Mary Alice, Emmy-winning Actress Known for Roles in “A Different World” and “Sparkle,” Dies at 85

©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Emmy-winning actress Mary Alice, known for her roles as Leticia “Lettie” Bostic on NBC‘s “A Different World” and as Effie Williams in the 1976 musical drama “Sparkle,” died Wednesday in New York City, according to the NYPD. Her birth year had been reported both as 1936 and 1941 in various sources.

In “The Matrix Revolutions,” she played the Oracle and also played the role in the video game “Enter the Matrix.”

She appeared in “A Different World” for two seasons, and also played Ellie Grant Hubbard on “All My Children” in the 1980s.

In films, she appeared in “Malcolm X,” “The Inkwell,” “Down in the Delta,” “Beat Street,” “To Sleep With Anger,” “Awakenings,” “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and “Sunshine State,” among many others.

Born Mary Alice Smith in Indianola, Miss., she pursued acting at a very early age, starting her stage career in her hometown. After a brief stint as an elementary school teacher, Alice returned to acting in the 1960s with community theater and worked her way up to stage productions in Manhattan’s East Village throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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SOURCE: Variety, EJ Panaligan

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