Suzzanne Douglas—the actor best known for her roles in Emmy-winning Netflix series When They See Us and 1990s sitcom The Parent ‘Hood—has died. As per Essence, Douglas’ cousin, Angie Tee, shared the news of her death on Facebook. Douglas was 64.
In the Facebook post, Angie Tee wrote, “Suzzanne Douglas, a beautiful and talented actress made her transition today. She warmed our hearts on movie screens and television sets all over the world. This beautiful soul was my cousin.”
Tee continued, “The world will miss your talent but your soul will live on forever Rest in Paradise my beautiful cousin Suzzanne you will be missed RIP.”
Born and raised in Chicago, Douglas received a Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University before moving on to earn a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Her breakout role was playing Amy in Tap (1989), for which she won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. From 1995-1999, Douglas played beloved TV mother Jerri Peterson in The Parent ‘Hood, starring opposite Robert Townsend. Her other notable roles included: Brenda Tate in Inkwell, which she co-starred with Jada Pinkett Smith, and Angela in How Stella Got Her Groove Back which she co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Regina King, and Taye Diggs. Douglas also played Gloria in Jason’s Lyric (1994) and she portrayed Cissy Houston in the Lifetime TV movie Whitney (2015)
Jada Pinkett Smith took to Twitter to share her condolences. “I woke up this morning to the news that Suzzanne Douglas has passed away,” Pinkett Smith wrote. “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.”
Ava DuVernay, filmmaker and director of When They See Us, also shared sentiments about her time working with Douglas. “Suzzanne Douglas was a quiet, elegant force as we made WHEN THEY SEE US,” DuVernay recalled. “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.”