Hollywood says goodbye to another award-winning actor after the death of Mary Alice. The character actor, who has nearly 60 credits on her IMDb page, died on July 27 in New York City, confirmed by the NYPD, per Variety. It is not clear how old she was as sources gave two different years, 1936 and 1941, as her date of birth.
The versatile Alice is known for many roles including Lettie Bostic in A Different World, sister Margaret in the Robin Williams film Awakenings, single mother Effie in the 1976 version of Sparkle and taking over the Oracle after Gloria Foster’s death in 2001 in 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions, the third film in the series. She was twice nominated for an Emmy, per The Hollywood Reporter, for her role as Marguerite Peck on the NBC drama, I’ll fly away” and took home the award in 1993 for the second year. She was also a celebrated star of the stage, winning a Tony Award for the role of Rose in the 1987 production of August Wilson’s Fences, the same role Viola Davis was revived in 2010 and made into a film in 2016. The former school teacher was also inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2000. She retired from acting in 2005.
As the entertainment world is rocked by the news of her death, Twitter is full of tributes to the beloved actor.
Viola Davis is among the first to honor Mary Alice
As news of actress Mary Alice’s death spread, Twitter burst into life with fans, known and unknown, sharing their condolences and memories. “Exquisite actress. Beautiful, kind soul.” tweeted fellow actor Bradley Whitford. Coleman Domingo showed his deep respect, vocation Alice, “A Shoulder We All Stood On,” and Viola Davis, who played one of Alice’s most famous roles, said“You were one of the greatest actresses of all time!!”
Not all of Alice’s fans were famous. One fan especially liked her work on The Matrix Revolutions, especially her line, “I still don’t recognize my face in the mirror, but I still love candy.” tweet, “that legitimately appealed to me when I was 14.” Another fan said, “How I love this woman.” They spoke for many, too, adding, “All our favorites and childhood legends, the greats, are leaving.” One fan pointed to another of Alice’s diverse roles, saying“Her performance in Charles Burnett’s ‘To Sleep With Anger’ is one of my absolute favorite performances of all time.”
The honors befit someone who has been so successful, a trait Alice aspired to achieve from a young age. “I think I decided very early on that I didn’t want to — well, not so much that I didn’t want to get married, but that I wanted to find out something about the world,” she told the New York Times. “I did that through college, through studying, through books and travel.”