On Friday, Novella Nelson passed away after decades in the business as a dedicated Broadway and Hollywood actress. Honored in 2016 by New York’s New Federal Theater for her contribution to African-American theater and film, the actress starred in over 100 films.

Nelson’s credits go back to the 1970’s with roles in Strictly Business, Sex and the City, The West Wing, The Starter Wife and Law & Order in the following decades. But Nelson is most known for her role as Mrs. Tate, the abusive mother in Antwone Fisher.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Nelson also starred in the Broadway play Purlie, a musical based on a book co-written by Ossie Davis.

It’s unclear if she left behind immediate family, but our thoughts are with those grieving her death. 


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