Columbus Museum of Art

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Curator’s comments

Beah Richards (1920-2000) was a versatile American actress who performed on stage, in films, and on television. She was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans. In 1955, she played the elderly grandmother in the Broadway show Take a Giant Step. Her performance propelled her career and she became a staple in a variety of Broadway shows, often playing a motherly role. She played in the original Broadway productions of The Miracle Worker and A Raisin in the Sun. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in James Baldwin's The Amen Corner (1965) and for an Academy Award for playing Sidney Poitier's mother in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). She received two Emmy Awards for her work in television.

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