidential inauguration when she took to the podium in 1993 for Bill Clinton. Watch her read "On the Pulse of Morning" below.
How to Make an American Quilt (1995)
Angelou played a servant named Anna in How to Make an American Quilt, which also starred Winona Ryder, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Bancroft and Alfre Woodard. Watch a clip of the film below.
Angelou appeared multiple times on the children's program Sesame Street, often alongside Elmo to perform a song called "My Name." Watch one of her musical performances below.
Madea's Family Reunion (2006)
Angelou played May in Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion in 2006, during which she and Cicely Tyson recite the poem "In and Out of Time." Watch the trailer below.