Hollywood actress Mary Alice dies at 80: A Different World, Sparkle

Hollywood film and TV actress Mary Alice has died aged 80.

The Tony and Emmy Award-winning star died in New York City on Wednesday, according to the New York Police Department who spoke to Variety. His cause of death is not yet known.

The star was best known as Leticia ‘Lettie’ Bostic on the NBC television show A Different World. She also stood out for her role as Effie Williams in the 1976 musical drama Sparkle.

Sad farewell: Hollywood actress Mary Alice has died aged 80.  The actress died in New York City on Wednesday, according to the New York Police Department who spoke to Variety.  His cause of death is not yet known.  Seen in New York in 2007

Sad farewell: Hollywood actress Mary Alice has died aged 80. The actress died in New York City on Wednesday, according to the New York Police Department who spoke to Variety. His cause of death is not yet known. Seen in New York in 2007

And she was part of one of the most popular film franchises of all time: she appeared in The Matrix Revolutions in 2003 as The Oracle opposite Keanu Reeves and starred again in the video game Enter The Matrix.

She was born on December 3, 1941, in Indianola, Mississippi according to multiple sources, but others say she was born in 1937, according to Variety.

When she was two, she moved with her family to Chicago.

Her star show: The star was best known as Leticia “Lettie” Bostic on the NBC television show A Different World;  seen on the right with Jasmine Guy on the left in 1988

Her star show: The star was best known as Leticia “Lettie” Bostic on the NBC television show A Different World; seen on the right with Jasmine Guy on the left in 1988

She shone in Sparkle: She also stood out for her role as Effie Williams in the 1976 musical drama Sparkle

She shone in Sparkle: She also stood out for her role as Effie Williams in the 1976 musical drama Sparkle

A performing artist too: seen here at the Drama League luncheon in 1987

A performing artist too: seen here at the Drama League luncheon in 1987

Friends: With actor James Earl Jones at the Tony Awards nominees luncheon in 1987

Friends: With actor James Earl Jones at the Tony Awards nominees luncheon in 1987

The star became interested in acting at school, then moved to New York to work on plays like The Rat’s Mass and Street Sounds.

Throughout her career, she returns to the stage.

Alice received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her appearance in the 1987 production of August Wilson’s Fences.

But his heart belonged to the screen.

Golden Girl: In 1993, she won an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series I'll Fly Away

Golden Girl: In 1993, she won an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series I’ll Fly Away

Thanks!  Alice receiving an Emmy Award at the 45th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Pasadena, CA;  at right are Heather Locklear and Andrew Shue of Melrose Place

Thanks! Alice receiving an Emmy Award at the 45th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Pasadena, CA; at right are Heather Locklear and Andrew Shue of Melrose Place

She made her small-screen debut in the movie The Education of Sonny Carson about a gangster who goes to jail, which was released in 1974.

The actress then appeared on popular television shows such as Police Woman, Good Times and Sanford And Son as a guest star.

In 1976, she had a small role in the series Serpico.

The Oracle with Keanu Reeves: And she was part of one of the most popular film franchises of all time: she appeared in The Matrix Revolutions in 2003 as The Oracle and also starred in the video game Enter the Matrix

The Oracle with Keanu Reeves: And she was part of one of the most popular film franchises of all time: she appeared in The Matrix Revolutions in 2003 as The Oracle and also starred in the video game Enter the Matrix

Then came her first soap opera: in 1980, she was chosen for All My Children where she played Ellie Grant.

Next is A Different World as Leticia ‘Lettie’ Bostic which she played from 1987 to 1989.

Other films followed, such as a small role in Malcolm X in 1992 and A Perfect World in 1993.

In 1993, she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series I’ll Fly Away.

Heartbreak: Law & Order actress S Epatha Merkerson shared this tribute

Heartbreak: Law & Order actress S Epatha Merkerson shared this tribute

In 1994 she was in The Inkwell, The Vernon Johns Story and Heading Home.

In 1995 she appeared in Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder and in 1996 she was in Bed of Roses.

Other films followed like Down in the Delta in 1998, Catfish in Black Bean Sauce in 1999 and The Wishing Tree Mattie, The Photographer Violet in 2000, The Last Brickmaker in America in 2001, Sunshine State in 2002, The Life Emiline Crane in 2002 and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003.

Friends: Seen right with Phylicia Rashad left at the Signature Theater Company's Salute to August Wilson in New York

Friends: Seen right with Phylicia Rashad left at the Signature Theater Company’s Salute to August Wilson in New York

In 2000, she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

She retired from acting in 2005.

Tributes poured in shortly after news of his death was announced.

Viola Davis tweeted, ‘RIP Mary Alice…the original Rose Maxson. You were one of the greatest actresses of all time!! Thanks for the work, the inspiration and thanks for Rose. Godspeed Queen ❤️❤️❤️❤️.’

Law & Order actress S Epatha Merkerson shared a broken heart emoji.

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