HomeNews'A Different World' Actress Mary Alice Passes Away in New York City

‘A Different World’ Actress Mary Alice Passes Away in New York City

Tony and Emmy-winning actress Mary Alice is no longer with us. The legendary actress passed away in New York City. As per the report of the New York Police Department, Alice died on Wednesday.

We must say that the film fraternity has lost one of the greatest actresses of all time. Continue reading further to learn more about the cause of Mary Alice’s death.

What was the cause behind Mary Alice’s death?

According to NYPD, Mary Alice left for the heavenly abode on July 27, 2022, Wednesday in New York City. So far, the cause of her death has not been revealed. As per multiple sources, the veteran actress was reportedly born either in 1936 or 1941.

Mary was well-known for her portraying the character of Leticia “Lettie” Bostic in the NBC sitcom A Different World (1987–1989) and Effie Williams in the 1976 musical drama Sparkle.

In addition to this, Alice played the role of Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions. She also essayed the same role in the video game Enter the Matrix. She appeared in the show A Different World for a total of two seasons. She portrayed the character of Leticia “Lettie” Bostic in the show.

Mary also spilled her magic on the screen in the 1980s All My Children. She played the role of Ellie Grant Hubbard in the soap opera that premiered on ABC from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011. Later on down the lane, the show aired on The Online Network (TOLN) from April 29 to September 2, 2013, via Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes.

When did Mary Alice step into the world of the limelight?

Mary Alice Smith was born in Indianola, Mississippi. Her birth year still remains a mystery to all of us. She was the daughter of Ozelar and Sam Smith. She was inclined toward the world of acting from a very young age. She had a natural ability to act.

Alice began her stage career in her hometown. Soon afterward, her family shifted from Mississippi to Chicago. At that time, she was only two years old. She graduated from Chicago Teacher’s College. At the moment, the college goes by the name of Chicago State University. After a while, she started working as a teacher at an elementary school.

Mary made her comeback to the world of movies in the mid-1960s via community theater. At that point in time, she starred in three of Douglass Turner Ward’s plays, including Days of Absence and Happy Endings.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Alice worked in multiple productions at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in Manhattan’s East Village. She switched to film roles in 1974 and made her on-screen debut with The Education of Sonny Carson. Soon afterward, she made a few guest appearances in shows like Police Woman and Sanford and Son.

Mary Alice had worked in many films and shows

Throughout her acting career, Alice appeared in a couple of movies such as Malcolm X, The Inkwell, Down in the Delta, Just an Old Sweet Song, Beat Street, To Sleep With Anger, Down in the Delta, The Matrix Revolutions, Awakenings, Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder, The Wishing Tree, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and Sunshine State, among many others.

Along with this, Mary was also a part of many great shows like Good Times, The Family Holvak, The Women of Brewster Place, All My Children, Law & Order, I’ll Fly Away, Great Performances, Visions, Insight A Different World, Touched by an Angel, Line of fire, Soul Food, The Jury, and Kojak.

The supremely talented actress bagged many awards over the years. She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for 1993’s I’ll Fly Away. She also bagged a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role in the 1987 production of August Wilson’s Fences.

Alice was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in the year 2000. She bid adieu to the world of entertainment five years later. She will live on in the hearts of her dear ones forever.

Tributes pour in for Mary Alice

The How to Get Away with Murder star Viola Davis tweeted, “RIP Mary Alice…the original Rose Maxson. You were one of the greatest actresses of all time!! Thank you for the work, inspiration and thank you for Rose. Godspeed Queen.” 

The I Love That For You actress Jennifer Lewis paid her tribute to Mary by writing, “So much love and laughter with Mary Alice in our NY days. An amazing role model and certainly one of our absolute best. Hello my Epathaaaaaa” Comedian Loni Love went on to say, “Class, talent and grace.. weather a comical or dramatic role.. Mary Alice would deliver… thank you Ms. Alice now Rest in Power.”

The Zola actor Colman Domingo wrote “A shoulder we all stood on. A round of applause for Mary Alice. Thank you legend. Rest Easy” meanwhile American comedian Mario Cantone tweeted, “Rest In Peace Mary Alice. What an incredible woman. Brilliant actress. Led her life with grace, class, and strength. So lucky I got to share a few unforgettable moments with you.”

The Suits alum Wendall Pierce added, “Mary Alice was an intense,ferociously creative, profoundly authentic artist. Her spirit of expression was infectious. An icon of the craft. I saw her in the original Broadway production of FENCES. A tour de force performance matched by none.Transcendental. Once in a lifetime. RIP”

The Hollywood actor Jason Alexander mourned the loss of Mary on the social media platform Twitter. He wrote “I only saw the brilliant actress, Mary Alice perform live once. On Broadway in the original cast of FENCES. She was breath-taking. Standing beside and going toe-to-toe w. James Earl Jones. She was power and stature and grace. Unforgettable. #RIPMaryAlice”

We send our deepest condolences to the close friends and family members of the veteran actress Mary Alice during this hard time. Which was your favorite film or show of Mary Alice? Kindly let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to stay in touch with us for the latest updates from the world of showbiz.

Meenal Mehta
Hi, I am Meenal. I'm a travel enthusiast, a movie buff and a cricket fan all wrapped in one. I love to capture moments through my words. Writing is my happy space, it has been a great way of putting all my thoughts out and feel liberated.


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