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 Helen Dorothy Martin

Helen Dorothy Martin

Birth
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 25 Mar 2000 (aged 90)
Monterey, Monterey County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 21361 · View Source
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Actress. Born in St Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Amanda Fox and William Martin, a minister. As a teenager she led a band and performed with local theater groups. She attended Fisk University in Nashville for two years, but left without taking a degree. She moved then to Chicago, and then New York to study acting with the WPA Theater and the Rose McClendon Players. She was a founding member of the American Negro Theater in Harlem, and made her Broadway debut in 'Orchids Preferred' (1937) Other performances included roles in such productions as Orson Welles' 1941 staging of 'Native Son,' Elia Kazan's 'Deep Are the Roots' (1945); 'Take A Giant Step' (1953); Ossie Davis' 'Purlie Victorious' (1961); 'The Amen Corner' (1965); and 'Raisin' which ran from 1973 to 1975. Although she had first briefly appeared on television in 1955, with the 1970s she became a staple, appearing in numerous television movies and series including 'Maude;' Thats My Mama;' 'Roots;' 'Sanford and Son;' 'Starsky and Hutch;' 'Baby, I'm Back;' 'What's Happening;' 'Good Times;' 'Hill Street Blues;' 'Dummy' and 'St Elsewhere.' She made a splash at age 76 as the nosy neighbor in the 1985 sitcom '227,' possibly one of her best remembered roles. She was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for her role in the 1987 feature film 'Hollywood Shuffle.' Other films included 'Cotton Comes to Harlem' (1970) 'Repo Man (1984), 'Doc Hollywood' (1991); 'Beverly Hills Cop III' (1994); and 'Bulworth' (1998). Her last appearance was in the television movie, 'Something to Sing About' which was released shortly after her death.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Apr 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21361
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Helen Dorothy Martin (23 Jul 1909–25 Mar 2000), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21361, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.