Louise Beavers


Quick Reference

(1902–1962). Film and television performer. The frequently seen African American character actress who only rarely got to play roles beyond cooks or maids in her many films, she enlivened some musicals along the way. Beavers was born in Cincinnati and grew up in Los Angeles, beginning her career as a singer in a touring minstrel troupe. By 1924 she was doing bit parts in films and soon graduated to memorable supporting roles, some of them demanding some potent acting, as in the dramas Bombshell (1933) and Imitation of Life (1934). Among her musical credits are Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), 42nd Street (1933), She Done Him Wrong (1933), Rainbow on the River (1936), Holiday Inn (1942), DuBarry Was a Lady (1943), My Blue Heaven (1950), I Dream of Jeanie (1952), and You Can't Run Away From It (1956). Beavers was one of the first African American performers to star in a television series, the popular Beulah in the early 1950s.

From The Oxford Companion to the American Musical in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music Theatre.

Reference entries