One of Hollywood’s most renowned actresses has passed away.
Juanita Moore, an Academy Award Nominee, collapsed and died Wednesday January 1 at her home in Los Angeles. According to her grandson, Kirk Kelleykahn, she was 99 years of age.
Moore first got her foot in the door in the 1949 film, “Pinky.”
Some of her other respected career achievements include:
- 1950s- Stardom at black-owned Los Angeles’ Ebony Showcase Theatre.
- 1965- Broadway appearances in the play production of “The Amen Corner.”
- 1973- A Motherly role in “The Mack.”
- 2000- Her grandmother role in “The Kid.”
- Most currently- TV appearances on “Judging Amy” and “ER.”
However, Moore was better known for her groundbreaking performance in the 1959 film, “Imitation of Life,” making her the fifth African-American entertainer to be nominated for an Oscar.
Unlike her other films where she played a typical nurse or housemaid, Moore’s character finally opened the door for better roles in her acting career. She has said that her role in the heartfelt film touched her more than any other character she has portrayed.
“I cried a lot in the making of this movie because it was real easy for me to cry,” she said. “I had a lot to cry about. Conditions for black actors were unbelievable back then. Very few actors got the opportunity to hone their craft in the same way white actors did.”
Yet, Moore said her recognition for the award was a little off considering the fact that she previously landed numerous roles before the nomination.
“The Oscar prestige was fine, but I worked more before I was nominated. 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,” Moore said.
Her legacy continues to live on through Kelleykahn, who is also an actor and the CEO of the Cambridge group.
Moore leaves behind her grandson and two nephews.