Juanita Moore, Legendary Actress Passes Away


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Juanita Moore, who was the fifth African American to ever be nominated for an Oscar, died yesterday at the age of 99, according to the Associated Press.

The Los Angeles native collapsed inside her home yesterday, Jan. 1, and passed away soon after.

Moore's grandson, Kirk Kellykahn, who's also an actor, Tweeted about his grandmother's passing earlier today. "Legendary Academy Actress Juanita Moore passed on yesterday," he wrote. "All I can say is wow granny. You will be missed. I love you always."

According to IMDb, Moore's career spanned almost 60 years, and her first notable role was in the movie "Star Spangled Rhythm" in 1942, starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Moore played a dancer in one of the film's scenes. Her last on screen appearance came in 2001 on the popular CBS show "Judging Amy," in an episode entitled "One for the Road." In it, she played a character named Katerine Barrantes.

But it's the film "Imitation of Life" as Annie Johnson that she'll probably go down in history for. Not only for the Academy Award nomination, but for helping to knock down some of those stubborn Hollywood doors for future black actors and actresses.

In 1967 Moore told the Los Angeles Times that she was honored to be nominated for an Oscar, but felt it kind of hurt her in a way. Namely because casting directors felt certain smaller roles were beneath her, but she said that wasn't the case at all.

"The Oscar prestige was fine, but I worked more before I was nominated," she said. "Casting directors think an Oscar nominee is suddenly in another category. They couldn't possibly ask you to do one or two days' work. You wouldn't accept it, and I'm sure I would.

Other appearances on the small screen for Moore included a role on the medical drama "ER" and on the shows "Marcus Welby" and "Dragnet." Moore's husband Charles Burris also passed away in 2001.

Image via Wikimedia Commons